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.
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.
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:
Electrical trade workers
Misuse of electrical products and unapproved/counterfeit products
Electrical-related Fatalities and Incidents Over the Past Ten Years (2011–2020)
Electrical-related Fatalities and Injuries
Electrical fatalities from occupational and non-occupational settings.
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 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.
See how ESA protects the Ontario public against potentially unsafe electrical products in the marketplace.
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).
Occupational, Powerline and Utility Infrastructure, Cause: Improper procedure
Property damage from contact between garbage truck and secondary conductors. No Electrical Injuries/Fatalities to Person.
Occupational, Cause: Improper installation
Property damage from fire originating from incorrect wiring to its electrical service panel. No Electrical Injuries/Fatalities to Person.
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.
Non-occupational, Cause: Misadventure
Property damage from fire from a fuse panel due to power theft. No Electrical Injuries/Fatalities to Person.