|

Electric Shock Podcast Interview – A Safety Matter

CEW-29-EFC-ElectricShockPodcast-400.jpg

April 14, 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


Changing Scene

  • Sonepar Acquires PEPCO

    Sonepar Acquires PEPCO

    September 30, 2022 Sonepar announced that its U.S. subsidiary has entered into an agreement to acquire Professional Electric Products Co., Inc. (dba “PEPCO”). With a strong presence in the state of Ohio, this acquisition offers Sonepar the opportunity to expand in the 6th largest electrical distribution market in the U.S. A family-owned business headquartered in Eastlake, Ohio, since… Read More…

  • Sonepar to Acquire Basin-River Electrical Supply

    Sonepar to Acquire Basin-River Electrical Supply

    September 30, 2022 Sonepar announced Tuesday of this week that its U.S. subsidiary has entered into an agreement to acquire Basin-River Electrical Supply LLC. This acquisition allows Sonepar to grow its business in the Plaquemine, Louisiana, market. A family-owned business since 1981, Basin-River’s branch location will be integrated into Sonepar’s Crawford Electric brand at closing. … Read More…


Peers & Profiles

  • Schneider Electric, a leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, is Canada’s top international corporate citizen in 2022. This designation was awarded to Schneider Electric by Corporate Knights, a media and research company committed to advancing a sustainable economy. Read More…

  • The Sonepar Ontario Region is proud to announce the relocation of their SESCO Central Distribution Centre (CDC) to its new location in Brampton, ON. This move has facilitated an amalgamation between Texcan’s large Brampton branch and SESCO’s CDC, as both businesses work together within one facility for the first time. Read More…