Vol. 2 No. 5

March 2007

- Experienced Electrician Dies in Coal Mine Accident
- Contractors Gather in Ottawa for National Conference
- GE announces opening of Canadian Assembly Centre
- Giving Energy Waste the SLPP
- OEL Electrical Industry Conference Update
- Invensys Launches Enhanced Firex Website
- Cooper Unveils MediaSync Website
- Tax Credits for You!
- Coming Events
- Your April 2007 Electrical Business


Serious or fatal injuries don’t just happen to inexperienced workers, or those in unfamiliar work settings. An electrician with 21 years of experience was troubleshooting a dragline trailing cable at a surface coal mine when he contacted two energized phase conductors.

He was working at an electrical junction box that supplied power to the dragline when the incident occurred. The electrician sustained fatal injuries.

Most mining draglines are not fuel powered: their power consumption is so great, they have a direct connection to the high-voltage grid. Although the electrician had disconnected and locked out incoming power to the junction box, when an onboard diesel-powered generator was started, it back-fed 480V through on-board transformers connected to the dragline’s trailing cable, energizing the phase conductors to 23,000 volts.

The U.S. Dept. of Labour’s Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) has released a list of best practices for preventing such tragic incidents:

• Before performing electrical work on draglines, shovels, etc., lock out and tag auxiliary power sources with YOUR lock. These types of machines often have auxiliary power sources located on-board or positioned nearby.

• Install a failsafe mechanical interlock system that will prevent the auxiliary power and normal power sources from being connected to the same circuit at the same time.

• Always connect each phase conductor to the system ground prior to performing high-voltage electrical work.

• Never enter electrical vaults, motor control centres or other electrical enclosures unless you are qualified to do so, or under the direct supervision of someone who is.

• Always wear proper safety equipment when performing electrical work.

• Never assume you understand a circuit. Thoroughly research how it is wired.

With files from CCOHS and U.S. Dept. of Labour (MSHA)


If you haven’t already, mark your calendar for the 2007 National Industry Conference presented by the Canadian Electrical Contractors Association (CECA), and hosted by the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario (ECAO).

CHANGE IS GOOD is the theme of this year’s event, being held June 13-16, which will feature exciting speakers and great social functions held in some of Ottawa’s finest venues, including the Westin Ottawa. Located in the heart of the city, this hotel is the ideal location with its indoor walkways to both the Rideau Centre Shopping Mall and Ottawa Congress Centre, not to mention its proximity to the many historical and cultural elements of the city.

The conference kicks off with the Welcoming Reception held at the National Gallery, where delegates will have a chance to get reacquainted. An added bonus during the reception will be a private viewing of the Renoir Landscapes—60 of Renoir’s most beautiful landscape paintings on loan from leading art museums and private collections around the world. (Ottawa is the only Canadian venue for this travelling exhibition, providing a unique opportunity for conference delegates!)

The weekly presentations begin with keynote speaker, Warren Macdonald, the first double above-knee amputee to reach the summit of Africa’s tallest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, and America’s tallest cliff face, El Capitan. Meantime, luncheon speaker and political guru, Mike Duffy, will paint a picture of Canada’s political scene... its colourful history and ever-changing landscape.

Educational opportunities abound throughout the week on marketing, productivity, management, finance, health and safety, and more. ECAO’s conference committee is also pleased to announce the addition of a Product Exposition to this year’s lineup of activities, where electrical industry partners will showcase their products and services and provide an opportunity for networking and information exchange.

CLICK HERE for more information on the conference or sponsorship opportunities, or to register online.


GE has announced the opening of a new Canadian Assembly Centre in Mississauga, Ont., for its low-voltage electrical distribution products. Now Canadian distributors and end-users can benefit from faster lead times and customized service solutions for a wide range of distribution products, including switchboards and power and lighting panelboards.

According to Pat Haughey, General Manager with GE Consumer & Industrial, Canada, “This new facility underlines GE’s dedication to serving the needs of Canadian customers and will enable us to satisfy individual product requirements while providing faster turnarounds”.

A reception to mark the opening of the centre is planned for April 25th. For more information, call (877) 259-0941 ext. 2912 or CLICK HERE.

Ontario mines partner to improve energy efficiency and save money

By Bryan Young

Bryan Young is the manager of the Conservation Fund at the Ontario Power Authority. The fund was established in 2005 for action-oriented, sector-specific electricity conservation pilot projects that help build a culture of conservation in Ontario.

Do you have a leaky hot water tap in your home? A drop here, a drop there... it’s no big deal, right?

Wrong! A leaky tap, at one drop per second, wastes 800 litres of water per month, not to mention the extra money you’re spending to heat it. It all adds up to the drip, drip, drip of your energy dollars going right down the drain. Fixing it is just as easy as replacing a rubber washer that costs a few pennies.

