MISSISSAUGA, ONT. —Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) released its 20th Annual Ontario Electrical Safety Report recently, reporting there were four electrical-related fatalities in the last year.
In Ontario, electrical-related fatalities occur at the rate of less than one in a million with a downward trend. The fatalities are largely concentrated among males under 30, indicating there is education and awareness work to be done with this group, stated an Oct. 4 release.
“The ESA focuses on the risk factors of these events to help drive our efforts to ensure they do not occur again. This information offers a consistent source of reliable data that allows us to focus on reducing the areas with the highest risk,” the statement said.
In the past 10 years, there were 130 electrical fatalities in Ontario. From 2011 to 2020, 50 people have died from electrocution (non-intentional death caused by contact with electricity) or by the effects of electrical burns, and 80 have died as a result of electrical fires (where the ignition fuel was identified as electricity and/or the ignition source was electrical distribution equipment).
Over 70 per cent 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; and electrical infrastructure fires. 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.
In 2020, the ESA launched its new strategic plan, Safely Powering Tomorrow, with a focus on risk-based prioritization of electrical harms.
“Going forward, the ESA will manage harms from a harm lifecycle perspective,” the release stated.