Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Oct 15, 2018

SafetyMark Graham joined the military at the age of 17 but after a few years he decided to pursue his dream of being an electrician.

He was only three years into his apprenticeship when his worst nightmare came true.

“I was working at a raw sewage plant running conduit while on an 8-foot wooden step ladder,” he begins. “I had just finished drilling holes in the concrete ceiling slab to install strapping to hold the conduit in place. As I lowered the powerless drill it was parallel with the slotted ventilation holes on the 3000 amp 600 volt bus duct that was suspension-mounted on trapezes.

“The drill bit glided through the one of the slots, but the heat on the end of the drill bit melted through the rubber insulation jacket that wrapped the copper bus bars. This created a dead short to ground, causing an explosion. It threw me off the ladder.”

Graham was alone in the building so he ran outside for help. “I could smell and feel my hair and skin burning,” he recalls.

An Ottawa Carleton Public Works truck was driving by and the occupants tried to douse the flames with blankets.

“At the time all I could see was grey, my eyes were grey,” says Graham. His hardhat had melted into his head and the pain was unbearable.

He woke up in the hospital six weeks later, unable to see. “I told my parents I wish I hadn’t survived.”

Graham had second and third degree burns to 60% of his body, and they had to use parts of the undamaged skin to create grafts to replace his other skin.

Today Graham is speaking out about the tragedy that happened so long ago to help ensure others don’t suffer a similar fate.

“Communicating with others and proper training and supervision is critical,” he says.

Industry experts are worried that despite the advances in training and safety that have taken place over the years, there is a movement to relax the rules, putting new workers and particularly young people at risk.

Adam Goulet, 18, knows he is very lucky to have escaped a similar fate. At 16 he was hired by an Ottawa area contractor to work as a labourer but found himself doing electrical work without training or supervision. He had been promised an apprenticeship, but it never came.

At first, he stayed quiet; his biggest worry was getting caught by inspectors.

But eventually he realized how dangerous it was to be doing electrical work without training or supervision. He finally told his teacher, who advised him to get out. Like many young teenagers, he was afraid he wouldn’t find another job but eventually met someone from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and he was hired on as an apprentice.

“I now feel safe at work, knowing I am being supervised and getting the proper training,” he added.

Ottawa contractor Roch Picknell says it’s very alarming that some contractors are allowing untrained individuals to be doing electrical work without being registered as an apprentice and properly supervised.

Picknell belongs to the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario (ECAO) whose members work with IBEW electricians to ensure there is a high level of training and focus on safety.

“When you hire an ECAO contractor for electrical services you know you are going to get the work done correctly and safely,” Picknell said.

“The ECAO is a strong advocate for promoting the integrity of their trade, safety and professionalism,” says Executive Director Graeme Aitken.

“Allowing work to be done unsafely by untrained and uncertified workers puts everyone at risk,” he added.

James Barry, Executive Chairman of the IBEW-Construction Council of Ontario, says there are rules for compulsory trades like electrician regarding the number of journeypersons to apprentices on the job to ensure proper oversight and safety.

“Unfortunately, ratios are not being enforced and we continue to hear stories of young people doing work that could cause them serious injury or death,” he says.

Barry, who was a former member of the Board of Governors for the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT), is concerned it is not fulfilling its role to elevate the status of the trades and to protect the public and young workers through the enforcement of ratios.

Barry is also worried about a potential move by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to reduce the length of an apprenticeship and change the scope of practice for electricians as a shortcut to addressing a skilled trade demand.

“Right now, the IBEW has no trouble finding apprentices because we ensure they have proper training, a fair wage and a safe work environment. If there is a lowering of training and safety standards, then that would hurt, not help, in attracting people to the trade.”

Graham agrees it’s important to at the very minimum maintain the current training standards given the complexity and risks of the job.

“I don’t want other people to go through what I’ve been through. It’s a place you don’t want to go,” he warns.

This article was first published on Powering Communities, an online initiative of the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario (ECAO) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The ECAO and IBEW are a formidable team of employers and electricians who are recognized industry leaders in delivering safe, stable and high quality electrical/telecommunications construction and maintenance services. Find out more: www.poweringcommunities.ca

Changing Scene

  • Prev
Government Relations Minister Lori Carr announced the transfer of gas and electrical licensing ...
IDEAL continues to recognize the essential work electricians are doing during this global crisis. ...
Total investment in building construction increased 60.1% to $13.4 billion in May, ...
IDEAL Industries recently put together a new supply catalogue focused on panel builders and ...
ECAO is piloting a young leaders group, named Future Leaders Advisory Council (FLAC).   ...
Cooper Lighting extends its commitment to education and support of its customers and specifiers. ...
Stay Wired to Win is a monthly at-home challenge designed to keep your competitive spark going ...
Join the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario (ECAO) for a live webinar on July 7 at 2:00 ...
Following the latest COVID-19 announcements from the Ontario Government, ESA has decided to ...
Introducing Stay Wired to Win – a series of monthly at-home challenges designed to keep your ...


