Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Feb 16, 2021

EIN author TerryBecker 400By Terry Becker, P.Eng., CESCP, IEEE Senior Member

It is interesting that these two words “High Voltage” have been used throughout the history of our use of electricity to use fear as a tactic to keep people away from electrical equipment located indoors or outdoors and in turn has also been considered “high risk.”  Would you believe me if I told you that actually working on low voltage electrical equipment may be a higher inherent risk level or the same inherent risk level as working on or near high voltage electrical equipment?  With the application of expected and appropriate hierarchy risk controls methods low voltage and high voltage energized electrical work tasks would both be low risk.

In the CSA Z462 Workplace electrical safety Standard it doesn’t use the voltage level of electrical equipment to define low risk, medium risk, high risk or extreme risk/danger.   CSA Z462 Clause Risk assessment procedure outlines three requirements in completing a risk assessment: identify hazards; assess risks; and implement risk control according to the hierarchy of risk control methods to eliminate exposure or reduce risk to as low as reasonably practicable.  In implementing this process, it is clear that “High Voltage Is Not High Risk!”  For specific details on completing a risk assessment you can also refer to CSA Z1002 and CSA Z45001.

In Clause 3 Definitions of the CSA Z462 Standard two definitions are provided to further clarify risk and risk assessment.

“Risk – a combination of the likelihood of occurrence of injury or damage to health and the potential severity of injury or damage to health that results from a hazard.

Risk Assessment – an overall process that identifies hazards, estimates the likelihood of occurrence of injury or damage to health, estimates the potential severity of injury or damage to health, and determines if protective measures are required.

Note: As used in this Standard, “arc flash risk assessment” and “shock risk assessment” are types of risk assessments.(1)

The CSA Z462 Standard is a Job and discrete work task(s) based Standard and this is the starting point and basis for the implementation of the employers defined Risk Assessment Procedure in their Electrical Safety Program.  The starting point is the work task description, CSA Z462 provides Table 2 Estimate of the likelihood of occurrence of an arc flash incident for ac and dc systems, which can be used. It provides thirty-one (31) discrete energized electrical work tasks.  The voltage of the electrical equipment that will be worked on is secondary and is used to define if an abnormal arcing fault can be sustained and lead to an arc flash occurring and the voltage also determines if a shock hazard exposure can occur.   The third consideration in completing the risk assessment procedure is the actual electrical equipment that the energized electrical work task will be performed on.  Following this sequence, a qualitative risk assessment for the Job and discrete work task(s) will be used to determine the residual risk level based on the energized electrical work task description first.  Figure 1 below visually represents the risk assessment process.

Figure 1 – Risk Assessment Process

F1 RiskAsses

As noted above risk assessment takes into consideration the likelihood of occurrence and the potential severity of injury or damage to health.  These two elements are considered together to determine a discrete work task’s residual risk level as low, medium, high or extreme risk/danger.

CSA Z462 also defines two independent risk assessments required to be completed as components of the overall Risk Assessment Procedure.  CSA Z462 Clauses 4.2.4 Shock risk assessment and Clause 4.2.5 Arc flash risk assessment require that the Qualified Electrical Worker completes and documents these two risk assessments in the field before executing the Job assigned to them and executing the energized electrical work task(s) related to a Job.  

In completing both the Shock Risk Assessment and the Arc Flash Risk Assessment for an energized electrical work task, the process is the same as the overall Risk Assessment Procedure: identify if the shock or arc flash hazard exists, estimate the likelihood or occurrence of injury or damage to health and the potential severity of injury or damage to health; and determine if additional protective measures are required, including the use of PPE.

CSA Z462 also notes that the estimate of likelihood or occurrence and potential severity of injury or damage to health for both the shock and arc flash risk assessments shall take into consideration:

Shock:            The electrical equipment design shall be considered, including but not limited to, the suitability of the guarding of exposed energized electrical conductors or circuit parts.

Arc Flash:      The design of the electrical equipment, including its overcurrent protective device and its operating time.

Both the shock risk assessment and arc flash risk assessment need to consider the electrical equipment operating condition and the condition of maintenance.  Specific to the arc flash risk assessment, it needs to consider the design of the electrical equipment, including its overcurrent protective device upstream of the work task location on the electrical equipment and its operating time.

