Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
Electrical fatalities in Ontario’s general public outnumbered workplace deaths in 2018, according to the Electrical Safety Authority‘s latest report.
Occupational deaths typically outnumber non-occupational, but in 2018, four fatalities occurred in the general public and to fatalities occurred in non-electrical occupations.
To the fatalities and the general public occurred from craft artists creating branch patterns on wood with an electrical product – a Lichtenberg Generator – that had been disassembled and reassembled, creating a hazard. One incident resulted in life-threatening critical injuries.
“The only difference between an injury and a fatality as luck,” says Dr. Joel Moody, Chief public officer of the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) in Mississauga, Ontario.
“Electricity is unforgiving and the data shows that when electrical injuries occur, if they are not fatal, they are severe and serious in nature.”
The nearly 1000 electrical injuries that occur annually within the province are generally split evenly between the general public in the workplace, according to the report. The total number of emergency department visits for electrical injuries has decreased by 44% in the past decade, more than 80% have been classified as critical injuries.
“We see a steady stream of patients with electrical injuries every year, and those injuries can often be life-changing,” says Dr. Marc Jeschke, medical Dir. of the Ross Tilley Burn Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.
“The About preventing dangerous situations that lead two serious injuries, the better.”
According to the report, more than 70% of all electrical-related injuries and fatalities occur in power-line contact; electrical trade workers; misuse of electrical products and unapproved or counterfeit products; as well as electrical infrastructure fires.
Utility-related deaths accounted for 50% of all electrical -related fatalities in the past decade. Last year, there were two power-line fatalities reported.
“It is imperative that we continue to reduce the number of workers injured or killed by electricity,” says Moody. “These Ontarians go to work every day to provide for themselves and their families. Having a safe work environment should be a privilege.”
There are a lot less people working on electrical issues without the proper tradesman tickets. In fact, there is a section in the Ontario ‘Construction’ sector regulation 213/91 that actually discusses the appropriate ticket necessary to work on construction projects in Ontario.
Section 182, subsection 1 states,
- (1) “No worker shall connect, maintain or modify electrical equipment or installations unless,
(a) the worker holds a certificate of qualification issued under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009, that is not suspended, in the trade of,
(i) electrician — construction and maintenance, or
(ii) electrician — domestic and rural, if the worker is performing work that is limited to the scope of practice for that trade; or
(b) the worker is otherwise permitted to connect, maintain or modify electrical equipment or installations under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009 or the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000.”
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Electrical Safety Awareness’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.