 

LDS Aug Products Eaton AL Series Dimmers 400Eaton's Wiring Devices AL series dimmers offer a versatile option for any dimming application - fine tune the dimming performance to match your exact needs and change colors as needed to suit any décor.

Color change kits come with three color faceplates, offering design flexibility within one product. Select models are available in 4 different color combination packs.

 

 


Read More

 

ESAAs the government continues a gradual, staged approach to reopen Ontario, ESA is assessing how they can safely resume in-person classroom training while adhering to Ontario Public Health guidelines. ESA is continuing to monitor key public health indicators and Stage 3 restrictions as efforts begin to reschedule previously postponed in-person classroom courses.

If you are registered in a postponed ESA course, they will notify you in the next couple of weeks of the rescheduled date. Please note that online courses are continuing as scheduled.

 

Read More

 


 



Case Study: EikoPro Electric LLC had a customer that had just constructed a new horse barn and was looking to light it quickly. The barn was designed to be lit with ten high bay lights for maximum efficacy and efficiency. Together with EiKO’s distributor partner, Platt Electric Redmond located in Redmond, Oregon, Pro Electric selected the EiKO 200W BAY-C high bay fixture, which puts out an impressive 30,000+ lumens at a 5000K color temperature. This high lumen output and the long life of the fixture – 72,000 hours – made it an ideal choice for the application.

Obviously, when lighting a barn, the security and safety of the animals, riders, and care givers is paramount. EiKO’s LED high bay products fill the space with light, eliminating shadows and blind spots.

Read More

Product News

  • Prev
Beluce has developed a line of social distancing signs and “face covering required” signs to remind ...
Eaton's Wiring Devices AL series dimmers offer a versatile option for any dimming application - ...
The YDD-L is an energy-efficient dusk to dawn yard light. It was designed for barns and ...
Arani's single-sided LED plastic running man sign comes in 2 versions: with battery, and without ...
With three shapes and 14 sizes available, Lumewerx’s latest addition to the Pop family comes in ...
Midwest’s Metallic RV power centers are a cost-effective favorite among campground owners ...
The IDEAL SLK® Disconnect Fuse Kit is a waterproof breakaway safety device that ...
The LED Edge-Lit ceiling luminaire has a very slim design for a modern and minimalist ...
The Green Cable Surface is synonymous with flexibility.      
Bri-Thin cables are an alternative to floor heating mats for tile and stone flooring. With high ...


 

Yard LightThe YDD-L is an energy-efficient dusk to dawn yard light. It was designed for barns and farms. It is a versatile and economic light source that is good on the environment and uses long-life LED’s. The YDD-L comes standard with photo control which helps to provide significant power savings.

Lens
Polycarbonate diffused lens encloses high performance LEDs.

 

 

 

Read More

 


 

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
At fourteen, Tom Miguel was sitting in the counselor’s office of Silverthorn Collegiate ...
Meredith Halfpenny is a Wind Site Technician with Boralex where she inspects, maintains, and ...
Rutul Bhavsar is a final year Electrical Engineering student at Mohawk College. He recently ...
Shannon Tymosko is a first-year apprentice with IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical ...
ELG Electric is an electrical contractor based out of Goderich, Ontario serving the area’s ...
Founded by Warren Osak, Electromate specializes in Robotic and Mechatronic Solutions, distributing ...
 Will West is a first-year apprentice working in the solar industry with Hakai Energy ...
“It’s definitely the Olympics of our trade,” said Lance Giesbrecht of the Ideal National ...
Tommy Carducci is a 14-year industry veteran working with Seneca Electrical and was one of 18 ...
Legend Power Systems is an innovative Canadian company headquartered out of Vancouver, B.C. Their ...


Tom MiguelBy Sarah PickardTom Miguel

At 14, Tom Miguel was sitting in the counselor’s office of Silverthorn Collegiate Institute in Etobicoke with his entire life ahead of him. In 1981, the world was changing, and like so many young men and women, he was faced with a world of choices that would go on to define both his career and his life.

It was in this office that some counsellor suggested becoming an electrician, and Tom’s interest was piqued. “I knew from that point on what field of studies I needed to focus on to become an electrician,” Tom said.

 

Read More

 


Rutul Bhavsar 1 400By Blake Marchand

Rutul Bhavsar is a final year Electrical Engineering student at Mohawk College. He recently co-authored a whitepaper on Mohawk College’s Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation discussing the technologies utilized in the state-of-the-art zero-carbon/carbon-neutral facility. Rutul was the lead author on the project, supported by Dr. Mariano Arriaga, General Manager of Mohawk’s Energy and Power Innovation Centre (EPIC) and Dr. Tony Cupido Research Chair, Sustainability at Mohawk College. Rutul’s interests lie in the more progressive areas of the industry, automation, control, and energy efficient technologies.

Read More


 

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2020 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil