CSA Producing Updates to Key Standards in 2024

Kerry Heid, Shermco IndustriesSpecifications & Standards, Spring 2024 Specifications & Standards

The Canadian Standards Association will be producing two new editions of their electrical safety and maintenance standards in 2024. These standards have been developed in compliance with the Standards Council of Canada’s requirements for the National Standards of Canada. Both standards have been published as a National Standard of Canada by CSA Group.

Electrical safety and equipment maintenance are closely related, and CSA has designed its trio of safety standards to work together in harmony within the CSA Z460 series. The trilogy consists of:

a) CSA Z460, Control of hazardous energy — Lockout and other methods
b) CSA Z462, Workplace electrical safety
c) CSA Z463, Maintenance of electrical systems

NETA and its representatives have actively been working on these standards since their inception meetings (Z462 in 2005 and Z463 in 2010).


This sixth edition of CSA Z462 supersedes the previous editions published in 2021, 2018, 2015, 2012, and 2008. It is the safety document for industry in Canada and has closely been aligned with NFPA 70E in the USA. Throughout the document, the “condition of maintenance” is referred to extensively as a consideration during risk assessment. Clause 5 focuses on safety-related maintenance content.  

Of course, NETA’s testing specifications, NETA Accredited Companies, certified technicians, and industry education are a significant part of the maintenance requirements in any organization. The CSA Z462 safety document is the backbone of the electrical safety programs at many Canadian electrical testing firms.

New in the 2024 Edition

These are some of the key changes that apply to electrical service and testing firms in Canada:

  1. (Clause Only one single exception, i.e., when it is “not practicable” to do so, aligns with Canadian occupational health and safety regulations when establishing an electrically safe work condition.
  2. Clause 4.2.5: Requirements specified to verify the absence of voltage “at each point of work.” 
  3. Clause Added several exemptions to the requirements for an energized electrical work permit.
  4. Clause and Tables 6A and 6B: The arc flash PPE category method requirements were relocated to follow Table V.1 in Annex V as Tables V.2 and V.3, respectively. The method was revised and retitled as the “arc flash PPE selection table method.”
  5. Clause 6.7: Added capacitor safety requirements and working information in Annex W.

Additions were made to Annex B on assessing the condition of maintenance, as much effort is being put into electrical systems being designed, rated, installed, and operated properly. This addition in Annex B helps the user determine how to assess the condition of electrical equipment and systems using the following five principles:

  1. Assessing the risk that the electrical equipment can pose to a worker if it is unmaintained and doesn’t function as intended
  2. Visual Inspection for signs of corrosion, overheating, arcing, contamination
  3. Periodic testing using portable evaluation equipment as tools to determine equipment condition
  4. Permanently installed monitoring using uninterrupted data as a source for determining equipment condition and failure prediction
  5. Predictive techniques using sensors to monitor equipment conditions and proactively alert personnel of deterioration trends to prevent impending failure


The third edition will be released early in 2024 and is designed to technically harmonize with Canadian Electrical Code requirements for installation, inspection, and maintenance of electrical equipment. The standard’s scope is complementary to CSA C22.3 No.11, Maintenance of electric and communication utility equipment and systems, which specifies the requirements for the maintenance of electrical supply and communications equipment and systems employed by supply and communication utilities. 

In Canada, there is a need to define best practices for the maintenance of electrical systems and power supplies to ensure personnel safety, loss prevention, and optimization of the operability of critical equipment. There are stringent industry standards in the design, manufacture, and installation of electrical equipment and systems. CSA Z463 provides guidance on safety, system management, strategy, tactics, planning, activities, and other factors.

It is equally important to maintain that equipment to the design, manufacture, and installation of its original condition.

The standard references NETA in many locations particularly in Clause 8 Equipment Specific Maintenance Requirements. The standard closely follows the order of equipment as listed in ANSI/NETA MTS Chapter 7 so the user can easily reflect on the detailed testing procedures when using the standard. From the Z463 text: 

…effective maintenance program is developed around recognized standards and the advice of recognized electrical authorities. In addition to this standard, the following documents contain valuable information that would form the backbone of an electrical maintenance library: a) ANSI standards developed by NETA and PEARL; and b) NFPA 70B.

The maintenance necessary for electrical equipment and systems that are critical to electrical safety for workers can be different than the maintenance required for uptime production or other business objectives. This standard defines methods of identifying equipment and systems that directly impact worker electrical safety and the reliability necessary for the safe operation of electrical equipment.

The requirements of this Standard are intended to address worker and public safety as a primary objective and the protection of property and the environment as secondary objectives.

Equipment’s “condition of maintenance” has become a key element in the risk assessment process in CSA Z462-24 (with many corresponding references to Z463). Revision of the CSA Z463-18 standard was needed to incorporate new technologies, streamline current content, and use the 2023 revision as an opportunity to refine the standard. 

Kerry Heid is an Executive Consultant at Shermco Industries. Hebegan his career with Westinghouse Service and founded the Magna Electric Corporation (MEC) office in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1996. MEC was acquired by Shermco Industries in 2013, and Heid served as CEO of Shermco Industries Canada until 2019. A NETA Certified Level IV Test Technician, he is active in Canadian standards development and served as Chair of the CSA Z463, Maintenance of Electrical Systems Technical Committee from 2010 to 2020 and as a member of the CSA Z462, Workplace Electrical Safety Technical Committee since its inception in 2006. Heid received NETA’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 2010 and was awarded the prestigious Award of Merit from the Canadian Standards Association in 2019. He is a past president of NETA and served on NETA’s Board of Directors from 2003 to 2014.