INTRODUCING – C232(CSC26) Canadian harmonized committee on electric welding
Most welding machines sold in Canada are not made in Canada, they are imported. We do have a few companies which are operating within Canada designing and manufacturing welding equipment for Canada and for export –we need more of these. To ensure an adequate level of safety, standards are in place in Canada to manage both manufacture and import of welding machines and other welding related equipment.
The playing field – Understanding change
The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) has been working to harmonize standards that matter to Canadian partners, USA and Mexico, and sometimes it is with international standards organizations like the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). SCC is Canada’s representative and member body for ISO and sponsor of the IEC. This means SCC also leads the standardization network in Canada and manages the ISO and IEC mirror committees. Ensuring Canada’s interests are well represented in the international standardization system is a priority for SCC to help Canadian businesses compete on a level playing field.
For electric welding machines, members of Canadian Harmonized Committee on Electric Welding represent the interests of Canadian citizens at the IEC TC26 international level. This committee was created by the harmonization of the CSA Technical Committee on Electric Welding Equipment C232(CSC26) with the SCC Mirror Committee on Electric Welding (SMC/IEC/ TC 26). For Canada, both committees are quite new and members are needed to participate in the development of standards. Participating in standards development can bring you and business great value! You can learn about the latest developments in your industry, drive innovation in the marketplace, gain insights from others in your market and help shape the standards that directly impact you and your business. Anyone interested in participating to help ensure the safety of welding machines purchased in Canada can contact CSA, the SCC or the author.
Homegrown CSA c22.2 no. 60
CSA standard C22.2 No. 60, since inception, has been our Canadian homegrown standard for the design, manufacture and import of welding machines used in Canada. It is still in force. It was re-affi rmed in 2016, however, it has not been updated since 1990, so it is rather out of date from a design perspective and for the level of safety it offers. Because we have nothing yet to replace it in totality, it is still in use by the welding machine manufacturing industry and the certifi cation bodies. This standard is on Canadian Standards Association’s (CSA) agenda for action as it is the standard which ultimately determines the level of safety welding machines used in Canada will be built to.
Adoption of IEC standards by Canada
Following discussion at the annual meeting of the Canadian Harmonized Committee on Electric Welding Products, it was decided that CSA 22.2 No 60 would disappear from Canadian standards in the year 2023; to replace it we will need to adopt one or more international standard published by the Technical Committee on Electric Welding IEC TC26.
Three IEC standards for electric welding equipment have been adopted so far for use in Canada (IEC 60974-1 Ed. 4.0, IEC 60974-5 Ed. 3.0, and IEC 60974-7 Ed. 3.0), and therefore they became the following National Standards of Canada:
• CAN/CSA E 60974-1-12 (adopted in 2012) Arc welding equipment – Part 1: Welding power sources
• CAN/CSA E 60974-5-09 (adopted in 2009) Arc welding equipment – Part 5: Wire feeders
• CAN/CSA E 60974-7-02 (adopted in 2002) Arc welding equipment – Part 7: Torches
IEC 60974-6 Limited Duty Equipment is one standard which we have not adopted for use in Canada, and which covers welding equipment currently manufactured or imported under CSA 22.2 No 60. Limited duty welding equipment as described in IEC 60974 part 6 is the typical home work shop type electric welding equipment sold by hardware stores and suppliers marketing in Canada and the USA to the do it yourself (DIY) industry.
So, how are Electric Welding Machines Approved for use in Canada?
The Canadian standard CSA C22.2 No 60 is the only standard used for the certification of products for the Canadian market. The IEC 60974-1 standard is used for products that are for international markets, however, to avoid Canada being a barrier for trade (which is a World Trade Organization requirement), the same products can also be imported into Canada if they are also in compliance with the Canadian deviations found in the adoption CAN/CSA E 60974-1 standard. The Canadian deviations are meant to ensure that the require-ments in IEC standards are brought to the same level of safety as those in the “homegrown” CSA C22.2 No. 60.
CAN/CSA E 60974-1 (which is made of IEC 60974-1 + Canadian Deviations) ensures same level of safety as CSA C22.2 No 60, and if a change introducing a more stringent safety requirement is made to CSA C22.2 No 60, then the Canadian deviations to IEC 60974-1 shall be updated as soon as possible to mirror the change.
How are Technical Committees Supported – Membership
Participating in standards development, also called membership in technical committees, is done on a volunteer basis with support typically from the individual’s employer. Individuals can search SCC’s updated list of opportunities to get involved in standardization or the CSA calls for participation by choosing the technical committee or the field they would like to work in and completing an application. It is stressed that the individual is responsible for their own support for both time and attendance at meetings.
In years gone by, committee participation had to be restrained as there were usually more volunteers than positions available. As marketing changed and company and government dollars tightened up, participation in many committees has also reduced, to an extent that, very often, active members approach other knowledgeable individuals for their participation. Maintaining a full contin-gent of members per a defined matrix can be challenging.
Attendees at the June 2016 annual TC26 technical committee meeting in Toronto. The author and Julian Mereuta are back row 2nd and 3rd from left. Used with permission.
Because of the 26 years which have passed since CSA 22.2 No 60 Arc Welding Equipment was updated, in some cases the adopted CAN/CSA E 60974-1 provides a higher level of safety. There is improvement which can be made, and as a Canadian technical committee we continue to work toward that end.
