Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

December 15, 2016

IBEW Unhappy with “Mess” Left by Uncertified Workers at Ottawa LRT Maintenance FacilityPublic safety is at risk and taxpayer money being squandered because uncertified labourers are doing the work of licensed tradespeople, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers says.

According to a CBC News report, the union is unhappy about unskilled, unlicensed labourers performing electrical work on portions of Ottawa's light rail system last spring, prompting complaints, inspections and at least one warning over violations. CBC News confirmed with the Ontario College of Trades that work falling under the scope of electricians was performed by uncertified labourers at the Ottawa LRT maintenance and storage facility known as Belfast Yard (shown in image).

In a statement to CBC, the college said enforcement officials investigated on March 22, 2016 in response to a complaint that unauthorized workers were fixing PVC pipes used for conduit. The college said its inspectors issued a warning to the foreman overseeing the work.

“College enforcement officers informed the foreman that this work falls under the scopes of practice of certified electricians and [he] was issued a warning that he cannot allow labourers to perform work in the scopes of practice of a compulsory trade, no matter how small the task, or they will be in violation,” Ontario College of Trades spokesperson Jan O'Driscoll told CBC.

The union remains dissatisfied with the response from the college as well as the Ministry of Labour. John Bourke, Business Manager of IBEW local 586, told CBC he's lodged multiple complaints, most recently on June 6. His most serious concern involves grounding and bonding work on segments of the LRT project. Proper grounding and bonding are part of the safety measures that help prevent people from coming in contact with electrical hazards and being shocked. “It's an electrical system, so it's a very large part of the safety, for public safety,” said Bourke. “The people that are standing on the platforms waiting for a train to come, if there was a fault in there, the grounding wasn't done properly, people can get hurt.”

The union says photos show evidence of a botched wiring job by uncertified labourers working on Ottawa's light rail system. The rules governing this kind of work are written into both the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act and the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, said Bourke. Much of the work was buried before it was inspected. The college says it will follow up.

Read the CBC coverage: www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/electrical-work-ottawa-lrt-union-warning-1.3636980.

Nexans Webinar - Key 2021 Electrical Code Changes Impacting Wire and Cable

Nexans Free WebinarJoin NEXANS for a free webinar with Isaac Müller, Applications Engineer for Nexans as he reviews and discusses the changes to the 2021 Canadian Electrical Code related to wire and cable. This free webinar will take place Wed, Jan 27, 2021 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST

This webinar includes:
- Updated rules to protect cables (12-514,12-516)
- New conditions of use for wire & cable (Table 19)
- An opportunity to ask your questions

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Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Ground Wire Before and After

CECD ground wire BA 400This photo is from a house in Ontario… two grounding wires that had been connected on a residential panel. The issue was sorted out by a local electrician. How did they do? How would you approach a job like this?

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