scales of justice

Business owner convicted and fined for hiring unlicensed contractor to do electrical work – worker died on-the-job

Electrical work is dangerous and can be lethal if not done properly. Business owners must know their legal responsibilities including who to hire.

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO (May 26, 2017) – On May 25, 2017, Jamal Shihadeh of Mississauga was convicted in Ontario court of hiring an unlicensed contractor to do electrical work at his business.

Shihadeh was fined $18,750. In 2013, Shihadeh hired Elias Mikhail to do some electrical work at a career college facility in Mississauga. It was a cash transaction with no receipt or record of work and no electrical permits secured. Mikhail was electrocuted and died on-the-job on October 13, 2013 while working alone. He was found the next day by Shihadeh.

An Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) investigation determined that Mikhail received a fatal shock while working on wiring carrying 347 volts of electricity and which had not been disconnected from power.

“This is a tragedy for all concerned. Two people have paid the price – one with his life and the other with this conviction and the knowledge of this incident for the rest of his life,” says Scott Saint, Chief Public Safety Officer, Electrical Safety Authority. “This is an important reminder that business owners and operators must understand legal requirements when hiring people to do electrical work. It’s the law in Ontario that only Licensed Electrical Contractors can be hired to do so.”

In Ontario, any business that offers or performs electrical work in Ontario must be licensed by the Electrical Safety Authority. The Licensed Electrical Contractor must abide by the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, and other applicable laws. As per the terms of the licence, the Licensed Electrical Contractor must meet obligations related to the supervisory, administrative and safety requirements of carrying out electrical work.

Shihadeh’s fine includes a 25 per cent victim surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

To learn more about the obligations related to electrical work, go to the ESA website at Resources there include a searchable database of all Licensed Electrical Contractors in Ontario.

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

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