Information Bulletin: Incident and hazard reporting - electrical



Reference number
IB-EL 2017-03
Revision Number
Revision 01

A. General details

This Information Bulletin is being issued to clarify incident reporting requirements. It is issued with respect to sections 36 and 37 of the Safety Standards Act, and section 34 of the Safety Standards General Regulation.

How to report incidents and hazards to Technical Safety BC

For emergency assistance call 911 or your local police or fire department directly.

Incidents and hazards are to be reported to Technical Safety BC through our website at or go to our website at and select “I Want to“ ->“Report an Incident/Hazard”. Alternatively, you can call 1 866 566 7233 and follow the prompts to report an incident or hazard. 

Note: voicemail and email messages made to Technical Safety BC employees concerning incidents and hazards are not considered to have been reported to Technical Safety BC as required by regulation.


Incident: A failure of a regulated product, work or operation that causes:
a)     damage to property, personal injury or death
b)     damage to safety features

a)     Property damage or injury focuses on the impact that the failed equipment may have had outside the boundaries of the product, work or operation.
b)     Damage to safety features relates to failures where the damage:

  • is limited to the failed product, work or operation and
  • does not render the product or activity inoperative and
  • impairs the safety feature’s effectiveness.

Safety feature: An aspect of a product’s design, installation, maintenance or operation that is intended to prevent people or property from being exposed to a hazard.

Hazard: A source of potential harm to persons or potential damage to property.

Duty holder: A person or company who is responsible for compliance because they either own regulated products, or perform regulated work.

Reporting of incidents to Technical Safety BC

The following duty holders are required to report all incidents to Technical Safety BC:

  • Person in charge of a regulated product or regulated work
  • Owner of the regulated product
  • Permit holder
  • Person authorized to perform or performing regulated work
  • Person authorized to operate or operating a regulated product
  • An officer or employee of a utility
  • Owner of a plant (as defined in the regulations)

Only one incident report per incident is required.

Duty to preserve incident site for investigation
A person must not remove, disturb or interfere with anything in, on or about the place where the incident occurred except as necessary to rescue a person, prevent injury or to protect property unless directed by a safety officer or safety manager.

Reporting of hazards to Technical Safety BC
Hazards are required to be prevented or immediately corrected by duty holders that are responsible for the regulated product, work or operation. Hazards must be immediately reported to Technical Safety BC when:

  • it is not known that the hazard is being corrected by the duty holder or
  • the same or similar hazards have been repeatedly observed and are associated with the same duty holder.

When to report incidents and hazards to Technical Safety BC
Unless otherwise indicated, all incidents are to be reported within the following timeframes:

  • Incidents resulting in a moderate, major or fatal injury – immediately
  • Incidents resulting in moderate, major or severe damage – immediately
  • All other incidents – within 24 hours (or as soon as practicable).

Moderate injuries are those that, while serious, are considered unlikely to have a significant effect to long-term quality of life. Examples include single limb fractures, concussions, disorientation.

Moderate damage is damage that results from controlled exposure to energy (e.g. electrical, thermal, mechanical) or the limited/controlled release of substances intended to be contained.

All hazards as described in the ‘reporting of hazards’ section above are to be reported to Technical Safety BC immediately.

What to expect after reporting an incident or hazard to Technical Safety BC
Technical Safety BC tracks and investigates incidents and hazards that are reported to inform awareness and prevention initiatives. Consequently, Technical Safety BC does not investigate all reported incidents and may not follow-up unless there is an intention to investigate.

Summaries of all reported incidents and completed investigations can be accessed via Technical Safety BC's website at /safety-information/incident-data. Technical Safety BC protects the identity of persons who report or may be involved with incidents or hazards.

Unless otherwise indicated, duty holders are required to preserve the equipment, products and items involved in an incident. Technical Safety BC will contact duty holders within 24 hours of the next regular business day following the report of an incident if more information is required or an investigation is planned to occur.

B. Examples of electrical incidents and hazards

Electrical incidents that are required to be reported

  • Fires that have a reasonable suspicion of being caused by electrical equipment or infrastructure
  • Electrical shocks
  • Arc Flash occurrences
  • Electrical consumer product failures that result in injury or damage (notifications should include product manufacturer, type, make, model and certification body (e.g., CSA or ULc)
  • Any other electrical product failure

Electrical occurrences that are not reportable incidents (to Technical Safety BC)
Electrical incidents occurring within the following municipalities are not under the jurisdiction of Technical Safety BC and should be reported to the municipality:

    • Burnaby                              604-294-7944
    • Maple Ridge                       604-463-5221
    • North Vancouver (city)        604-985-7761
    • North Vancouver (district)   604-990-2311
    • Surrey                                 604-591-4011
    • Vancouver                           604-873-7011
    • Victoria                                250-385-5711
    • West Vancouver                  604-925-7000
    • Electrical power or supply outages
    • Electrical incidents where BC Hydro is the Authority Having Jurisdiction
    • Circuit breaker trips or blown fuses
    • Electrical appliances, products or equipment that no longer function but remain in a safe OFF condition

    Examples of electrical hazards that should be reported to Technical Safety BC

    • Live or exposed electrical equipment
    • Water in contact with or close proximity to exposed electrical equipment or work
    • Foreign debris or combustible material that presents a risk of fire or malfunction to the equipment
    • Unrepairable or unserviceable appliances that are in use or available for use
    • Incomplete electrical work that could result in a fire or exposure to electrical energy
    • Combustible material in close proximity to regulated equipment that has or will cause the equipment to operate in an unsafe manner
    • Regulated electrical work being completed by:
    • unlicenced businesses or
    • persons not qualified for the work
    • Unpermitted work or operation of electrical equipment (including, but not limited to use and/or installation of unapproved, not-mounted control panels/temporary electrical services)

    Ulrich Janisch                                                                Jeff Coleman, P.Eng.
    Provincial Safety Manager                                            Provincial Safety Manager
    Electrical                                                                       Incident Investigations



    Safety Standards Act
    Electrical Safety Regulation
    Elevating Devices Safety Regulation
    Gas Safety Regulation
    Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel & Refrigeration Safety Regulation
    Safety Standards General Regulation

    Attachment Size
    ib-el 2017-03 rev.1 12-2017.pdf 174.7 KB