These OBIEC standards are intended for use by authorized industrial users as an alternative to the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC).
The OBIEC and its companion Safety Management System Requirements standard are developed under the CSA consensus process involving a cross section of major Canadian industry partners and impacted stakeholders from across the country. Regulators from provincial and municipal jurisdictions have also been significant contributors to the process, and have been involved in technical writing and approval of the OBIEC and the SMS Requirements standards.
Benefits for industry will be significant including enhanced safety performance and design flexibility with a strong emphasis on superior engineering. The OBIEC has an element of continual improvement that includes operations and maintenance requirements providing for a more complete cradle-to-grave life cycle for industrial electrical installations.
The OBIEC will encourage global best practices, products and technologies and will serve to lay a foundation for harmonization of an industrial users Canadian and global operations. The CEC, NEC, IEC, IEEE and other industry-recognized standards are referenced, with the CEC serving as the benchmark for measuring safety performance.
Based on early pilot projects, industry can realize 10-15% or greater in overall electrical installation cost savings while maintaining or even improving safety performance. On large projects this is significant.
Installation contractors will have a better road map from which to work from. Under an OBIEC safety system, engineering designs will better reflect electrical installation specifications derived from the safety objectives of the OBIEC rather than under the current safety system where there is a tendency to pass on design responsibility to installers, relying on their knowledge of prescriptive requirements to compensate for gaps in design.