Reduce the risk of arc flash hazards with CSA Z462
BY ROBERT BURGESS, Lineman’s Testing Laboratories
Safe electrical maintenance practices and on-going personnel training can minimize the likelihood of electrical injuries and fatalities due to electrical shock, electrocution, arc flash and arc blast. At risk are employees who work on or near exposed energized electrical conductors or circuit parts including electrical maintenance personnel, operators, troubleshooters, electricians, linemen, supervisors, site safety personnel or anyone exposed to energized equipment of 50 volts or more. The majority of hospital admissions following electrical accidents are due to arc flash burns, not
electrical shock (as published in the NFPA 70E: “Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace”, produced by the National Fire Protection Association), so protect workers with the following suggestions.
Identify the hazards through arc-flash hazard studies
Performed by qualified engineers and technicians, find a certified company that offers CSA Z462-compliant arc flash hazard analyses which determine the potential arc flash incident energies and boundaries, shock hazard boundaries and proper personal protective equipment required for activity within the arc flash boundary.