In much the same way, the Ontario Mining Association (OMA) and Ontario Power Authority (OPA) have teamed up to fix another kind of small, steady leak that wastes energy and costs mines thousands of dollars a year. In this case, it isn’t water but compressed air that is the energy-guzzling culprit.

The Sustainable Leak Prevention Program (SLPP) now underway at three northern Ontario mines should not only improve electricity efficiency, it could help all mining companies save hundreds of thousands of dollars in their operations, not to mention benefit other industries that use compressed air in their operations.

Ontario’s mining industry spends more than $500 million each year for energy, and this ranges from 15% to 30% of operating costs depending on the type of operation. Compressed air systems, found in underground mines, are one of the largest contributors to electricity costs. Even small air leaks in these systems can increase costs substantially by causing compressors to work harder.

For example, one tiny hole (about 1/8-in. diameter) wastes air at a rate of about 12 litres per second. Even at the low rate of $0.04/KWh, this alone can waste more than $1000 per year; and industry knows that most systems using compressed air have many leaks. Some plants experience a leak rate equal to 20% of total compressed air production capacity.

In a $532,000 project, the Ontario Mining Association will oversee audits of compressed air systems at the Williams Mine in Hemlo near Marathon, CVRD Inco’s South Mine in Sudbury and FNX’s McCreedy West Mine (also in Sudbury).

At the Williams mine—one of the largest gold-producing mines in Canada—employee/public relations co-ordinator Roger Souckey says, “Compressed air systems represent one of our greatest areas of operating and energy inefficiency.” He adds, “The longer a leak goes undetected, the more compressed air and electricity we waste, and the less efficiently our equipment operates. A key deliverable of the program will be establishing a trigger mechanism that will prevent leaks by telling us that preventive maintenance is required.”

“Repairing compressed air leaks in the mine is a cost-effective way to increase energy efficiencies and to ensure ongoing low-cost nickel production,” says Dave Tomini, divisional energy co-ordinator at CVRD Inco. “This initiative is in line with our continuing efforts to build a sustainable future.”

Dave Secord, senior maintenance co-ordinator at FNX McCreedy West mine says, “With training, and the management of this program, we are hoping to detect the problems right away and turn this into a cost saving in electricity as well as maintenance on our compressors.”

Key findings of the audits will be presented to the OMA in March, with a final report submitted to OPA in May.

Funding for 41% of the project comes from OPA’s Conservation Fund, with the balance provided by OMA and participating sites. The Conservation Fund was established to mobilize as many sectors of the Ontario economy as possible to embrace a culture of conservation. It focuses on enabling conservation education and electricity reduction through pilot projects. Key learning points from each of the programs are then shared across all sectors help spark similar programs and/or build pilot programs into full-scale initiatives.

The fund needs help designing future programs! Partnering with groups like OMA helps better promote energy efficiency and a culture of conservation in Ontario. After little more than a year, the Ontario Power Authority’s Conservation Fund has provided $2.5 million to 37 electricity conservation projects in a variety of sectors of the Ontario economy. CLICK HERE to learn more about the fund.


April is just around the corner and, before you know it, the Ontario Electrical League’s (OEL’s) Electrical Industry Conference will be upon us. As the date gets closer, more details about the event are solidified, so we present an update as to what else you can expect this year in Windsor.

Reid Bigland, president and CEO of DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc., will help kick off the conference Thursday April 19th with a discussion on the state of the Canadian manufacturing industry. He will also talk about the initiatives manufacturers are undertaking to develop fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles.

And it appears confirmed that Friday’s keynote speaker is Dwight Duncan, Ontario’s minister of energy and chair of cabinet. He will talk about his goals for fostering a culture of conservation while ensuring a reliable, sustainable, diverse and affordable supply of power for the province.

Also on Friday (“Contractor Day”) is the Product Expo/Lunch & Learn, where Electrical Business is exhibiting along with other well-known industry names. Afterward, drinks are on us, as we proudly sponsor the Friday Afternoon Hospitality Suite, which precedes Friday evening’s South of the Border Dinner/Dance.

The event runs from April 18-21. For more information, visit the league HERE.


Invensys Controls has launched what it calls a completely revamped and revitalized website. The objective for this first phase of the redesigned site is to provide customers of FireX products with additional and up-to-date information, including technical specification sheets, product manuals and cross-reference guides. The company has also added an education centre where customers and consumers can access material regarding when to replace/upgrade alarms, particularly in jurisdictions passing relevant legislation. Contractors can use this information to encourage customers to replace/upgrade their current safety products. CLICK HERE to find out more.


