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State of Safety 2017: Electrical


Safety Manager's Discussion

The development of a Field Safety Representative (FSR) renewal process was a key area of focus in 2017. This program, which required extensive planning and stakeholder consultation in 2017, is now up and running. We believe the program will improve the connection between FSRs and Technical Safety BC, and provide mechanisms to ensure these individuals are staying current in their knowledge of the Code, Act, and Regulations.

In 2017, our physical assessment activities revealed a high number of instances where energized equipment was left exposed to contact. The development of risk treatment plans is underway and this will remain an area of focus for 2018. We also continue to identify moderate to severe hazards related to grounding and bonding, and service equipment. Continued monitoring and education will be key to reducing these hazards.

The risk of combustible dust explosion due to wood dust remains of continued attention. In 2017, the requirements from the safety orders we issued in 2012 and 2013 were brought into regulation. This reflects how the learnings from hazards and incidents strengthen prevention within our safety system. We are pleased to report assessments of wood processing facilities completed in 2017 continue to find improved safety.

We have also implemented a data sharing agreement with BC Hydro which allows both organizations to improve their ability to verify that electrical work has been completed by licensed contractors in accordance with safety regulations before proceeding with the service connections. This means that Technical Safety BC will be able to increase its ability to identify cases where safety may be compromised at a site, and take the appropriate actions to prevent unsafe conditions.

In the year ahead, we will be focused on adoption of the 2018 Canadian Electrical Code. This review is anticipated to take most of 2018 and will include extensive public consultation. Work is currently underway on an impact assessment.


Ulrich Janisch
Electrical Safety Manager


The following summarizes incidents reported to Technical Safety BC involving electrical equipment. There were no Severe electrical incidents this year, but six Major incidents.

Note: In 2016 we changed the rating scale, hence the change from three to five categories.


Injuries reported as a result of electrical incidents are summarized below.

Note: Technical Safety BC receives injury reports and descriptions from operators or first responders at the time of, or immediately following the incident. Injuries may develop after the initial reports were made to Technical Safety BC and the long-term effects of a resultant injury may not be recorded as part of our investigation.

Note: In 2016 we changed the rating scale, hence the change from three to five categories.

Assessments of Regulated Work




Stakeholder Engagement

The Stakeholder Engagement team works to enhance connections between stakeholders and Technical Safety BC via standing committees, advisory bodies and issue-specific consultations. Learn more in the Stakeholder Engagement section.

Client Education Events

Technical Safety BC held numerous electrical learning events throughout the province in 2017. Learn more in the Client Education section.

Media Relations and Communications

In 2017 Technical Safety BC took 16 media relations-related actions (media releases, responses to media requests and/or interviews) and produced two technical client newsletters regarding electrical safety. We also shared general information on social media (Twitter and Facebook). Learn more in the Media Relations and Communications section.

Licensing and Certification

Technical Safety BC requires that electrical equipment be installed, operated and maintained by qualified and knowledgeable professionals. In 2017, 554 new contractor licences and 728 new certificates of qualification were issued. Technical Safety BC regularly issues renewal certificates for existing certificate holders. Learn more in the Licensing and Certification section.



Compliance and Enforcement Actions

The following table summarizes the enforcement actions taken in the electrical technology in 2017. Learn more in the Compliance and Enforcement section.

Regulatory Instruments and Amendments

In 2017, we issued one safety order, two directives, and six information bulletins related to the Electrical technology. A full listing of all regulatory instruments pertaining to the electrical technology is available here. Learn more in the Regulatory Instruments and Amendments section.