2021 Ontario Electrical Safety Code is Now Available

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December 13, 2021

The 2021 edition of the Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC) has been finalized and is now available for purchase. The OESC comes into effect as regulation on May 5, 2022. Members of the electrical industry are encouraged to begin familiarizing themselves with the new OESC. Electrical work conducted after the effective date needs to meet its requirements.

“The health and safety of Ontarians has always been our government’s top priority, which is why we’re committed to keeping everyone safe from electrical harm and ensuring safety requirements are kept up-to-date,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “The updated Ontario Electrical Safety Code will enhance consumer safety and recognize industry best practices, while removing outdated provisions and reducing unnecessary regulatory burden on businesses.”

“Revisions to the Code are made through a broad consultative process with our safety partners provincially and nationally. The new edition provides Ontario businesses, consumers and homeowners with the nationally harmonized Code while reducing burden on businesses, strengthening consumer protection and contributing to a safer Ontario for all,” says Nansy Hanna, Senior Director, Engineering and Regulations, Electrical Safety Authority. 

The 2021 edition of the OESC includes the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I plus several Ontario-specific amendments. This new edition includes changes designed to enhance electrical safety and protect workers and the public including:

  • Provide requirements to support reduction in the potential for fires and the loss of animals in buildings housing livestock. 
  • Provide clear electrical safety installation requirements for Energy Storage Systems (ESS), and harmonize with other codes and standards. 
  • Requiring GFCI protection for all outdoor receptacles to mitigate the potential for electrical shock hazard 
  • Introduce guidance to electrical installations in flood hazard zones and when electrical equipment has been exposed to water to mitigate the potential risks. 
  • Keeping workers safe by requiring additional receptacle for mobile structures connected to transfer equipment. 
  • In Ontario, mitigate the potential for shock or electrocution when structures are erected in close proximity of customer owned powerlines.   
  • In Ontario, keep the reduced conductor sizes for services and feeders for dwelling units by following the current installation practice.

The new Code is now available for purchase. The hardcopy of the Code book will be available for $223, as well as an electronic and PDF-version available for $199. These prices will include free access to the bulletins on CSA Community of Interest website over the whole period of the Code cycle. Once purchased, the PDF-version can be accessed immediately, while the hardcopy versions will not be available until late January 2022.

ESA is partnering with the CSA Group to offer the Code book and all ESA bulletins – which provide important updates and interpretations – together for one price in a searchable, digital format for $199 – accessible on smart phones, tablets and desktops and compatible with Windows and iOS. The bulletin package will be available in May 2022. 

To order a copy of the OESC, please visit csa.org/oesc or call 800-463-6727. 

For more information on the new OESC, contact ESA’s Customer Service Centre at 1-877-372-7233 or visit esasafe.com/oesc.

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