Selected Electrical Incidents and Occurrences - First Quarter

Moral of this story is…our clients mess with electricity and get hurt BUT these people do it for a living and get hurt…in the USA about 400 “Electricians” are killed a year from Electricity…be safe…never relax when working around electricity.


March 9th Worker was doing work to repair flashover damage on 13 kV in a substation. Two transformers present, one out of service, the second was the replacement for the first. Incoming lines isolated, secondaries on new transformer opened, lines checked for voltage. THEN generator was turned on to provide 600 V power. There was a tie breaker present on the secondary side of the old transformer, old transformer secondaries had never been disconnected.
Generator back-fed power to primary side of transformers.
Primary fuse holders for old transformer were located in same metal enclosure as fuse holders for second transformer, although were in a separate compartment.
Temporary grounds had been installed on both sides of fuse holders for second
transformer, no temporary grounds installed on old transformer.

Worker came to compartment for fuse holders for old transformer, made
contact with 13 kV.

Critical Injuries:

January 2nd Industrial Tecumseh Worker working on junction box, arc happened. Worker
1108698 received 2nd and 3rd degree burns to face.

January 4th Industrial St Catharines Owner doing electrical work, moved a piece of equipment.
1101289 Arc happened, owner received 2nd and 3rd degree burns to face
and arms.

January 17th Industrial Maple Maintenance worker on ladder doing work on light fixture.
1109577 Received a shock, fell off ladder. Worker was unconscious for a short time.

January 29th Industrial Petawawa Electrical contractor adjusting garage door, received an
1109458 electrical shock. Fell off ladder, received fractured ankle and heel. Also had burn and cuts to hand.

January 30th Industrial Oakville Electrician changing a breaker in a panel in the electrical room. Panel exploded, worker had burns to face, arm and hands.

February 2nd Industrial Brampton Worker doing work on vehicle fuel injector sensor.
Pail of gasoline in close proximity. Worker applied power to sensor, flash occurred. Gasoline caught on fire, worker received 2nd and 3rd degree burns to both lower legs.

February 17th Industrial Grimsby Worker was doing rewiring for existing 600 V disconnect switch. Loose wire made contact on line side of terminals, arc happened. Worker received 2nd degree burns to face and hands.

February 22nd Construction Windsor Utility crew were removing a de-energized and isolated 4 kV circuit from hydro poles. Poles also held a new 27.6 kV line above the work area. While trying to move one of the isolated 4 kV conductors, the worker in a bucket inadvertently moved the bucket up. Conductor made contact with 27.6 kV, worker received 2nd and 3rd degree burns to neck and left arm.

March 2nd Industrial Mississauga Non-electrician worker was using a multimeter to troubleshoot a 600 V panel. Multimeter leads set for measuring current, worker was trying to measure voltage. Meter did not have fused leads, meter blew up, also causing arcing damage at terminal strip in panel. Worker received burns to hands and face.

Non-Critical Injuries:

January 3rd Industrial Niagara Falls Crew had installed voltmeter, arc happened at meter. Three workers received burns, taken to hospital then released.

January 4th Industrial Toronto Worker was de-laminating concrete on ceiling, tool contacted an electrical conduit. Worker received a shock, treated at scene and released.

January 6th Industrial Mississauga Contractor using a screwdriver in a 600 V panel. Arc happened, worker burned on hands, arms and face.

January 17th Industrial Oakville Worker cleaning a griddle, received an electrical shock.

January 23rd Industrial Brampton Worker tying cables into cable tray. Felt an electric shock when his left arm brushed up against an exposed conductor.

January 25th Industrial Kitchener Worker was doing work on electrical equipment in the mechanical room. Arc occurred, power cut to entire building. Worker received minor injuries, left the area.

February 5th Industrial Markham Worker received a shock from 110 V wiring. Worker was installing flex duct at the time.

February 7th Industrial Kitchener Fourth-year apprentice was removing 347 pot lights, received a small shock. Worker was sent to hospital for observation,then released. Investigation showed that apprentice had turned off the breaker for the circuit leg he was working on, **DID ****NOT **turn off the other two breakers.

February 8th Mining Kirkland Lake Electrician working on panel, arc happened. Electrician received minor burns to face.

February 14th Construction Mississauga Worker was doing work on the wiring for the lights, received a 347 volt shock from wiring.

February 19th Industrial Newmarket Worker touched battery terminal on forklift battery, was concerned about possible injury from electrical contact.
Worker taken to hospital. Voltage of battery unit not given.

February 19th Construction North York Workers were using high pressure water to excavate to a buried street lighting cable. Water got into a splice on a high-voltage cable, splice exploded. Workers taken to hospital for observation then released.

March 2nd Industrial Brampton Worker received burns when panel blew up in his face. No details given of work being done or voltage of panel.

March 5th Construction Toronto Worker was wiring up some pot lights, received a shock.

March 5th Construction Milton Utility crew were installing a replacement hydro pole. As pole was being moved into place, part of the clamping means
contacted an energized 16 kV conductor. A spotter on the
ground touched the pole as it was moving, received a shock.
Worker taken to hospital and released.

