Leamington Business Convicted and Fined $100,000 for Hiring an Unlicensed Electrical Contractor

EIN ESA Leamington 400

Nov 11, 2020

On February 7, 2020, Great Lakes Greenhouses Inc. of Leamington pled guilty and was convicted in an Ontario Provincial Offences Court for hiring an unlicensed contractor to do electrical work and fined $100,000 plus a victim surcharge fee, for a total of $125,000. In 2018, Great Lakes Greenhouse hired an unlicensed contractor to perform certain work, including electrical work at their greenhouse facility. 

An Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) investigation determined that a worker received a fatal shock while working on wiring carrying 600 volts of electricity that had not been disconnected from power. ESA charged Shawn Reidl, operating as SR Sprinklers, with operating as an unlicensed electrical contractor. The matter is currently before the court and is awaiting trial. 

“Allowing unlicensed and untrained electrical contractors to work with electricity can lead to tragic consequences for all concerned. A family lost a loved one; a business was convicted and fined and will continue to operate with knowledge of this incident and a community of Leamington was shocked and devastated,” says Soussanna Karas, Director of Licensing, Electrical Safety Authority. “This is an important reminder that business owners and operators must understand legal requirements when hiring people to do electrical work. It’s the law in Ontario that only Licensed Electrical Contractors can be hired to do so.”

In Ontario, any business that offers or performs electrical work must be licensed by the Electrical Safety Authority. The Licensed Electrical Contractor must abide by the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, and other applicable laws. As per the terms of the licence, the Licensed Electrical Contractor must meet obligations related to the supervisory, administrative and safety requirements of carrying out electrical work.

Great Lakes Greenhouse Inc.’s fine includes a 25 per cent victim surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

To learn more about the obligations related to electrical work, go to the ESA website at esasafe.com. Resources there include a searchable database of all Licensed Electrical Contractors in Ontario.  

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