October 6, 2022
Recently, the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) held its Annual Meeting and Ontario Electrical Safety Awards to celebrate achievements in electrical safety. In addition to the awards, ESA’s Chair, Board of Directors, Annette Bergeron, and Chief Executive Officer and President, Josie Erzetic, highlighted ESA’s accomplishments from the previous year, and Patience Cathcart, Public Safety Officer provided key findings of the 2021 Ontario Electrical Safety Report.
The 2022 Safety awards were presented by Eric Kingston, ESA’s Vice President, Operations, ESA, in the categories of Worker Safety, Consumer and Home Safety, and Powerline Safety. Mr. Kingston also presented the Licensed Electrical Contractor Recognition Award. Patience Cathcart, Public Safety Officer presented the Public Safety Officer Special Recognition Award.
The 2022 award recipients are:
Recognized for their strong commitment to mental health and wellness initiatives including their participation in the Roadmap to Psychological Safety Program. The program uses eight building blocks to advance psychological health and safety in the workplace. WNH was selected as the only utility in Ontario to participate in the study. In addition to undertaking the Roadmap to Psychological Safety in the Workplace Program, and expanding the utility’s existing Employee Wellness Program, WNH also supports other mental health initiatives by encouraging employees to share mental health awareness messages on notice boards, and encourages openness support to employees who are struggling with their mental health. Congratulations to WNH on their strong efforts to support mental health initiatives for their employees.
Recognized for the collaborative working group of electrical industry safety experts who created a guideline to help address safety concerns associated with outdoor trades working near or under 750v powerlines and related equipment. The guideline targets non-electrical workers including roofers, painters, carpenters and other trades that work outdoors near these powerlines. The objective of providing non-electrical workers with this guideline was to help eliminate or reduce the potential for accidental powerline contact and near misses. Since its launch in June 2022, the guideline has had multiple downloads and has been well-received by both non-electrical and electrical sector representatives respectively. The working group is to be commended on finding a unique solution to reach non-electrical sectors with important electrical safety information.
Recognized for the kid’s safety poster contest during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the contest was to teach kids about the dangers of electricity as well as educating homeowners on how to stay safe around their homes and avoid the dangers of electricity. The kid’s safety poster contest acted as a tool to reach students and remind them in a clever and fun way to stay safe around electricity. NPEI was also able to share their safety messages with school-age children during the pandemic by converting their in-person safety presentations to on-line versions. Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc is to be celebrated for creating alternative ways to extend the reach of electrical safety messages during a very challenging time with limited access to target audiences.
Trade-Mark Industrial was awarded the Licensed Electrical Contractor Recognition award for their on-going dedication to improving worker safety practices and processes for employees while cultivating a strong safety culture. Trade-Mark Industrial developed unique approaches to educating employees on safety processes through multiple safety initiatives including an annual safety day, daily job-site assessment meetings, and weekly safety meetings to create environments to share important safety information with their employees.
Jerry White was awarded the Public Safety Officer award for his long-term commitment to maintain safety standards in the workplace over the past 34 years with Ontario Power Generation. Jerry has been a strong advocate for workplace safety throughout his career and prior to his recent retirement from Ontario Power Generation, he was responsible for the work protection and switching of a complex integrated electrical grid the size of a small city. Jerry should be applauded for his dedication to upholding workplace safety measures.