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Electrical Safety Authority presents inaugural Ontario Electrical Safety Awards


September 27, 2010
By Anthony Capkun

The inaugural Ontario Electrical Safety Awards were awarded in September to two individuals and two organizations for their contributions in promoting electrical safety and building a safety culture in Ontario. The 2010 winners are:

• Powerline Safety: Orillia Power Corp. that, since the early 1980s, has
been a “leader in developing and delivering education and awareness
programs” to its community regarding electrical and powerline safety.
Among other efforts, Orillia Power Corp. contributed to the creation of
North America’s first ‘Portable Children’s Safety Village’, which has
been used to teach more than 6000 elementary students yearly about
safety. They also host an annual education program for local contractors
and tradespeople alerting them of electrical hazards.

• Product Safety: Brian Savaria of Eaton Electrical Group (Burlington,
Ont.) for his long-term efforts against counterfeit products that pose
electrical safety risks. He has worked extensively with the RCMP in
Quebec, Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) and the Electrical Safety
Authority (ESA) to identify counterfeit products and assist with
criminal investigations. He was instrumental in ensuring the involvement
of the electricity industry in the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting
Network. Product safety is a key area of concern. In 2009, ESA issued 87
recalls and 26 safety alerts resulting in more than 1 million products
being recalled across Canada with over 450,000 of those originating from
Ontario alone.

• Worker Safety: Dave Graham who, during his term as president of the
Greater Toronto Electrical Contractors Association, initiated the
creation of the Working Live Task Force to raise awareness of the risks
of working with live electricity. The task force includes
representatives from throughout the industry, and its efforts have
included the ‘Just Don’t Ask’ public awareness campaign, the development
of the work live authorization form, and the eventual creation of the
Electrical Safety Coalition.

• Consumer and Home Electrical Safety: to a coalition of electrical
equipment manufacturers (Cooper Industries, Hubbell Canada, Legrand
Canada and Leviton Canada). Together they achieved a requirement to use
tamper-resistant receptacles (child-safety outlets) in homes as part of
the Canadian Electrical Code. They also worked to ensure these safer
products remained affordable for consumers. The tamper-resistant
receptacles block other objects from penetrating the outlet.

The awards were established by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) to
acknowledge the significant contributions made by many people and
organizations to reduce electrical fatalities, injuries and loss.
Ontario’s Minister of Consumer Services, John Gerretson joined John
Wiersma, Chair of the Board, Electrical Safety Authority, and David
Collie, President and CEO, Electrical Safety Authority in handing out
the awards at the ESA Annual General Meeting.

“We are on a mission to eliminate electrical fatalities and serious
injuries in Ontario and these people and organizations exemplify the
leadership and effort needed to achieve that goal,” said Peter Marcucci,
chief public safety officer, ESA. “We’re very pleased to now have an
awards programs so we can formally acknowledge the contributions of so
many others working towards the same goal.”

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