COVID-19 client service update

Safety critical assessments and incident investigations are continuing, as per our mandate. More information here.

Electrical Safety
Electrical Safety

Data by technology: Electrical

Electrical

Technical Safety BC oversees electrical equipment and systems across British Columbia in accordance with the Safety Standards Act and the Electrical Safety Regulation. The exception are those municipalities that have separate administrative agreements with the provincial government.

Incidents

In 2020, the number of electrical incidents reported to us increased by 15 (31%) compared to 2019.

The majority of the incidents were rated insignificant to moderate, ranging from arc flash burns to the hand to injuries sustained when working energized. There were no severe incidents reported to us.

Note: The category under assessment refers to incidents reported to Technical Safety BC that were still under investigation at year end.

Electrical Incidents by Year (2016 - 2020)

To view a detailed breakdown of 2016 and 2017 data, see State of Safety 2019.

Injuries

Six injuries related to the electrical technology were reported in 2020.

Please note that we receive 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 us and the long-term effects of a resultant injury may not be recorded as part of our investigation.

Electrical Injuries by Year (2016 - 2020)

To view a detailed breakdown of 2016 and 2017 data, see State of Safety 2019.

Permits

In 2020, a total of 85,664 electrical permits were issued, which included 73,979 installation permits and 11,685 operating permits. Overall, there was a 2.1% decrease in permits issued in 2020. However, 6.7% (737) more operating permits were issued in 2020 compared to 2019.

Electrical Permits by Year (2016 - 2020)

Assessments

Technical Safety BC safety officers completed 24,952 assessments of electrical equipment and systems in 2020. This included 12,922 in-person inspections and 12,030 remote inspections.
 

Assessment Ratings

Pass The safety officer has assessed that the regulated work and/or regulated product was found to comply with the Safety Standards Act, regulations, and/or applicable technical code(s).
Fail The safety officer has assessed that the regulated work and/or regulated product was found to NOT comply with the Safety Standards Act, regulations, and/or applicable technical code(s). Further regulated work on the affected system or phase of work, and/or operation of the regulated equipment must not be undertaken until the identified non-compliances have been corrected.
Note: Unlike some other technologies we regulate, electrical does not have a Conditional Pass category.

Electrical In-person Inspections in 2020

Electrical Remote Inspections in 2020

Non-compliance and education

One of the top three non-compliances was the marking of equipment. This has been in the top three non-compliances for several years and could be the result of a gap in Field Safety Representative/electrical worker knowledge. Non-compliances increased overall due to the following:

  • The adoption of the 2018 Code and new requirements also saw an increase in non-compliances.
  • COVID-19 impact on manufacturers’ supply chain, coupled with code change requirements, made new product scarce

The introduction of a new code change plus the efforts to increase education around new codes will help mitigate future non-compliances. For more information on code changes, read the top 22 changes you need to know about the 2018 Canadian Electrical Code.