Canada has one of the toughest electrical safety codes in the world. As a manufacturer you need to make sure your machines meet the code or they could be shut down. In Ontario, electrical safety is regulated through the Electrical Safety Authority (ESAFE) – other provinces have similar agencies.
Common False Assumptions
The government checks machines that are being imported for CSA compliance.
NO: There is no government enforcement procedure for checking CSA compliance on importation.
You purchased the machine from a Canadian distributor therefore the machine meets the code.
NO: The distributor may not get it approved due to the additional costs incurred.
The distributor claims the machine meets CSA standards so it is okay.
NO: You need proof, if your shop is inspected you will need to provide written proof.
Some components in the panel have the CSA approval mark, therefore it meets code.
NO: Not necessarily, CSA approved components are only part of the requirement. They will also look at sizing of wires and overloads, grounding, labelling, schematics and more.
You purchased a machine with a CSA approval sticker, so you’re in the clear.
NO: You must have documented proof from an authorized agency that the machine has been inspected and approved.
How These Standards Affect You
If your machines are electrically powered they must have a CSA electrical approval from an authorized agency. Standards also state that machines must be hooked up by a certified electrician and can only be hooked up if the machine has the CSA approval.
What You Need to Know
Most distributors in Canada will make sure that the machine is CSA approved but you shouldn’t assume this is the case. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the end user to make sure this is so. If you purchase a machine from outside Canada, it is extremely unlikely that it is approved. If it is non-compliant you will have to pay an authorized agency to inspect it and if it needs work you will have to get it done at your expense. Bringing imported machines up to code, including machines from the USA, can be very expensive. In some cases we have seen the entire electrical system gutted and rebuilt.
When To Call An Authorized Agency
Call for an authorized agent to inspect your machines before they are cited for non-compliance. Getting machines checked early can help avoid work delays. You can call for inspection during the equipment development stage, before shipping to Canada, upon arrival to Canada, or lastly, when cited for non-compliance. However, in order to avoid costly surprises, it is easier to purchase a CSA approved machine from a trusted Canadian distributor.
Westway has been getting machines inspected and approved for many years. We know what is required and have the people to get the job done right.