Cooper Wiring Devices’ new MediaSync website offers home networking information to builders, installers and distributors, including things such as product information, resources and support. Cooper’s full line of MediaSync structured wiring product catalogues and brochures can be accessed here and, for installers and distributors, spec sheets, installation guidelines and wiring diagrams are available. The site also contains a regularly updated schedule of training courses for installers to learn advanced structured wiring techniques, putting them on the path toward becoming certified installers. Surfers should appreciate the glossary of terms and listing of industry resource sites so they can become better educated on the subject. Customer and installer support is available, as is an Agent Locator tool, which identifies the nearest Cooper Wiring Devices’ sales rep (sadly, U.S. only when we checked). CLICK HERE to check it out.


EB’s “It’s Your Business” columnist, Ron Coleman, has sent us some important tax credit information that you can use...

Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit (AJCTC)
The AJCTC is a non-refundable tax credit equal to 10% of the eligible salaries and wages payable to eligible apprentices in respect of employment after 01 May 2006. The maximum credit is $2000 per year for each eligible apprentice in the first two years of apprenticeship. The credit is available to any business, a sole proprietorship/partnership (complete T2038, Code 6) or a corporation (complete S31, part 21) for any of the 45 registered RED SEAL TRADES.

Tradesperson’s Tool Deduction
A deduction will be provided for the cost of eligible tools acquired by an employed tradesperson in excess of $1000. However, there will be a maximum claim of $500. The deduction will apply to eligible tools acquired after 02 May 2006. For the deduction to be claimed, employers have to certify the employee was required to purchase the tools as a condition of employment. The only other requirement is that the tools must not have been used for any other purpose prior to their acquisition by the tradesperson.

The deduction may not be claimed for electronic communication devices and electronic data processing equipment (ruling out claims for cellphones and computers—unless the device or equipment can be used only for the purpose of measuring, locating or calculating. The employee will also be able to claim the GST/HST rebate on the deductible portion of the tools’ cost.

You will be able to claim the new tradesperson’s tools deduction as part of your total employment expenses deduction on line 229 of your income tax return.

To support your claim, you will also need to attach a completed Form T777, Statement of Employment Expenses, to your income tax return. Your employer will have to complete and sign Form T2200, Declaration of Conditions of Employment, to certify that you are required to provide these tools as a condition of, and for use in, your employment.

Note: This information is provided for general knowledge purposes. Seek guidance from your own accountant regarding implementation. We take no responsibility for the use of this information.


Advanced IRiS Solutions
The Source/Cooper Lighting
March 26-27
Peachtree City, Ga.
CLICK HERE for details

Industrial Ethernet and IEC 61131-3 Seminar
WAGO Corp.
March 26-28
Germantown, Wis.
For details, e-mail info.us@wago.com

Design, Installation & Certification of Electrical Equipment in Hazardous Locations
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
Regina, Sask., March 29-30
Winnipeg, Man., April 2-3
CLICK HERE for details

Spring Technical Seminar
International Association of Electrical Inspectors (IAEI)
March 31
Toronto, Ont.
Call Cheryl at (416) 676-5954 or e-mail cheryl.carbis@electricalsafety.on.ca

Canadian Electrical Code 2006 Essentials
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
April 9-10
Niagara Falls, Ont.
CLICK HERE for details

Annual General Meeting
Electro-Federation Canada (EFC)
April 12
Toronto, Ont.
CLICK HERE for details

NEC/CEC: A Comparison of Requirements
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
April 12-13
Sarnia, Ont.
CLICK HERE for details

Annual Electrical Industry Conference
Ontario Electrical League (OEL)
April 18-21
Windsor, Ont.
CLICK HERE for details

Arc Flash: Measures for Prevention and Control
Schneider Electric (CSA)
Halifax, N.S., April 24
Moncton, N.B., April 26
CLICK HERE for details

Static, Transient Voltages & Lighting Protection Systems (Fundamentals/Evaluation/Control)
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
Edmonton, Alta., April 25
Vancouver, B.C., April 27
CLICK HERE for details

Electrical Learning Expo
Alberta Electrical League (AEL)
May 3
Grande Prairie, Alta.
CLICK HERE for details

Annual Meeting
National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED)
May 5-9
Washington, D.C.
CLICK HERE for details

International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) and Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA)
May 8-10
New York, N.Y.
CLICK HERE for details

CLICK HERE to check out more industry events at EBMag.com.


Your April 2007 Electrical Business is all about motors and lighting... especially lighting, as this is our annual Lightfair issue and Lighting Showcase. Read about the present and future promise of LED lighting, as explained by a leading Ph.D. in the field. Also, find out what GE has to say about seemingly everyone banning incandescent light bulbs. ESA’s Rick Martin explains the nuances of the grouping of motors on a single branch circuit as required by the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC), while an article from EASA helps us get to the root cause of motor failures. In Trucks for the Trade, we showcase current work truck offerings from The Big Three, and we talk to Rick Brodhurst, president of CECA, in Meet the Players. All this and more, so be sure to look for the April edition in the mail soon.

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