When completing the risk assessment procedure for an energized electrical work task, low voltage work tasks are performed more frequently, and lower voltages will result in higher available fault currents which can lead to higher incident energy levels depending on the maximum fault clearing times associated with the low voltage electrical equipment.   Low voltage work tasks performed on low voltage electrical equipment will be the same risk level or a higher risk level than work tasks performed on high voltage electrical equipment.

You can and should develop, implement and document a formal risk assessment process with associated electrical hazard risk assessment matrix and work task risk register table as a key component of your company’s Electrical Safety Program.  As I outline above, use it to confirm for a Job that requires individual energized electrical work tasks, low or high voltage, with the application of the expected hierarchy or risk control methods are residual low risk.

High Voltage Is Not High Risk!

If you are interested in discussing the CSA Z462 Standard, 2021 Edition or have any questions or comments you may have regarding this article please contact Terry Becker, P.Eng., CESCP, IEEE Senior Member via phone 1-587-433-3777, or email or for additional information see his website

Terry Becker, P.Eng., CESCP, IEEE Senior Member is the first past Vice-Chair of the CSA Z462 Workplace electrical safety Standard Technical Committee and currently a Voting Member and Working Group Leader for Clause 4.1 and the Annexes.  Terry is also a Voting Member on the CSA Z463 Maintenance of electrical systems Standard and a Voting Member of the IEEE 1584 Guide for Performing Arc-Flash Hazard Calculations.  Terry has presented at Conferences and Workshops on electrical safety in Canada, the USA, India, and Australia.  Terry is a Professional Engineer in AB, BC, SK, MN and ON.  Terry is an Electrical Safety Specialist, Management Consultant at TW Becker Electrical Safety Consulting Inc..

(1) CSA Z462 Workplace electrical safety Standard, 5th Edition, 2021.

Salex Announces Promotion of Paul Manson to GTA Sales Manager     

Paul MansonJanuary 26, 2021 – Salex, a facilitator of commercial lighting installations and control systems for Canada’s architectural lighting community, is excited to announce the promotion of Paul Manson to GTA Sales Manager. Paul joined Salex back in 2015, and has over 25 years of invaluable industry experience.

Dedicated to the education and promotion of quality, high-efficiency lighting and controls, Manson’s extensive background in on-site electrical installation, national accounts, relationship building, manufacturers, and sales team management at Philips Lighting, will provide valuable experience to fulfill his new role.

Read More


Changing Scene

  • Prev
ABB is hosting a Smart Building thought leadership session with six webinars presented by industry ...
Dimonoff and Amotus are proud to announce the merger of their entities under the same banner with ...
 EWEL has announced the plan to move its Sherwood Park branch into a brand-new facility at ...
Energy Savings for Business supports local skilled trades, contractors, and suppliers such as HVAC ...
Eaton has signed an agreement to acquire Tripp Lite, a supplier of power quality products and ...
Rexel announced it has acquired the Canadian Utility business of WESCO International (WESCO Canada ...
This questionnaire is designed for people who work in the electrical industry as part of a project ...
Organizers behind the MEET (Mechanical Electrical Electronic Technology) Show have announced its ...
Be sure not to miss your opportunity to participate at EDIST 2021 The Power of Resiliency, January ...
Teledyne Technologies Incorporated and FLIR Systems, Inc.jointly announced that they have entered ...






Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion



DimonoffDimonoff and Amotus are proud to announce the merger of their entities under the same banner with the objective of offering a new range of tailor-made IoT products and services. Acquired by Dimonoff in 2018, Amotus has built a custom electronic and software development offering for interconnected solutions.

Composed of engineers and programmers, Amotus has completed more than 100 service projects in 15 countries with invoices ranging from $10,000 to $500,000. 



Read More


Ron TellasBy Ron Tellas

Disruptive technology alters the way we operate, driving us to improve processes, operations and systems. 

We're always watching for changes that will impact the industry and bring new possibilities to the way our networks and cabling and connectivity infrastructure are designed and deployed. We rounded up a short list of four technology disruptions that Belden is monitoring closely and think you should be, too.



