ESA honours exceptional electrical safety leaders

The sixth annual Electrical Safety Awards held in Mississauga Ont. recognized three organizations for their unique, effective and interactive methods of educating the public and workforce about safety, as well as deterring the workforce from electrical fatalities and serious injuries.

The three award categories — worker safety, powerline safety and consumer and home safety — were presented by Brian Bentz, chair, Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) board of directors and Angela Coke, deputy minister, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.

"ESA's goal is to eliminate electrical fatalities and injuries in Ontario and ensure the highest level of public electrical safety," said Scott Saint, chief public safety officer, ESA. "The effort of this year's winners to protect and educate both workers and members of the public on important safety messages ensures we are that much closer to realizing an Ontario that is a safer place in which to live, work and play," said Saint.

Toronto Hydro received the consumer safety award for its consumer awareness campaigns aimed at keeping communities safe. Toronto Hydro covers such topics as electrical safety at schools, emergency preparedness events, Brighter Nights community events and other consumer-focused activities. The organization utilizes multiple communications channels to proactively reach out to their communities including social media, traditional media, customer newsletters and community events which provide them with extensive reach to convey their important message.

Hydro One was honoured for its exceptional powerline safety "Electricity Discovery Centre", a 1,000 sq. ft. travelling mobile centre designed to engage and educate consumers about electrical safety, including powerline safety as well as energy saving tips.

London Hydro took the worker safety award for its dedication to worker safety through the development of three smart phone applications that provide access to safety information and reporting tools at the employees' fingertips. The applications cover topics like Substation Access Tools to protect non-technical employees accessing substations; incident/deficiency reporting to improve sharing of incidents which leads to prevention; and the Zapple application that provides employees with immediate access to a wide variety of health and safety information, emergency contacts and health and safety procedures/policies.

Special recognition was given to the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games organizing committee for its strong commitment to ensuring that athletes, workers, volunteers and spectators alike were able to participate in the games free from electrical harm. Through the dedicated commitment to electrical safety requirements, the organizing committee ensured public safety at every stage, from construction through to the closing ceremonies, said ESA.