Ontario electrical safety report (OESR)

About the Ontario Electrical Safety Report

The Ontario Electrical Safety Report (OESR) is the only document in Canada and one of the few globally that compiles and publishes electrical safety data yearly, and is recognized for its rigorous safety reporting. Data presented in this report have been collected from multiple sources, investigations, and root-cause analyses. The OESR would not be possible without the collaboration of our safety partners: Office of the Chief Coroner, Ministry of Labour, Skills, Training and Development, Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, Canadian Institute of Health Information, and Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario.

In its 20th edition, the OESR provides a comprehensive collection of data and analysis that helps to make Ontario a safer place to live, work and play free from electrical harm. This report is used by the ESA and others to better understand the dynamics of electrical safety and to encourage the development of initiatives to improve the status of electrical safety in the province. 

On this page:


2020 Overview

There were four fatalities in 2020, which is slightly lower than previous years. However, that may be a reflection of the changing work patterns during the pandemic (changing work environments, more people working from home and numerous lock-downs). The fatalities are largely concentrated among males under 30, indicating there is education and awareness work to be done with this group. 

Between 2011 and 2020, there has been a downward trend in the total rate of electrical-related fatalities. The five-year average rate of electrocution and burn fatalities, and electrical fire fatalities (where the ignition source was identified to be electrical), have continued to decrease when compared to the previous time period. Progress has been made to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries, yet the causes and contexts of serious incidents remain the same. Concerted efforts remain essential for rates to continue to decrease.

Priority Issues

The ESA uses incident data from the OESR to identify areas that present the greatest risk to Ontarians, to monitor changes in incidence, and to identify emerging risks and trends. Based on the data collected in the past ten years, the ESA has identified that the majority of electrical injuries and fatalities occur in specific areas. Over 70% of all electrical-related injuries and fatalities occur in four specific areas:

  • Powerline contact
  • Electrical trade workers
  • Misuse of electrical products and unapproved/counterfeit products
  • Electrical infrastructure fires
back to top
Back to Top

 

Infographics

Infographic/Download Description Infographic/Download Description

fires and fatalities infographic

download PDF

Executive Summary

Electrical-related Fatalities and Incidents Over the Past Ten Years (2011–2020)

fires and fatalities infographic

download PDF

Electrical-related Fatalities and Injuries

Electrical fatalities from occupational and non-occupational settings.

utility-related equipment infographic

download PDF

Utility-Related Equipment

Incidents from utility-related equipment, includes electrical equipment and devices used by Local Distribution Companies (LDCs), privately owned companies, or property owners that distribute electricity to customers’ facilities or buildings. 

overview of fires infographic

download PDF

Overview of Fires in Ontario

Electrical fires from appliances, cooking equipment, lighting equipment, other electrical and mechanical equipment, and processing equipment, as defined by the Ontario Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management.

product safety infographic

download PDF

Product Safety

See how ESA protects the Ontario public against potentially unsafe electrical products in the marketplace. 

back to top
Back to Top

 

Electrical Incidents

These are just a few of the electrical incidents reported and reviewed by the ESA. For a full list of incidents, see the 2020 OESR (Appendix A/page 86).

Location Details Date
Ottawa

Occupational, Powerline and Utility Infrastructure, Cause: Improper procedure

Property damage from contact between garbage truck and secondary conductors. No Electrical Injuries/Fatalities to Person.

Dec. 2020
Ottawa

Occupational, Cause: Improper installation

Property damage from fire originating from incorrect wiring to its electrical service panel. No Electrical Injuries/Fatalities to Person.

Dec. 2020
Oakville

Non-occupational, Cause: Improper installation

Person was injured from back fence rail due to it being energized from the damaged insulation of a 120 V supply conductor that created a conductive path to the contact point. Electrical Injury to Person.

Nov. 2020
Thunder Bay

Non-occupational, Cause: Misadventure

Property damage from fire from a fuse panel due to power theft. No Electrical Injuries/Fatalities to Person.

Nov. 2020
Bayham

Non-occupational, Utility Infrastructure, Cause: Unknown

Property damage from explosion from meter malfunction. No Electrical Injuries/Fatalities to Person.

Nov. 2020
Toronto

Non-occupational, Cause: Unknown No Electrical Injuries/Fatalities to Person

Property fire from a multi-unit dwelling. No Electrical Injuries/Fatalities to Person.

Nov. 2020
back to top
Back to Top

 

Previous Years’ Reports

back to top
Back to Top