Electrical PPE Selection and Inspection

Under the CSA Standard Z462 - Workplace Electrical Safety, workers who are working on or near exposed energized electrical components must be protected using the Hierarchy of Controls. This includes, among other things, Hazard Assessment, Safe Work Practices, Safe Work Procedures, and Personal Protective Equipment.



Before performing troubleshooting or performing work near live electrical components (exposed energized), its not only critical that the appropriate PPE has been selected, but that it has been inspected before wearing.

The main items that a worker will wear to protect themselves are boots, clothing, gloves, face protection and hearing protection.

The following are some tips on how to inspect your electrical PPE before working near a live system.

Boots:

  • Must be a Green patch CSA, with the White & Orange Omega patch as well.

  • A yellow SD patch (static dissipating) is meant for explosive environments and allows a current flow through the soles of the boot. Never wear these when working near exposed energized electrical components.

  • Must be clean, free from holes, dry and not covered in substances like grease.

Clothing:

  • Must be the appropriate rating for the hazard the worker is being exposed to.

  • Most systems will have an arc and shock hazard label on them, which tells the worker what PPE is required.

  • Clothing must be clean, dry and uncontaminated from substances that may be flammable (hydraulic fluids, oils and greases).

Gloves:

  • Must have the correct voltage rating for the system being worked on or around.

  • The outside leather protective glove must be clean and dry, free from conductive or flammable materials.

  • Must be clean, free from holes, cuts, cracking, dry rubber and any flammable or conductive materials.

  • Must pass the “blow test”, showing no signs of air leakage throughout the entire glove.

Face Protection:

  • Must be the appropriate rating for the hazard the worker is being exposed to.

  • Some hazard levels also require the use of a balaclava under the shield.

  • Safety glasses are always to be worn under the arc flash shield, as the shield protects from the flash and blast, but not foreign objects in the eye.

Hearing Protection:

  • Must be worn if there is a risk of an arc flash / blast incident due to amount of noise generated.

  • This will be included on the arc and shock hazard label if it is required, but it is recommended whenever you are also at the hazard level requiring a shield and coveralls.

Remember that if any of your PPE fails inspection, it must be removed immediately. Don’t perform a task with defective PPE under any circumstances, no matter how quick the job is.


Be sure to always review your Job Hazard Assessment and Safe Work Practices before beginning any task.


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