OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 40 Utility Workers – Electrical

Explanation of Rules Referenced from the ECUC, Second Edition

Rule 4-084 Tagging

Subrule 4-084(1)

The purpose of tagging is to advise others of the status of the power system, thereby preventing it being operated or inadvertently energized. This tagging applies to all utility power system operations and the ancillary systems that can affect the utility power system. Service panels, shop cranes, appliances and similar equipment, etc. that do not affect the operation of the utility system must follow the control of hazardous energy requirements of Part 15 of the OHS Code.

The electrical utility industry must follow two different safety regulations when dealing with lock out situations – Alberta’s Electrical and Communication Utility Code (ECUC) and the Occupational Health and Safety Code. The lock out requirements of the ECUC apply to electrical utility systems operating at voltages greater than 750 volts i.e. generation, transmission and distribution systems, and to the auxiliary metering and control circuits operating at lower voltages that affect or influence these high voltage systems.

Strict adherence to the requirements of the ECUC ensures the safety of workers working on such systems and circuits. This is achieved through the use of elaborate procedures involving an operator-in-charge, voice commands, non-personal locks and/or warning tags.

For voltages and systems other than those described above, the electrical utility industry must meet the requirements of Part 15 of the OHS Code.

Subrules 4-084(2) and 4-084(3)

The time and date required in this subrule is the time and date at which the device is actually tagged. Sometimes devices will be tagged that are already open e.g. a normally open switch or a fuse that opened in the night and is tagged in the morning once it has been discovered. The worker who requests the isolation could be the operator-in-charge or the operator-in-charge of an adjoining area. The operator-in-charge is responsible for recording the information that appears on the tag.

Subrule 4-084(4)

Once the designated switches have been isolated, the qualified utility employee directing the switching must inform the worker who requested the isolation that the electrical equipment or lines have been isolated.