Electrical Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

Electrical Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

A&E Training Services is proud to offer an Electrical Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment training program to our comprehensive course portfolio.

Electrical Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

Working with electricity is one of the most dangerous jobs in our industry.  There are 600 to 800 electrical accidents in Canada every year – not to mention related deaths. To help reduce that number, the Canadian Standards Association has come out with a new standard that deals with electrical safety.

The Z462 and the NFPA 70E standard, Workplace Electrical Safety, applies to contractors and electrical workers, and provides guidance to employers on what qualifications are required for electrical work – and cautions against allowing non-qualified people inside hazard boundaries.

Electricity is toxic energy. It takes about 10 milliamps (mA) for your skin to start burning and blistering. At about 20 mA, your breathing becomes laboured and you can’t let go of the tool giving you the shock, while 75 mA will cause ventricular fibrillation, which is a rapid, irregular heartbeat that can cause death in minutes. Above that, you’ll suffer severe burns and muscular damage – a few amps will cause irreversible body damage. While human beings are only designed to handle 5 or 6 mA, the lowest over-current at which a typical fuse or circuit breaker opens a circuit is 15,000 mA.

New to our industry, but not so new to the use of electricity is the presence of an Arc Flash and Arc Blast during and electrical accident.  This ever so dangerous event can cause temperatures surrounding the arc event to rise as high as 35,000 deg. F.  Radiant heat energy can reach 6,000 deg. F and cause damage to unprotected workers many feet away from the arc flash.  The blast pressures can reach dramatic levels that can cause immediate danger to live and health.

To be successful in our job or task we must perform a Hazard Assessment and Risk evaluation for every task, document the results and communicate through training. The standard provides a template for electrical safe work planning, and steps including, identification of all hazards, quantification of those hazards, selection of personal protective equipment and tooling based on the assessment, and documentation and communication through training.

This training program will focus on the requirements to perform a Hazard Assessment and Risk Analysis using the CSA Z462 and or the NFPA 70E Workplace Electrical Safety Standard as our guide and reference manual.

From this training session you will learn;

  • What is Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
  • Who has the responsibility to perform the Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
  • Hazard Identification Process
  • Risk Assessment Process
  • Initial Risk Estimation
  • Parameters used in Risk Estimation, (Severity, Frequency,Likelihood of Occurrence of Harm, Likelihood of Avoiding or Limiting Harm)
  • Risk Reduction Strategies
  • Risk Evaluation
  • Risk Reduction Verification
  • Documentation and Communication Process


Reference Materials,

  1. CSA Z462 Workplace Electrical Safety,
  2. NFPA 70E Electrical Safety in the Workplace.

This course is now offered in our E-Learing environment and through our open enrolment courses.

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Use of Test Equipment

Use of Test Equipment

The use of electricity in the workplace present many challenges.  Among these challenges are the hazards associated with working on or near energized electrical systems.  Testing of electrical conductors and circuit parts is a task that is done by electrical workers often, sometimes many times a day.  When establishing an electrical safe work condition, you need to verify the absence of voltage by testing the electrical conductors or circuit part using a multimeter or some kind of voltage detector.  This task will take you inside the limited approach boundary and the arc flash boundary.

This post is an excerpt from the CSA Z462 and or the NFPA 70E Workplace Electrical Safety and includes a video presentation by the Electrical Safety Authority.

From the Standard

Use of equipment/test instruments and equipment


Only qualified persons shall perform tasks such as testing, troubleshooting, voltage measuring, etc., within the limited approach boundary or arc flash boundary of energized electrical conductors or circuit parts, or where an electrical hazard exists.


Test instruments, equipment, and their accessories shall be rated for the circuits and equipment to which they will be connected.

Note: See CAN/CSA-C22.2 No. 61010-1 for rating and design requirements for voltage measurement and test instruments intended for use on electrical systems operating at 1000 V and below.


Test instruments, equipment, and their accessories shall be:

  1. designed for the environment to which they will be exposed;
  2. designed for the manner in which they will be used; and
  3. where applicable, proven compliant with the appropriate Canadian Standard.

Visual inspection

Test instruments and equipment and all associated test leads, cables, power cords, probes, and connectors shall be visually inspected for external defects and damage before each use. If there is a defect or evidence of damage that might expose a worker to injury, the defective or damaged item shall be removed from service and workers shall not use it until repairs and tests necessary to render the item safe have been conducted.

Operation verification

When test instruments are used to test for the absence of voltage on conductors or circuit parts operating at 50 V or more, the operation of the test instrument shall be verified before and after an absence of voltage test is performed.

End standard quote.

Testing of electrical conductors and circuit parts is live work and considered to be hazardous in nature.  It is extremely important that your company or organization develop a Use of Equipment Program to be instituted and followed by all electrical workers when performing testing of electrical conductors or circuit parts.

For assistance in the development of this program, contact A&E Training Services.

Watch a short video presented by the Electrical Safety Authority