Electric Shock Podcast Interview – A Safety Matter

EIN EFC ElectricShockPodcast

April 27, 2022

by Daniela De Marco, Marketing Manager, EFC

“Electrical work is evidently dangerous. Electrocution is one of the top six causes of occupational deaths in Canada and the U.S.” according to Canadian Standards Association & the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2012). More often than not, electrical workers are taking unnecessary risks by working on a job site energized. 

In EFC’s electro|POD “Electric Shock” podcast episode, Gurvinder Chopra, VP of Standards and Regulation, and I connected with experts to explore this topic further. We interviewed Robert Mitchell from Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), the Safety and Technical Program Advisor, and Kaylyn Kretschmer, Technical Safety BC’s Leader for Market Insights & Engagement. Meeting with Robert and Kaylyn broadened our understanding of what factors influence electricians, contractors, or apprentices when making a safety decision. 

Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) and Technical Safety BC conducted separate research studies on working energized, years apart, with different methodologies to find that the results presented strong similarities. The conversation brought an essential factor to light: it centered on sociocultural and behavioural influences that are at play. These could include but are not limited to:

  • The human aspect of not wanting to inconvenience people. E.g., customers. 
  • Not wanting to refuse working ‘live’ in fear they’ll lose the job to someone who will.
  • Assuming they are working de-energized without double-checking.
  • Working on previously installed unqualified faulty work.
  • Low degree of electric shock reporting versus hospital data. 

These influences negatively affect our safety culture, especially when, inherently, people do care about safety. In fact, Kaylyn shared that in the study, around 1200 members responded, “94% of folks said safety was very important to them, but individuals may have difficulty negotiating their own safety when social, economic or cultural forces are at play. This is a hazardous industry practice that we all need to change and talk more about so that we keep people safe and healthy.”

Robert and Kaylyn further expressed solutions to support electricians, contractors, or apprentices on the job. As a final message, Robert Mitchell stated, “don’t work energized. If you should experience an electric shock of any kind, go to the hospital and report it as a workplace incident. The best way to ensure electrical safety is for electrical workers to effectively plan work, disconnect and control the power and ensure that the controls have been effective by testing for the absence of voltage.”

Dive deeper into this discussion by listening to the full podcast interview “Electric Shock – Influences on Electricians’ Safety Decision: An interview with Technical Safety BC & Electrical Safety Authority” on Apple PodcastGoogle Podcasts, or Spotify.

Access the research studies by Technical Safety BC and Electrical Safety Authority (ESA).

Additional resources available are:

Technical Safety BC Safety Story 

Why do we keep putting ourselves at risk of electric shock?

Explore EFC’s electro|POD episodes at: https://www.electrofed.com/electro-pod/

Related Articles


Latest Articles

  • Comprehensive Energy Savings Incentive Program for Alberta Businesses

    Comprehensive Energy Savings Incentive Program for Alberta Businesses

    Through additional financial incentives for participants bundling efficiency measures and new technology types, the Comprehensive Energy Savings (CES) stream supports facilities that are aiming to achieve deeper emissions reductions and energy savings. Participants that bundle smaller capital investments into a bigger investment package will benefit from increased incentives and greater long-term results, such as increased… Read More…

  • ECAO Anti-Racism Toolbox TalkAnti-Racism Toolbox

    ECAO Anti-Racism Toolbox TalkAnti-Racism Toolbox

    February 7, 2023 Racist actions, activities, tones, or remarks have no place in Ontario workplaces including construction sites. The ECAO not only have zero tolerance for any form of racism or intimidation, they are taking responsibility to stand up and be actively anti-racist in policy and action. To assist and educate member companies and their… Read More…

  • 2022 Electrical Contractor Survey: Material Availability and Price Volatility Increasing Risk for Electrical Contractors

    2022 Electrical Contractor Survey: Material Availability and Price Volatility Increasing Risk for Electrical Contractors

    February 6, 2023 By: Blake Marchand There are several factors that have led to uncertainty when it comes to material availability and product prices fluctuation in the electrical market. Primarily, those factors stem from global events that influence the broader market – the value and demand of raw materials, the cost of shipping, the cost… Read More…

  • Guide to the Canadian Electrical Code, Part 1 , 25th Edition – A Road Map: Section 80

    Guide to the Canadian Electrical Code, Part 1 , 25th Edition – A Road Map: Section 80

    Rule 80-000 notes that this is a supplementary or amendatory section of the code and applies only to the installation of impressed current cathodic protection systems. Appendix B and the CEC Handbook have additional information and descriptions of Cathodic Protection. This Section considers that the wiring methods used in installing such systems are sometimes inconsistent with the requirements of other Sections of the Code. Read More…


Changing Scene

  • Arlington Presents National and Regional Sales Awards at NEMRA 2023 Conference

    Arlington Presents National and Regional Sales Awards at NEMRA 2023 Conference

    February 7, 2023 Arlington Industries Inc. is pleased to announce the recipients of their annual representative sales awards – for 2022 sales of Arlington’s MADE IN USA and many patented, innovative and labor-saving products. Presented to firms representing Arlington at the recent 2023 National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association (NEMRA) meeting in Las Vegas, the awards… Read More…

  • Westburne Announces Three New Appointments in Quebec

    Westburne Announces Three New Appointments in Quebec

    February 7, 2023 Westburne has announced three new appointments in for their Quebec division. Stephane Lepage has been appointed Director of Sales – West effective January 10th. “With over 25 years of experience, Stephane started his career with Westburne, where he held several positions within the company. He then moved to other distributors and manufacturers…. Read More…

  • Acuity Brands Announces Licensing Agreement with BIOS

    Acuity Brands Announces Licensing Agreement with BIOS

    February 7, 2023  Acuity Brands, Inc. announced today that its subsidiary Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc. has entered into an agreement to participate in the BIOS ILLUMINATED™ partnership program. In connection with this agreement, BIOS will sell to Acuity Brands certain human-centric LED lighting components for use in its architectural lighting fixtures for wellness. Acuity Brands will… Read More…

  • FLO Introduces FLO Ultra™: a New DC Fast Charger Designed to Provide the Ultimate Fast Charging Experience

    FLO Introduces FLO Ultra™: a New DC Fast Charger Designed to Provide the Ultimate Fast Charging Experience

    February 7, 2023 FLO introduced FLO Ultra, an ultra-fast charger engineered to maximize energy delivery with future-proof performance and smart design that enables the ultimate EV charging experience. “EV demand and sales are topping all industry expectations and are now forecasted to exceed more than 45% of U.S. light duty vehicle sales by 2030,” said Nathan Yang,… Read More…