Despite Electrical Safety Improvements in Ontario, High-Risk Behavior Continues

Even though electrical safety records improved in Ontario, reports of high-risk behavior are still prevalent, according to Canada's Electrical Safety Authority.

Though overall electrical safety has improved in Ontario over the last few years, there are still several reports of workers being injured or killed in high-risk situations, according to a news release from Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). According to the release, electrical worker fatalities are very high, with tradespeople accounting for 29 percent of electrical-related workplace fatalities from 2003-12.

However, there has been a decline in the past few years in the rate of electrical-related injuries and deaths, yet incidents continue to occur in the same areas despite awareness, and most likely due to skewed risk perception.

Electricians continue to get hurt on the job, often because they either don’t perceive their job as high risk or because they have become complacent about the risk, according to the agency. The document also reports that three to five people are critically injured from contact with overhead powerlines each year, most likely because fewer than a third of Ontarians doing yard work or trimming trees see power lines as a hazard. In addition, 49 percent of electrical-related fatalities in the past 10 years have been utility-rated.

The report says approximately 500 fires each year are caused by electrical wiring, panels, and equipment, while more than 700 residential electric stove-top fires occur each year on average, mainly because residents leave things unattended. For more information, visit www.esasafe.com.

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