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 Post subject: What are/will be the requirements (vs recommendations)
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:15 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:06 pm
Posts: 1
Our workplace will be looking at implementing some form of an arc flash safety program in the near future. According to the safety consultant looking after the project, we're more than likely not going to strive for full compliance with all aspects of the guide, but rather pick and choose which aspects will work best for us.

This begged the question, "what are the absolute bare minimum standards that we will be legislated to?" To that, he didnt have a very satisfactory answer.

- labelling of equipment?
- new studies every 5 years (or after major upgrades)?
- complete study down to 120Vac (or is the PPE table good enough)?
- etc...

I guess what I'm hoping for is that we implement a system thats as simple and practical as possible - rather than one with all the bells and whistles that no one will follow.

Thanks, jncourt


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:10 am
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I was told that the Arc flash study in Canada is still a free world. There should be some sort of inspection system for the arc flash study in Canada not just CSA Z462 standards.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:26 am
Posts: 7
Location: Ontario, Canada
I've been assigned the task of implimenting an Electrical Safety & Arc Flash program for multiple facilities within my organization in Ontario. I've spoken with multiple safety consultants and I've been told that fortunately or unfortunately our company is a little ahead of many others in the region.

CSA Z462 just surfaced and is essentially the equivilent of NFPA 70E which the US have been using for some time. One thing to note is that CSA Standards are just that, standards or best practices...not legislation (yet). However I was able to convince the leadership teams for the North American Business units that because of the general duty clause in the OHSA stating that companies must protect their workers against all known hazards that if we ever had an Arc Flash incident that if we weren't migrating towards complying with the standard we'd find ourselves in hot water with the Ministry of Labour because it IS the best practice for protecting workers against Arc Flash which is definitely a known hazard. They have given me approval to move forward with this program even though they realize that it will not be cheap.

My company is comprised multiple facilities all operating and trying to stay afloat in the auto industry. As you can imagine, capital spending has become very tight at this time as the company is trying to keep as much money in the bank as possible. Taking on the task of getting our facilities to comply with the new standard isn't going to be exactly cheap as a couple of the facilities have been operating for 50+ years...hence, not all one line diagrams are complete or even close to being accurate, some facilities don't have short circuit or coordination studies completed and add in the fact that the company has cut many jobs including the maintenance and engineering departments, it makes it near impossible for us to get these items correct and completed at this time. All of these items need to be correct and completed prior to being able to assign Arc Flash ratings, stickers and etc.

The way we are going to try to protect our workers in the mean time until we can get the resources and funding to get the diagrams and studies completed is by implimenting an interim program that is adopting the simplified 2 category FR clothing system found in Annex H of CSA Z462. This will incorporate providing Category 2 PPE (8 cal/cm2) for all live work performed on voltages from 50 V to 600 V and Category 4 PPE (40 cal/cm2) for all live work above 600 V (We try to lock out as much as possible). Of course, proper meters, boots, hearing protection, face shields and properly rated high voltage gloves will be used in unison with the PPE (FR Clothing). We realize this isn't the be-all and end-all in our Arc Flash program, however we are hoping that it bridges the time and protects our workers until we can provide a complete system for our facilities.

Anyway, I know my post was a little long, but hopefully it may help you in your quest. I'd be interested to hear any other groups plans or thoughts on this.

Best regards,


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 5:00 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Dylan:

All of your comments are correct with respect to OH&S business risk. I would suggest that you get a copy of the BC, AB or SK versions of their OH&S Regulations from a company called Hatscan, http://www.hatscan.com. Hatscan unfortunately doesn't have their OH&S Guides for ON.

What you will find in the front is an entire section on "due diligence." The language presented is easy reading, you don't need to be a lawyer.

What industry is missing both owners and contractors is that there always was a requirement to protect all workers (electrical and non-electrical) from arc flash and shock, but no one in industry really every has.

Your due diligence (you have to decide what to do, the Government will not tell you) has to be credible and withstand the Government's "tests" if you every have an electrical incident that leads to an injury or fatality.

Just an FYI, but be careful on your interim Electrical Specific PPE plans. The arc flash hazard is most likely higher on your 600V system than on 4160V, 13800V (depending on what high voltages you use), higher fault currents. I would recommend a more comprehensive Interim Electrical Safety Program with more direction to workers, use of other preventative and protective control measures like Electrical Safety Work Procedures with risk assessment built in, of course Electrical Specfici PPE, you could also get some quick calculations completed until you get the more detailed engineering AFHA completed.

