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Almost every workplace has electrical hazards. Incidents involving electricity are often serious or fatal. The most important dangers associated with electricity are electrical shock, arc flash, and fire.
Electrical shock occurs when an electrical current comes into contact with a person or flows through them. The severity and effects depend on a number of factors, such as the pathway through the body, the amount of current, the length of time of the exposure, and whether the skin is wet or dry. The effects may range from a mild tingling to severe burns to cardiac arrest. The electrical current in a regular business or home has enough power to cause death by electrocution. This hazard is also the case for some self-powered and battery-powered devices (e.g., vehicle battery)
In an arc flash incident, an enormous amount of concentrated radiant energy explodes outward from electrical equipment. The explosion creates pressure waves that can damage a person’s hearing, a high-intensity flash that can damage their eyesight, and a superheated ball of gas that can severely burn a worker’s body and melt metal. A hazardous arc flash can occur in any electrical device, regardless of voltage.
Finally, sparks from electrical equipment can serve as an ignition source for flammable or explosive vapors, increasing the risk of fire and explosion.
Where work is performed near or with energized electrical equipment, the employer must make sure:
- A hazard assessment is performed where a need to rescue or evacuate workers may arise. When the assessment identifies a need for evacuation or rescue, develop written rescue and evacuation procedures and assign a worker to coordinate them. Written rescue and evacuation procedures are required when working with or close to power lines.
- All electrical installations, equipment, apparatus, and appliances meet the requirements of the Canadian Electrical Code, as adopted in the Electrical Regulations under the Public Safety Act.
- Only qualified workers are permitted to work on energized electrical equipment and conductors.
- A hazard assessment is completed before work is done on energized electrical equipment or conductors to determine the number of qualified workers required to do the work.
- Before a worker climbs or is supported by a pole or structure and before work may affect the stability of a pole or structure, the stability is assessed. If there is concern, the pole or structure must be effectively supported before wires or cables are changed. These supports must be left in place until workers have cleared the pole or structure. Equipment used must be manufactured purposely for installing or removing poles.
- When portable electrical equipment is used outdoors or in a wet or damp location, it is protected by an approved, CSA Certified, ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). A GFCI is not a substitute for grounding.
- Grounding is not required for portable electrical equipment, if the equipment is double insulated (or has equivalent protection) and is marked as such.
- Portable electrical equipment that is not permanently connected to the wiring system is grounded. Grounding must be done using approved cords and polarized plugs that are inserted in grounded polarized receptacles.
- A service room or electrical vault is only used for the purpose it was designed for, where practical.
- Passageways and working spaces around electrical equipment are kept clear of obstructions and the space is arranged to give authorized persons easy access to the parts that require servicing. They are also not used for general storage.
- Flammable material is not stored or placed close to electrical equipment.
- Oil-based paint or other volatile flammable substances are not used in an electrical substation or confined area where high voltage electrical current travels.
- Qualified workers may use electrical testing equipment that meets the requirements of CSA Standard C22.2 No. 160 Voltage and polarity testers; or CSA Standard CAN/CSA-22.2 No. 231 Series-M89 Safety requirements for electrical and electronic measuring and test equipment.
- Establish and follow safe work procedures when testing electrical equipment and circuits.
Low voltage equipment
Where work is performed on low voltage electrical equipment, the employer must make sure:
- The equipment is completely disconnected and locked out before starting work. If it is not practical to completely disconnect, the work is performed according to a standard that:
- Includes emergency procedures and emergency release of victims;
- Requires using appropriate electrical protective equipment, including flame retardant clothing, voltage-related rubber gloves and cover up, and other necessary live line tools;
- Provides that uncontrolled liquid is not permitted close to a worker working on equipment, where practical;
- Does not allow the use of metal ladders, wooden ladders with wire reinforced side rails, metal scaffolds, or metal work platforms; and
- Had up to date diagrams available.
- Signs are posted stating “Danger Energized Equipment” in obvious places to alert workers, before completing installation and after energizing low voltage electrical equipment.
- Uninsulated energized parts are guarded by an approved cabinet or enclosure, unless the energized parts are in a suitable room or similar enclosed area that is accessible only by qualified persons.
- An entrance to a room or other guarded location containing uninsulated and exposed energized parts is marked with a prominent warning sign that limits entry.
- Uninsulated energized parts that are not guarded with approved cabinets or enclosures are provided with a suitable barrier or cover to prevent a worker, unfamiliar with the hazard, from approaching within 1.07 metres. Workers must also be informed of the potential hazards and provided with written safe work procedures to be followed.
- The electrical distribution switch, circuit breaker and control are clearly marked to show which equipment it serves.
High voltage equipment and conductors
Where powered mobile equipment is used, the employer must make sure:
- A worker must not operate a mobile crane, boom truck, or similar equipment that has the capacity of encroaching on a power line unless they hold a current certification in powerline hazards, obtained from an approved training provider. Powerline hazards training expires after three years.
- Insulated aerial devices are dielectrically tested at least once a year according to CSA Standard CAN/CSA-C225 Vehicle mounted aerial devices or another standard that is acceptable, and the insulating capability of the aerial device is certified by the testing agency.
- A crane or hoist used near a radio transmitter or energized high voltage electrical equipment that can create or induce an electric charge that may pose a hazard to workers meets the requirements below, unless work is performed on a power system in accordance with legislation:
- Is effectively grounded;
- Induced electrical charge is dissipated using grounding cables or another effective method before the worker comes into contact with the load; and
- Flammable materials are removed from the immediate work area.
Where a metal scaffold is located close to high voltage energized electrical conductors or equipment, the employer must make sure they are effectively grounded where a hazardous level of electrical discharge is likely to flow through the scaffold.
- Receive (in writing) the voltage and minimum clearance distance from the power utility before work begins and comply with the work conditions the power utility specifies on the clearance permit.
- Maintain a least 5.5 metres distance from an overhead or underground conductor, if a written clearance is not available from the power utility.
- Get permission from the power utility where a qualified worker must work within the minimum distance using an acceptable work procedure.
Voltage Phase to Phase
|Over 750 V to 75 kV||3 metres|
|Over 75 kV to 250 kV||4.5 metres|
|Over 250 kV to 550 kV||6 metres|
When the minimum distances cannot be kept because of the work being done, or unintentional movement of persons or equipment:
- Get assurance in writing from the owner of the power system that is signed by their representative. This assurance must state that while the work is being done, electrical equipment and conductors will be displaced or rerouted from the work area, where practical. If displacement or rerouting is not practical, the assurance will state that the electrical equipment will be isolated and grounded, or, if not practical, visually identified and guarded.
- Safeguards required by the assurance must be in place before the work begins, and remain effective while work is taking place.
- When guarding is used, no equipment or unqualified persons may touch the guarding, and either a safety watch must be appointed or an acceptable range limiting or field detection devices will be used.
- The assurance is made available for inspection as close as possible to the work area. All persons who can access that area are made aware of the assurance and are informed of where it can be viewed.
Make sure, when exposed high voltage electrical equipment and conductors cannot be isolated, rerouted, or guarded, work only starts within the minimum distance, with approval from OHS Division and when the following precautions are in place:
- The area(s) where equipment or materials will be used is barricaded;
- Entry to the area is supervised to restrict entry to only those workers necessary for the work;
- A safety watch is designated to watch for work that may encroach on the high voltage equipment or conductor;
- A stop signal chosen by the safety watch is communicated and understood by other workers at the site;
- When equipment is in motion near the energized electrical equipment or conductors, no one else besides the equipment operator can touch a part of that equipment or material being moved by it; and
- When the load or rigging line is near the energized electrical equipment or conductor, no person moves that load or rigging line from its position of natural suspension.
Requirements for written clearance and minimum distance are not required for emergency work, as long as a worker has taken an approved training course, specific to emergency responders, and reasonable precautions are taken. Precautions may include:
- Restricting entry into the work area to workers necessary to perform the work.
- Designating a safety watch.
- Where mobile equipment is in motion, preventing people other than the equipment operator from coming into contact with the equipment or what it is moving.
- Where mobile equipment is in operation, making sure that the equipment operator is using controls from:
- The equipment seat;
- A metal stand that is part of the frame and clear of the ground; or
- A metallic mat that is bonded to the frame and located on the ground beside the equipment.
- It cannot be activated unintentionally;
- An effective basic diagnostic capability is included;
- Hardwired emergency stop devices are located at operator stations;
- Operator controls can be activated at only one station at a time, other than the emergency stop device(s);
- Automatic start-up after a power interruption or low voltage occurrence is prevented when it may create a hazard to workers;
- It is designed where practical so that it does not create a hazard to workers when the system fails or shuts down;
- Equipment operated by a new or altered control system cannot be used until the control system is thoroughly checked and tested to make sure it is functioning properly; and
- The hardware is protected from any situation that may affect its’ performance, including mechanical damage, vibration, extreme temperatures or humidity levels, high electromagnetic fields, or power disturbances.
Where a control system is used the employer must make sure:
- Up to date documentation is easily available to workers and that they describe the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of the control system.
- Written safe work procedures are developed for the equipment operated by the control system, including lockout procedures.
- Documentation for a programmable control system includes a copy of the control program that allows the equipment to be reprogrammed and only qualified workers are provided access to the installed control system software.
- The control system is designed, where practical and required, so that during an automatic sequence an operator may make an emergency stop, be allowed manual control of the equipment (where safe), and the sequence aborts where a protective timer completes its assigned time without an expected event occurring.
- The manufacturer of a remote-control system specifies the maximum distance an operator may use to control the equipment, written procedures state this maximum distance, and controls used make sure a worker remains at a safe distance from moving parts or mobile machinery.
- Wireless remote-control systems have error checking to prevent controlled equipment from responding to corrupt data, and identification coding methods prevent a transmitter (other than the designated transmitter) from operating the equipment.
Personal clothing and personal protective equipment
When working near or with electricity, the employer must make sure that workers wear appropriate clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect themselves.
- Personal clothing worn by a worker must be of a type and in a condition that does not create a hazard.
- Where there is a danger of contacting moving machinery parts or electrically energized equipment, or a work process has similar hazards:
- The clothing of a worker must fit closely to the body;
- Items that dangle, including neckwear, bracelets, wristwatches, rings, etc. must not be worn, except for medical alert bracelets (which can be worn using transparent bands that hold the bracelet snug to the skin); and
- Hair (from the head or face) must be tied back (confined) or be a length that will not allow it to be snagged or caught.
- Footwear must be designed, constructed, and made of a material that matches the protection required, including protection from electrical shock (i.e., dielectric protection).
- All safety protective footwear that require toe protection, metatarsal protection, puncture resistant soles, dielectric protection, or any combination of these features must meet the requirements of CSA Standard CAN/CSA Z195 Protective footwear.
- Workers that may be exposed to a flash fire or electrical equipment flashover (i.e. arc flash) must wear or use appropriate flame-resistant outerwear and appropriate personal protective equipment for the level of risk. For example, arc flash protection that meets the requirements of CSA Z462 Workplace electrical safety.
- When there is a risk of exposure to a flash fire or electrical equipment flashover (e.g., arc flash), workers must wear flame-resistant outwear, appropriate PPE, and personal clothing that is made of flame-resistant fabrics or natural fibres that do not melt.
Trenching and excavating near electrical utilities
Where workers are excavating or drilling near underground electrical utilities, the employer must:
- Identify utility locations accurately and inform workers of the locations.
- Make sure that any drilling or excavation work to be done in proximity to underground services is done in accordance with the instructions of the owner of the service. For instance, they may require that the service is shut off and disconnected before starting to dig.
- Prohibit workers from using powered tools or equipment in a manner that could cause damage to utility lines and services.
- Make sure the owner of the utility is notified without delay when work activities have resulted in a hit or damage to a pipeline, buried electrical cable, overhead cable, or other utility.
A worker must not operate a mobile crane, boom truck, or similar equipment that has the capacity of encroaching on a power line unless they hold a current certification in powerline hazards obtained from an approved training provider. Powerline hazards training expires after three years.
Before starting work near high voltage equipment or conductors, the worksite must be inspected by a qualified person who is authorized by the owner of the power system. The purpose of the inspection is to identify hazards, including situations where a part of the tree or equipment may come within the minimum clearance distance from the high voltage equipment or conductor.
Tree pruning or felling must not begin in a hazardous area until there is an assurance from the owner of the power system that a reclose feature is disabled, and the worker is informed of the voltages of the conductors.
Tree pruning or felling within the minimum clearance distance must only be carried out by a qualified worker who is authorized by the owner of the power system to perform the work. Tree pruning or falling is not allowed within these distances from overhead high voltage energized conductors unless a qualified worker is present at the site and directing the work, and at least one additional person trained in appropriate emergency rescue procedures is present.
Where qualified workers are performing electrical operations, the worker must:
- Properly wear or use personal protective equipment (PPE), safeguards and safety and devices provided for their protection in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and training provided by the employer.
- Follow safe work practices and procedures, including procedures for de-energization and lockout.
- De-energization and lockout
- Forestry and tree felling
- Personal protection equipment
- Powered mobile equipment
- Trenching and excavation
Canadian Electrical codeThe Canadian Electrical Code, Part I has been developed and updated to help better protect electrical workers and promote improved consistency in electrical installations across the country. It can be purchased at
Electrical regulationElectrical Regulations under the Public Safety Act can be found at
Public Safety ActAn act to provide for the safety of the public with respect to the use and operation of elevating devices, amusement rides, pressure and electrical systems.
The Public Safety Act can be found at
CSACSA is the Canadian Standards Association Group. Certain CSA standards are available for online viewing.
To access these, you must first create an account with "CSA Communities".
Go to: https://community.csagroup.org/login.jspa?referer=%252Findex.jspa
Once you are logged in, click on the text below the "OHS Standards / View Access" graphic.
Click on the jurisdiction of your choice to see the CSA Standards as referenced in that legislation.
Standards may also be purchased from CSA Group: https://store.csagroup.org/
Approved training providerSome types of training, such as confined space entry, fall protection and power line hazards, must be delivered by WorkplaceNL approved training provider. A list of approved trainers and available courses can be found in the Certification Training Registry (CTR) https://ctr.bluedrop.io/#/.
Personal protective equipmentAny equipment or device which protects a worker's body from injury, illness or death. PPE acts as a barrier to protect the worker from the hazard.
PPE should only be used:
- Where other controls are not available or adequate.
- As a short-term measure before controls are implemented.
- During activities such as maintenance, clean up, and repair where other controls are not feasible or effective.
- During emergency situations.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT
R.S.N.L. 1990, c. O-3
Section 7 Specific duties of workers
7. A worker
(a) shall co-operate with his or her employer and with other workers in the workplace to protect
(i) his or her own health and safety,
(ii) the health and safety of other workers engaged in the work of the employer,
(iii) the health and safety of other workers or persons not engaged in the work of the employer but present at or near the workplace;
(a.1) shall use devices and equipment provided for his or her protection in accordance with the instructions for use and training provided with respect to the devices and equipment;
(b) shall consult and co-operate with the occupational health and safety committee, the worker health and safety representative or the workplace health and safety designate at the workplace; and
(c) shall co-operate with a person exercising a duty imposed by this Act or regulations.
[S.N.L. 1999, c. 28, s. 3; 2001, c. 10, s. 26; 2004, c. 52, s. 2]
Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 2012
Part I GENERAL
Section 2 Interpretation
2. (1) In these regulations
(a) "accident" includes
(i) an event occasioned by a physical or natural cause, or
(ii) disablement arising out of and in the course of employment;
(b) "ACGIH" means the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists;
(c) "Act" means the Occupational Health and Safety Act ;
(d) "administrative controls" means the provision, use and scheduling of work activities and resources in the workplace, including planning, organizing, staffing and coordinating, for the purpose of controlling risk;
(e) "ASHRAE" means the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers;
(f) "authorized" means, in reference to a person, a qualified person designated by an employer to carry out specific functions;
(g) "commission" means the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission established under the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Act ;
(h) "competent" means a person who is
(i) qualified because of that person's knowledge, training and experience to do the assigned work in a manner that ensures the health and safety of every person in the workplace, and
(ii) knowledgeable about the provisions of the Act and these regulations that apply to the assigned work, and about potential or actual danger to health or safety associated with the assigned work;
(i) "construction" means building, erection, excavation, alteration, repair, renovation, dismantling, demolition, structural maintenance, painting, moving, land clearing, earth moving, grading, street and highway building, concreting, equipment installation and alteration and the structural installation of construction components and materials in any form or for any purpose, and work in connection with it;
(j) "CSA" means the Canadian Standards Association;
(k) "engineering controls" means the physical arrangement, design or alteration of workstations, equipment, materials, production facilities or other aspects of the physical work environment, for the purpose of controlling risk;
(l) "hazardous health occupation" means an occupation from which an occupational disease may arise;
(m) "hot work" means work which involves burning, welding, cutting, grinding, using fire or spark producing tools or other work that produces a source of ignition;
(n) "injury" means
(i) an injury as a result of a chance event occasioned by a physical or natural cause, (ii) an injury as a result of wilful and intentional act, not being the act of the worker, (iii) disablement, (iv) occupational disease, or (v) death as a result of an injury arising out of and in the course of employment and includes a recurrence of an injury and an aggravation of a pre-existing condition but does not include stress other than stress that is an acute reaction to a sudden and unexpected traumatic event;
(o) "ISO" means the International Organization for Standardization;
(p) "mine" means mine as defined in the Mining Act ;
(q) "occupation" means an employment, business, calling or pursuit but does not include an endeavour that is not included in one of the classes of occupations in the current National Occupational Classification List developed by the Department of Human Resources and Social Development Canada in collaboration with Statistics Canada;
(r) "occupational disease" means a disease prescribed by regulations under section 90 of the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Act and another disease peculiar to or characteristic of a particular industrial process, trade or occupation;
(s) "occupational health service" means a service established in or near a workplace to maintain and promote the physical and mental well-being of workers and may include personnel, equipment, transportation, supplies and facilities;
(t) "plant" means buildings, equipment and facilities where a worker or self-employed person is engaged in an occupation;
(u) "professional engineer" means a person who holds a certificate of registration to engage in the practice of engineering under the Engineers and Geoscientists Act;
(v) "proof test" means a test applied to a product to determine material or manufacturing defects;
(w) "qualified" means being knowledgeable of the work, the hazards involved and the means to control the hazards, by reason of education, training, experience or a combination of them;
(x) "TLV" means the documentation of threshold limit values for chemical substances and physical agents in the work environment published annually or more frequently by the ACGIH; and
(y) "work platform" means an elevated or suspended temporary work base for workers.
(2) In these regulations, a reference to a code or guideline, unless otherwise stated, includes amendments to that code or guideline and a reference shall be presumed to be a reference to the most current code or guideline.
(3) Where there is a conflict between a standard established by these regulations or a code or standard adopted by these regulations, the more stringent standard applies.
Part II NOTICE REQUIREMENTS
Section 11 Notification to utilities
11. An employer whose work activities result in a hit or damage to a pipeline, buried electrical cable, overhead cable or other utility shall notify the owner of the utility without delay.
Part III GENERAL DUTIES
Section 17 General duties of workers
17. (1) A worker shall make proper use of all necessary safeguards, protective clothing, safety devices, lifting devices or aids, and appliances
(a) designated and provided for his or her protection by the employer; or
(b) required under these regulations to be used or worn by a worker.
(2) A worker shall follow the safe work procedure in which he or she has been instructed.
(3) A worker shall immediately report a hazardous work condition that may come to his or her attention to the employer or supervisor.
Part V GENERAL HEALTH AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS
Section 38 Emergency plan risk assessment
38. (1) An employer shall conduct a risk assessment in a workplace in which a need to rescue or evacuate workers may arise.
(2) Where the risk assessment required by subsection (1) shows a need for evacuation or rescue, appropriate written procedures shall be developed and implemented and a worker assigned to coordinate their implementation.
(3) Written rescue and evacuation procedures are required for but not limited to
(a) work at high angles;
(b) work in confined spaces or where there is a risk of entrapment;
(c) work with hazardous substances;
(d) underground work;
(e) work in close proximity to power lines;
(f) work on or over water; and
(g) workplaces where there are persons who require physical assistance to be moved.
(4) Where a workplace is a low risk workplace in the opinion of an employer, the employer shall post information about escape routes and conduct emergency drills he or she considers appropriate.
Part VII PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
Section 73 Personal clothing and accessories
73. (1) The personal clothing of a worker shall be of a type and in a condition which does not expose the worker to an unnecessary or avoidable hazard.
(2) Where there is a danger of contact with moving parts of machinery or with electrically energized equipment, or where the work process presents similar hazards
(a) the clothing of a worker shall fit closely about the body;
(b) dangling neckwear, bracelets, wristwatches, rings or similar articles shall not be worn, except for medical alert bracelets which may be worn with transparent bands that hold the bracelets snugly to the skin; and
(c) cranial and facial hair shall be confined or worn at a length which shall prevent it from being snagged or caught in the work process.
Section 80 Foot protection
80. (1) A worker's footwear shall be of a design, construction, and material appropriate to the protection required.
(2) To determine the appropriate protection under subsection (1) the following factors shall be considered:
(b) uneven terrain;
(d) ankle protection;
(e) foot support;
(f) crushing potential;
(g) temperature extremes;
(h) corrosive substances;
(i) puncture hazards;
(j) electrical shock; and
(k) another recognizable hazard.
(3) Where a determination has been made that safety protective footwear is required to have toe protection, metatarsal protection, puncture resistant soles, dielectric protection or a combination of these, the footwear shall meet the requirements of CSA Standard CAN/CSA-Z195, Protective Footwear.
Section 82 Flame resistant clothing
82. (1) Where a worker may be exposed to a flash fire or electrical equipment flashover, an employer shall ensure that the worker wears flame resistant outerwear and uses other protective equipment appropriate to the hazard.
(2) A worker shall ensure that clothing worn beneath flame resistant outerwear and against the skin is made of flame resistant fabrics or natural fibers that do not melt when exposed to heat.
Part XI SCAFFOLDS, STAGES AND WORK PLATFORMS
Section 162 Grounding
162. A metal scaffold located in proximity to a high voltage energized electrical conductor or equipment shall be effectively grounded where a hazardous level of electrical charge is likely to be induced in the scaffold.
Section 206 Annual inspection and certification
206. (1) An elevating work platform shall be inspected, maintained, repaired and modified in accordance with
(a) the manufacturer's instructions;
(b) the relevant CSA Standard as specified in section 202;
(c) the direction of a professional engineer; or
(d) another standard acceptable to the minister.
(2) An insulated aerial device shall be dielectrically tested at least annually in accordance with CSA Standard CAN/CSA-C225 "Vehicle Mounted Aerial Devices" or other standard acceptable to the minister and the insulating capability of the aerial device shall be certified by the testing agency.
Part XIV CRANES, HOISTS AND OTHER LIFTING EQUIPMENT
Section 326 Induced voltage
326. (1) Before a crane or hoist is operated near a source, including a radio transmitter or energized high voltage electrical equipment, capable of inducing an electric charge which may pose a hazard to workers
(a) the crane or hoist shall be effectively grounded;
(b) any induced electric charge shall be dissipated by applying grounding cables or by other effective means before the workers come into contact with the load; and
(c) all flammable materials shall be removed from the immediate work area.
(2) Paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) do not apply where work is being performed on a power system in accordance with Part XXVI.
Part XVII CONSTRUCTION, EXCAVATION AND DEMOLITION
Section 396 Underground utilities
396. (1) Before excavating or drilling with powered tools and equipment, the location of all underground utility services in the area shall be accurately determined and a danger to workers from those services shall be controlled.
(2) Excavation and drilling work in proximity to an underground service shall be undertaken in conformity with the requirements of the owner of the service.
(3) Pointed tools shall not be used to probe for underground gas and electrical services.
(4) Powered equipment used for excavating shall be operated so as to avoid damage to underground utility services and danger to workers.
Part XXVI ELECTRICAL OPERATIONS
Section 478 Electrical requirements
478. (1) An electrical installation, equipment, apparatus and appliance shall conform to the requirements of the Canadian Electrical Code as adopted in the Electrical Regulations under the Public Safety Act .
(2) Only a worker qualified to work on electrical conductors and equipment shall be authorized to do the work.
(3) Work shall not be done on an energized electrical conductor or equipment unless a hazard assessment is completed that includes determining the number of qualified workers that should be present while the work is being performed.
Section 479 Poles and structures
479. Before a worker climbs or is supported by a pole or structure, or before work is done that may affect its stability
(a) the pole or structure shall be assessed for soundness and stability;
(b) where there is doubt concerning the soundness or stability, the pole or structure shall be effectively supported before wires or cables are changed, and the supports shall be left in place until workers are clear of the pole or structure; and
(c) poles shall be installed or removed using equipment manufactured for this purpose or by a method acceptable to the minister.
Section 480 Service rooms
480. Where practicable, a service room or electrical vault shall be used only for the purpose for which it was intended.
Section 481 Space around equipment
481. (1) Passageways and working space around electrical equipment
(a) shall be kept clear of obstructions and arranged to give authorized persons ready access to all parts requiring attention; and
(b) shall not be used for storage.
(2) Flammable material shall not be stored or placed close to electrical equipment.
(3) A worker shall not use oil-base paint or other volatile flammable substance in an electrical substation or confined area where high voltage electrical current passes through.
Section 482 Testing equipment
482. (1) Electrical test equipment may be used by qualified workers if it meets the requirements of
(a) CSA Standard C22.2 No. 160, "Voltage and Polarity Testers" ; or
(b) CSA Standard CAN/CSA-22.2 No. 231 Series-M89, CSA "Safety Requirements for Electrical and Electronic Measuring and Test Equipment" .
(2) Appropriate safe work procedures shall be established and followed for testing electrical equipment and circuits.
Section 483 Powerline hazards training
483. A person shall not operate a mobile crane, boom truck or similar equipment that has the capacity of encroaching on a power line without having first completed a safety training program on power line hazards required by the commission.
Section 484 Low voltage electrical equipment - disconnection and lockout
484. (1) Low voltage electrical equipment shall be completely disconnected and locked out where required by Part IX before work is started on it.
(2) Where it is not practicable to completely disconnect low voltage electrical equipment, work shall be performed in accordance with an electrical safety program in accordance with a standard acceptable to the minister that
(a) includes emergency procedures and emergency release of victims;
(b) requires the use of appropriate electrical protective equipment, including flame retardant clothing, voltage-related rubber gloves and cover up and other necessary live line tools;
(c) provides that, where practicable, uncontrolled liquid is not permitted close to a worker working on the equipment;
(d) prohibits the use of metal ladders, wooden ladders with wire reinforced side rails, metal scaffolds or metal work platforms; and
(e) has available up to date diagrams.
Section 485 Low voltage electrical equipment
485. Before completing installation and after energizing low voltage electrical equipment, conspicuous signs visible to a worker shall be placed close to the equipment stating "Danger, Energized Equipment".
Section 486 Working close to low voltage energized equipment
486. (1) Uninsulated, energized parts of low voltage electrical equipment shall be guarded by approved cabinets or enclosures unless the energized parts are in a suitable room or similar enclosed area that is accessible only by qualified persons.
(2) An entrance to a room or other guarded location containing uninsulated and exposed energized parts shall be marked with a conspicuous warning sign limiting entry.
(3) Where uninsulated energized parts are not guarded with approved cabinets or enclosures
(a) a suitable barrier or cover shall be provided where a worker unfamiliar with the hazards is working within the limited approach boundary of 1.07 metres of the uninsulated, energized parts; or
(b) a worker shall be informed of the potential hazards and provided with and follow appropriate written safe work procedures.
Section 487 Low voltage electrical equipment - controls
487. An electrical distribution switch, circuit breaker and control shall be clearly marked to indicate the equipment it serves.
Section 488 Grounding portable low voltage electrical equipment
488. (1) Portable electrical equipment having double insulation or equivalent protection and so marked, is not required to be grounded.
(2) Portable electrical equipment, required to be grounded and not permanently connected to the wiring system, shall be effectively grounded by the use of approved cords and polarized plugs inserted in grounded polarized receptacles.
Section 489 Low voltage electrical equipment - ground fault interrupters
489. (1) When used outdoors or in a wet or damp location, portable electrical equipment shall be protected by an approved, CSA Certified, ground fault circuit interrupter.
(2) A ground fault circuit interrupter shall not be used as a substitute for grounding.
Section 498 Minimum clearance - high voltage equipment and conductors
498. (1) A worker shall not cause or permit material to be piled, stored or handled, a scaffold to be erected or dismantled or mobile crane, boom truck or similar equipment to operate in an area where overhead or underground conductors are located that are capable of energizing the material, mobile equipment or it load unless the employer has obtained in writing the voltage and minimum clearance distance required by the power utility.
(2) Where the written clearance referred to in subsection (1) is unavailable from the power utility, a minimum 5.5 metres shall be maintained.
(3) An employer shall ensure that at least the minimum applicable distance specified in the following table is maintained between exposed, energized high voltage electrical equipment and conductors and a worker, work, tool, machine, equipment or material, except as otherwise permitted by this Part or a standard acceptable to the minister:
|Voltage Phase to Phase||Minimum Distance|
|Over 750 V to 75 kV||3 metres|
|Over 75k V to 250 kV||4.5 metres|
|Over 250 kV to 550 kV||6 metres|
(4) An employer shall accurately determine the voltage of energized electrical equipment or conductor and the minimum distance from it required under subsection (3).
Section 499 Assurance in writing
499. (1) Where the minimum distance set out in subsection 498(3) cannot be maintained because of the circumstances of work or the inadvertent movement of persons or equipment, an assurance in writing on a form acceptable to the minister and signed by a representative of the owner of the power system, shall be obtained.
(2) An assurance under subsection (1) shall state that while the work is being done, electrical equipment and conductors will be displaced or rerouted from the work area, where practicable.
(3) Where compliance with subsection (2) is not practicable, an assurance under subsection (1) shall state that the electrical equipment will be isolated and grounded, but where isolation and grounding is not practicable, the assurance shall state that the electrical equipment will be visually identified and guarded.
(4) Safeguards specified in an assurance under subsection (1) shall be in place before work commences and shall be effectively maintained while work is taking place.
(5) Where guarding is used,
(a) neither equipment nor unqualified persons shall touch the guarding; and
(b) a safety watch shall be designated, or range limiting or field detection devices acceptable to the minister shall be used.
(6) An assurance under subsection (1) shall be available for inspection at the workplace, as closely as practicable to the area of work and shall be made known to all persons with access to the area.
Section 500 Assurance not practicable
500. (1) Where exposed high voltage electrical equipment and conductors cannot be isolated, rerouted or guarded, work shall not be done within the minimum distance specified under subsection 498(3) until approval is obtained from the minister and the following precautions are taken:
(a) the area within which equipment or materials are to be used shall be barricaded and supervised to restrict entry only to those workers necessarily engaged in the work;
(b) a safety watcher shall be designated; and
(c) a positive means shall be provided for the safety watcher to give a clear, understandable stop signal to workers in the area, and watcher shall not give the stop signal by another means.
(2) While equipment is in motion in an area in proximity to energized electrical equipment or conductors, a person other than the equipment operator shall not touch a part of the equipment or the material being moved by it.
(3) A person shall not move a load or rigging line from its position of natural suspension where the load or rigging line is in proximity to an energized electrical conductor or equipment.
Section 501 Emergency work
501. (1) Sections 497 to 500 do not apply to an emergency action close to energized high voltage electrical equipment or conductors that is carried out by a worker who has undergone a course of instruction approved by the minister.
(2) During an emergency action referred to in subsection (1), every reasonable precaution shall be taken to control hazards, including, where practicable,
(a) restricting entry into the area within which equipment or materials are to be moved to a worker necessarily engaged in the work;
(b) designating a safety watcher;
(c) where equipment is in motion, preventing a person other than the equipment operator from touching a part of the equipment or the material being moved by it; and
(d) requiring an equipment operator to operate the controls from
(i) the seat provided on the equipment,
(ii) a metal stand that is integral with the frame of the equipment and clear of the ground, or
(iii) a metallic mat bonded to the frame of the machine and located on the ground beside the machine.
Section 502 Authorization by owner
502. A qualified worker may work within the minimum distances to energized high voltage electrical equipment and conductors specified in subsection 498(3) provided that the worker is authorized by the owner of the power system and uses work procedures acceptable to the minister.
Section 503 Tree pruning etc. - preliminary inspection
503. Before commencing tree pruning or felling close to energized high voltage overhead conductors, the worksite shall be inspected by a qualified person, authorized by the owner of the power system, to identify a hazard, including situations where a part of the tree to be pruned or felled is within the applicable minimum distance from an energized conductor specified in subsection 498(3) or may fall within that distance.
Section 504 Tree pruning etc. in hazardous area
504. Tree pruning or falling shall not commence in a hazardous area until
(a) an assurance is issued by the owner of the power system in accordance with section 499 that a reclose feature is disabled; and
(b) a worker is informed of the voltages of the conductors.
Section 505 Qualifications
505. (1) Tree pruning or falling within the minimum distances specified in subsection 498(3) from overhead energized high voltage conductors shall be carried out by a qualified worker who has been authorized by the owner of the power system to perform the work.
(2) Tree pruning or falling is not permitted within the minimum distances specified in subsection 498(3) from overhead high voltage energized conductors unless
(a) a qualified worker is present at the site and directing the work; and
(b) at least one additional person, trained in appropriate emergency rescue procedures, is present.
Section 506 Control systems - general requirements
506. (1) A control system shall be designed, installed, operated and maintained by a qualified person in accordance with a standard acceptable to the minister.
(2) Where practicable and required to minimize risk to workers, a control system shall be designed so that
(a) the controlled equipment cannot be inadvertently activated;
(b) an effective basic diagnostic capability is incorporated;
(c) hardwired emergency stop devices are provided at operator stations; and
(d) operator controls other than emergency stop devices can be activated at only one station at a time.
(3) A control system shall be used to prevent automatic startup after a power interruption or low voltage occurrence where automatic startup in those circumstances is likely to create a hazard to workers.
(4) A control system shall be designed, where practicable, so that the controlled equipment does not create a hazard to workers where the system fails or is shut down.
(5) Equipment operated by a new or altered control system shall not be used until the control system has been thoroughly checked and tested to verify that it functions in the intended manner.
(6) An employer shall ensure that there is up-to-date documentation that is readily available to an affected worker that describes the design, installation, operation and maintenance of a control system.
(7) Control system hardware shall be protected from circumstances that could adversely affect the performance of the system, including mechanical damage, vibration, extreme temperatures or humidity level, high electromagnetic field levels and power disturbances.
(8) Written safe work procedures shall be developed for the use of equipment operated by a control system, including lockout procedures as required by these regulations.
Section 507 Programmable control systems
507. (1) Documentation provided for a programmable control system shall include a copy of the control program that allows the equipment to be reprogrammed where necessary to ensure the safe operation of the system.
(2) Only a qualified person may have access to the installed control system software.
Section 508 Automatic control systems
508. Where practicable and required to prevent a hazard to workers, a control system shall be designed so that during an automatic sequence
(a) an operator may make an emergency stop of the controlled equipment;
(b) an operator may, where safe, be allowed manual control of the equipment; and
(c) the sequence aborts where a protective timer completes its assigned time without an expected event occurring.
Section 509 Remote control systems
509. (1) The maximum distance from which an operator may control equipment operated by a remote control system shall be specified by the manufacturer.
(2) Written safe procedures shall be established that
(a) specify the maximum distance from which the operator is allowed to remotely control the equipment; and
(b) ensure that a worker remains at a safe distance from remotely controlled moving parts and a remotely controlled mobile machine.
Section 510 Wireless remote control
510. A wireless remote control system shall incorporate
(a) error checking to prevent the controlled equipment from responding to corrupt data; and
(b) identification coding methods to prevent a transmitter other than the designated transmitter from operating the equipment.