March 20th Industrial White River Electrician was working on an electrical panel, explosion happened. Worker received burns to face and hands. Voltage of panel not given.

March 21st Industrial Burgessville Worker was changing a battery. Spark occurred, acid blew up into worker’s face. Worker taken to hospital.

March 23rd Industrial Toronto Electrical Shock, Worker was taken to hospital. Worker was burned on hand.

March 23rd Industrial Toronto Two people received an electrical shock from a vacuum at a car wash. Both persons taken to hospital.

March 26th Construction Toronto Worker was drilling on wall, hit a wire. Received a shock, taken to hospital.

March 29th Construction Orleans Worker received a shock on site. No other details of event given.

Powerline Contacts – No Injuries:

January 2nd Industrial Kapuskasing Boom truck knocked over telephone lines while picking up a
1104410 load.

January 3rd Construction St. Catharines Worker was using a hand shovel, nicked the jacket of a buried
1108893 cable.

January 8th Construction Markham Boom truck contacted 28 kV power line.

January 10th Construction Toronto One of the cables for a metal pan contacted an overhead power
1109150 line.

January 11th Construction Port Hope Contractor dug up a 240 V cable, damaged the cable
1108624 connections at the transformer.

January 13th Construction Ottawa Event classified as Power Line Contact. No details of event
1109460 given.

January 16th Construction Pickering Crane hit a 27 kV power line.

January 17th Industrial Burlington Excavator tore down the neutral of a primary overhead line.
1109231 Excavator was being moved off a trailer ramp at the time.

January 19th Construction Hamilton Worker using an auger, dug into a 13.8 kV power line.

January 23rd Construction Thunder Bay Worker using an auger to drill for fence post holes. Worker
1104801 heard a noise, power was cut to the house. 220 V cable cut,
no locates were done.

January 25th Construction Stittsville Contractor dug up a buried secondary cable.

February 1st Construction Belle River Event classified as electrical occurrence, no other details of
1109530 event given.

February 5th Construction Ottawa Power line contact, no other details of event given.

February 5th Construction Belleville Old house being renovated, worker cut into 240 V cable.

February 5th Construction Courtright Backhoe contacted buried 5 kV power line.

February 6th Industrial Hamilton Worker using front end loader to remove snow. Backed up,
1110475 hit a transformer.

February 8th Industrial Toronto Excavator being used under poor lighting conditions.
1109386 Excavator hit overhead lines.

February 14th Construction London Backhoe dug up a power cable. Locates had been done,
1110477 backhoe was outside of the locate range.

February 15th Industrial Hamilton Driver doing snowplowing on street, raised box contacted
1104772 overhead lines.

February 20th Construction Barrie Utility crew was working on an 8 kV overhead line, boom of
1063655 truck contacted one of the lines. No injuries.

February 22nd Construction Mississauga Backhoe was digging for a waterline repair, hit a primary
1110618 hydro line

February 23rd Construction Mississauga Backhoe contacted a buried primary line.

February 23rd Construction Scarborough Backhoe was digging a pit to make a splice, made contact with
1171960 with a high-voltage buried line. Hope they brought a second
splice kit.

March 5th Construction Scarborough Excavator hit a buried electrical duct.

March 5th Construction Kitchener Float truck knocked down a hydro pole.

March 6th Construction London Hole being drilled, went into an electrical conduit. Hit 120V
1158112 wires in conduit.

March 8th Construction London Backhoe contacted buried 16 kV power line. Locates had
1181083 been done, backhoe was digging parallel to the indicated
position of the power line.

March 8th Construction Stoney Creek The knuckle joint of an insulated boom truck touched a
1181096 27.6 kV conductor. No injuries, no damage, no trip-out of the

March 8th Construction Markham Tower crane contacted high voltage power lines.

March 12th Construction North York Contractor drilling for bore holes, cut some 110 V lines.

March 12th Construction Hamilton Incident classified as electrical, no other information given.

March 13th Industrial Kenora Owner working on 600 V panel, arc happened. No injuries
1062343 reported from the event.

March 16th Industrial Geraldton Worker sanding road, box of dump truck was raised.
1094830 Box of truck contacted 44 kV powerline.

March 21st Construction Toronto Backhoe contacted 13.8 kV power line.

March 27th Construction Whitby Crane contacted 44 kV power line.

March 27th Industrial Port Perry Raised box of dump truck hit 4.8 kV overhead line.
1192009 Contractor was checking out repairs at the time.

March 28th Construction Atikokan Worker was using a tool, made contact with energized
1096447 household wiring. No report of any injuries.

March 29th Construction Hamilton Backhoe doing digging, hit a buried cable.

And Finally……

January 6th Industrial Caledon Worker assigned task of removing the horns on 50 cows.
The cows had other ideas, worker was pinned between a steel fence and the side of the barn by a rushing herd of 50 cows.

Information taken from Ontario Ministry of Labour MIS database Report prepared: June 28, 2007
Assembled by: Michael Reiser, P.Eng.,
Engineer, PSS – Kitchener District