Regards;
Terry Becker, P.Eng.
Owner
ESPS Electrical Safety Program Solutions INC.
403-465-3777


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 8:54 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:10 am
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Who is qualified to do the AFHA? I know that some companies just put labels on the equipments by themselves.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:29 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Western Canada
Implementing an arc flash program

Dylan Wick wrote:
I've been assigned the task of implimenting an Electrical Safety & Arc Flash program for multiple facilities within my organization in Ontario. I've spoken with multiple safety consultants and I've been told that fortunately or unfortunately our company is a little ahead of many others in the region.

CSA Z462 just surfaced and is essentially the equivilent of NFPA 70E which the US have been using for some time. One thing to note is that CSA Standards are just that, standards or best practices...not legislation (yet). However I was able to convince the leadership teams for the North American Business units that because of the general duty clause in the OHSA stating that companies must protect their workers against all known hazards that if we ever had an Arc Flash incident that if we weren't migrating towards complying with the standard we'd find ourselves in hot water with the Ministry of Labour because it IS the best practice for protecting workers against Arc Flash which is definitely a known hazard. They have given me approval to move forward with this program even though they realize that it will not be cheap.

My company is comprised multiple facilities all operating and trying to stay afloat in the auto industry. As you can imagine, capital spending has become very tight at this time as the company is trying to keep as much money in the bank as possible. Taking on the task of getting our facilities to comply with the new standard isn't going to be exactly cheap as a couple of the facilities have been operating for 50+ years...hence, not all one line diagrams are complete or even close to being accurate, some facilities don't have short circuit or coordination studies completed and add in the fact that the company has cut many jobs including the maintenance and engineering departments, it makes it near impossible for us to get these items correct and completed at this time. All of these items need to be correct and completed prior to being able to assign Arc Flash ratings, stickers and etc.

The way we are going to try to protect our workers in the mean time until we can get the resources and funding to get the diagrams and studies completed is by implimenting an interim program that is adopting the simplified 2 category FR clothing system found in Annex H of CSA Z462. This will incorporate providing Category 2 PPE (8 cal/cm2) for all live work performed on voltages from 50 V to 600 V and Category 4 PPE (40 cal/cm2) for all live work above 600 V (We try to lock out as much as possible). Of course, proper meters, boots, hearing protection, face shields and properly rated high voltage gloves will be used in unison with the PPE (FR Clothing). We realize this isn't the be-all and end-all in our Arc Flash program, however we are hoping that it bridges the time and protects our workers until we can provide a complete system for our facilities.

Anyway, I know my post was a little long, but hopefully it may help you in your quest. I'd be interested to hear any other groups plans or thoughts on this.

Best regards,


Dylan
Maybe I can offer some advice from a guy who’s been there…
Having your company management on-board for the initial stages of a developing Arc Flash program is critical. I’m glad you’ve got their support!
Keeping your people safe is a challenge in any arc flash program. If you implement an arc flash program without the proper analysis you will suffer from a lack of buy-in from the workers. The arc flash program will inevitably evolve and your standard PPE levels will change, labeling will change, operating instruction will change, etc. As the workers knowledge about arc flash increases, they will question every aspect of your program. You need to be sure you don’t run out and buy PPE without taking the time to understand your electrical system.
Suggestions:
Starting simply is a great idea – suit electricians in an 8 cal uniform.
Document your electrical system – internally or contracted, it is absolutely necessary to have an accurate one-line. You cannot be table based without it (see the notes at the end of table 4).
Learn about Arc Flash – Terry is absolutely right about 600 volt hazards being higher.
Be proactive and use some of your seed money to hire a consultant to audit your electrical system at one of your mid-sized facilities. You can use the lessons learned at the other plants. There are many people out there who can do that work. You will have to decide how much money to spend but I recommend you do a complete arc flash study at one facility if you can (labels and everything). Doing the study will help your company assess the financial impact of arc flash – are they better off to engineer out the hazards or do they need to buy PPE, train and implement a sophisticated program. My money is always on the engineering if possible.
Lastly – prepare for the day when Z462-08 becomes a regulation. The best way to prepare is to comply. Of all the things that you can do in preparation, understanding arc flash is the most important; you will have to answer questions from both sides. Management will want to know the financial, training and implementation impacts; the hourly side will want to know why they need to suit up when they never had to before.
Arc Flash compliance can be an interesting challenge if you approach it in the right way. Any miss-steps in the beginning will certainly come back to haunt you in the future. Take your time and do it right!


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