Read More


Lighting SignifyBy Martin Garner

The Internet of Things (IoT) can help create safer workspaces, and connected lighting systems are uniquely well-placed to form the basis of an IoT infrastructure.

As the world starts to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, building owners, building managers, and office managers all have the urgent task of ensuring that workplaces offer employees a safety net from the virus. It’s not only important to make workspaces safe, but also to make people feel safe.


Read More


Product News

  • Prev
Designed to fit into the 16'' on center (406mm) opening between studs in a standard 2''x 4'' (51mm ...
Twister® ProFLEX is rated for 1000 volts, and offers the added protection of a flexible skirt. ...
WarriorWrap Specialty Tape is designed to meet your exacting requirements and the demanding ...
From the EVO® line of manual cable tie application tools to hand-held or bench-mounted automatic ...
Easy to install, change out, and upgrade, PlugTail allows you to continuously reconfigure to meet a ...
Industrial environments are demanding on wire and cables. High temperatures, chemical exposure and ...
Klein Tools introduces the Klein-Kurve® Wire Stripper/ Cutter, a durable stamped wire stripper ...
Rittal has rounded off its AX range of compact enclosures with its newly developed fibreglass ...
Champion Strut is a fiberglass non-metallic channel framing system that includes a complete ...
The PowPak 20 A Relay Receptacle Control Module is a radio-frequency (RF), receptacle switching ...


Champion Strut Conduit and Pipe SupportChampion Strut is a fiberglass non-metallic channel framing system that includes a complete line of non-metallic accessories, fasteners, hangers, pipe clamps and channels.

Champion Strut™ is a versatile, high-strength fiberglass framing system that has been successfully used in many highly corrosive applications including steel mills, wastewater treatment, rendering facilities, utilities, refineries, chemical plants, marinas, pulp and paper, desalination facilities, water reclamation facilities, theme parks, aquariums, pools and underground vaults.


Read More


Intermatic NightFoxNightFox Pro Series Photocontrols offer protection to typical, enhanced, or extreme electrical transients as laid out by ANSI C136.2.

• ELC model safeguards applications against 6kV/3kA surge events or a typical level per ANSI C136.2
• EK and LED models provide protection for increased levels per ANSI C136.2
• Customers have the option of setting an extreme level of protection at 20kV/10kA transients per ANSI C136.2 – by requesting a larger 1020J MOV component


Read More



MaxLite Canless Commercial DownlightMaxLite expands their RCF Series with wattage and CCT selectable models that enable installers to customize light outputs and color temperatures in the field.

The RCF is a labor-saving, all-in-one solution for adding recessed downlighting to hospitality, retail, office, and other commercial lighting applications. The downlight features a built-in driver and integral whip that can be connected directly to a junction box, eliminating the need for a traditional recessed housing. 



Read More


Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
“It was quite surprising,” said Stephanie Smith of being named EHRC’s Leader of the Year. ...
As an advanced networked lighting controls company serving the industrial and large commercial ...
Trilliant, an international provider of utility solutions for advanced metering and smart grid ...
For more than a century, ABB has been investing in Canadian technologies and products to support ...
Mackenzie Gillan, a bright young lady from Baysville, Ontario, tells us about how she learned ...
Energy Efficient Lighting is a LED lighting manufacturer with nearly 30 years of industry ...
Dee Durant is an industrial electrician apprentice attending Conestoga College and an Ambassador ...
ECAO recently launched a new program called Future Leaders Advisory Council (FLAC). Their inaugural ...
At 14, Tom Miguel was sitting in the counselor’s office of Silverthorn Collegiate Institute in ...
Meredith Halfpenny is a Wind Site Technician with Boralex where she inspects, maintains, and ...

Stephanie SmithBy Blake Marchand

“It was quite surprising,” said Stephanie Smith of being named EHRC’s Leader of the Year. “Leadership in 2020 has certainly been a challenge for everybody in the world let alone the nuclear industry or the electricity industry.”

An engineer by trade, Smith spent the majority of her career with Ontario Power Generation (OPG). She was the first woman to be certified by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station where she served as Plant Manager and was recently named the first President and CEO of CANDU Owners Group. Smith is also a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion.

Read More


Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2021 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil