person working on electrical box

Arc Flash Seriously Injures Electrician

The most effective way to prevent electrical injuries and fatalities is shutting off power before conducting electrical work

MISSISSAUGA, ON, January 30, 2017 – On Monday, January 23 an arc flash event occurred while an electrician was installing a cable into an energized panel in the Ottawa area. The electrician was treated in hospital for second and third degree burns. The Ministry of Labour, Fire, Police, Emergency Services and the Electrical Safety Authority attended the scene.

This incident is an example of the continuation of a worrisome trend in which electricians are injured or killed on-the-job. While the precise cause of the incident is under investigation, this incident is a reminder of the devastating consequences of coming into contact with live voltage.

An important reminder to workers and employers:

Electrical safety is a shared responsibility among workers and employers; it’s critical to work together to help prevent these types of incidents from occurring. Ensuring electrical work is done in a de-energized state is the single most effective way to prevent electrical-related injuries and fatalities.

The Electrical Safety Authority has been collecting provincial safety data for more than a decade and publishing it in the Ontario Electrical Safety Report.

  • Between 2006 and 2015, 40 workers died and another 127 workers were critically injured from electrical contact.
  • Repair and maintenance work continues to be the most common type of activity associated with electrical-related fatalities and injuries on-the-job.
  • On average there is one electrical worker fatality per year in Ontario, and more than 5,500 visits to the emergency room caused by critical electrical-related occupational injuries.

About the Electrical Safety Authority

The Electrical Safety Authority's (ESA’s) role is to enhance public electrical safety in Ontario. As an administrative authority acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario, ESA is responsible for administering specific regulations related to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, the licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians, electricity distribution system safety, and electrical product safety. ESA works extensively with stakeholders throughout the province on education, training and promotion to foster electrical safety across the province.

More information on the Electrical Safety Authority can be found at, through and on Facebook at

Media Enquiries

For further information:
Electrical Safety Authority
905-712-7819 or