The First Year – C232(CSC26) Canadian Harmonized Committee on Electric Welding
The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is the standards development organization in Canada responsible for ensuring standards are in place for the safe operation of electrical equipment, including electric welding machines and related equipment. About two years ago, when the need to update CSA C22.2 No 60 and to adopt international standards became imminent, CSA reactivated its own committee and requested SCC the harmonization with the SCC Mirror Committee on Electric Welding (SMC/IEC/TC 26). As the existing chair of a related CSA technical committee for CSA Standard W117.2 Safety in welding cutting and allied processes, I was asked if I would allow my name to stand for the chair position of the newly formed Canadian Harmonized Committee on Electric Welding Products – in the end I was also asked to grow the technical committee’s membership from my contacts established from many years in the industry and involvement with CSA W117.2.
Occasionally, we have questions asked concerning a standard clause. If you had sufficient knowledge and interest to ask a question, you are the type of person we want on our committee, so if your question is directed to one of the committees I chair, you may be approached for membership. Please ask us a question!
CSA has also put a drive on for young professionals and all active technical committees try to invite interested younger members as guests to each meeting. Like many groups, technical committees are either growing or dying, they are never static! If this venue into standardization interests you, then please apply.
How are Technical Committees Supported – Funding
When costs become excessive, and overseas attendance is mandatory as is required for IEC TC26 participation, some funding may be available through the SCC. The process is lengthy and the industry involved must show their support by either active participation on the committee or by making a financial contribution.
SCC technical committees are supported in three ways, employers supporting their own employee participation, industry defined support, and monies provided by SCC directly to ensure participation occurs in the desired technical areas.
In 2016. Canada actively participated in the IEC TC26 Electric Welding Equipment committee for the first time, and CSA opted to host and financially support the 2016 annual TC26 meeting. It was held in June in Toronto and attended by countries from all over the world. Additionally, and on an exceptional basis since this was the first year of operation for this technical committee, CSA provided $1000 of support directly to this technical committee.
My Personal Support
Since I am retired with no employer to provide funding, The CWB Group support my volunteer work with welding safety in Canada both financially as well as with encour-agement and staff support. This is greatly appreciated as this is a work I enjoy and believe in. They are a great group to be associated with and I am indebted to the President Doug Luciani for his continued trust in my efforts.
We have still some distance to go before we can say that we have achieved the highest level of safety available to the welding industry. Our children and grandchildren deserve the safest welding environment we can provide. I chair both, this electrical safety technical committee as well as CSA W117.2 Safety in welding cutting and allied processes. Chairing both committees provides opportunities to express my knowledge and concerns in all areas of welding safety, obviously, the design limits on welding equipment have a great influence on the safe working environment for the welder worker.
CSA meetings I attend are supported by the CWB Group, as well as my participation as delegate to the International Institute of Welding (IIW) conferences, where I represent Canada to the world in welding health safety and environment. I am responsible for the area of welding electrical safety to the IIW Commission VIII committee. There is much to improve in welding electrical safety which is why I write so often on that topic. Changing stan-dards is an ongoing process, and does not occur quickly.
For the annual TC26 conference held in June 2016 in Toronto, funding for my participation as the Canadian chair came from Canadian Standards Association, Canaweld Inc. (a Toronto based welding equipment manufacturer) and the Standards Council of Canada. I opted not to attend the recent TC26 meeting held in early November 2016 in Cambridge, England as we had 4 members booked and I had conflicting personal commitments; the SCC agreed so long as Canada was represented. We had 4 Canadian members booked to attend; only one cancelled at the last minute, we still met the standard expected. The funding my attendance would have cost was saved for a future overseas meeting.
Image used with permission.
Your Involvement in Committee Membership
The SCC has mandated all SCC Mirror Committees to have Canadian leadership, and when this committee was reactivated, we did not have any Canadian leader-ship, excepting myself (new), our CSA Project Manager (new) and only three active members, of which two were American. We now have 14 members, 10 Canadians and 4 Americans. We are still searching for a talented Canadian to accept the challenge of vice-chair. And we still have room to grow. American members are typically representatives of major welding machine manufacturers which market to Canada, so have a vested interest in our standards – we need their participation. However, we need Canadians to manage our Canadian interests.
For a technical committee, we typically have 2 vice-chairs, as these 4 members (PM, chair, 2 vice chairs) make up the T/C executive which provides a basis for managing and training replacement chairs. Ideally, chairs rotate on a 3 – 6 year basis. We now have one American as a vice-chair, so there is need for change to meet our mandate.
Should you be interested in representing your company or organization on the Canadian Harmonized Committee on Electric Welding, or would just like to drop in on a meeting as a guest to better understand what we do, please drop me a line, contact the Canadian Standards Association or the Standards Council of Canada. We need you! CJ
Dave Hisey, CSA W117.2 T/C Chair
The author would like to thank Daniel Ethier and all the folks at the SCC for their time and efforts in getting the technical issues correct in this article. Julian Mereuta my Project manager at CSA for not only his technical support but his work as an editor to make this article more readable and for just adding his touch.
About the Author
Dave Hisey is now retired and lives in Alberta. He remains active in support of welding safety as the chair of the TC for CSA W117.2; Chair of SMC/ISO/TC44/SC9; Chair of CSA TC C232(CSC26) and SMC/ IEC/TC 26, member of CSA C22.1 T/ C42 and represents Canada on Commission VIII Welding Health and Safety with the International Institute of Welding. His paper on welding safety titled Welding Electrical Hazards – an Update was published in 2013 by Springer and is available on line http:// link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs40194-013-0103-x
Dave is supported in welding health and safety work through the CWB, 8260 Parkhill Drive, Milton ON L9T 5V7.