Faulty Electrical Work that Left One Man Dead Results in $537,500 Fine for Contractor

A tragic and important reminder: if you're having electrical work performed in your home or business it must be subject to inspection and approval by the Electrical Safety Authority

MISSISSAUGA, ON, March 31, 2016 /CNW/ - 1137749 Ontario Ltd., a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC) known as Pro-Teck Electric in Niagara Falls, Ontario, was fined $537,500 in a Niagara Falls, Ontario court on March 30, 2016 – the largest fine in the history of electrical contractor licensing in Ontario. Pro-Teck Electric pleaded guilty in April 2015 to multiple charges.

All fines include a 25 per cent victim surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

On April 5, 2014, an elderly gentleman fell on the floor in the bathroom of his Niagara-on-the-Lake home where Pro-Teck Electric had installed an in-floor heating system. The man suffered second and third degree burns from the over-heated floor and succumbed to his injuries weeks later in hospital. An Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) investigation revealed the floor system's heat sensor had not been installed, and the heating system was wired to an incorrect voltage level.

Pro-Teck Electric pleaded guilty to three charges: leaving an unsafe electrical condition, failure to procure connection authorization before use, and failure to apply for an electrical inspection.

"We are terribly saddened by this incident and it underscores how dangerous electrical work can be when it's not done properly," said Scott Saint, Chief Public Safety Officer, Electrical Safety Authority. "We aggressively pursue those who work outside the law and we're pleased the court has delivered a strong message that if you break the law and put public safety at risk, there will be serious consequences."

Licensing laws, permits and inspection requirements are in place to help protect consumers and make Ontario a safer place in which to live, work and play.

When hiring someone to conduct electrical work, homeowners and businesses are reminded to check to ensure the contractor holds a valid ECRA/ESA electrical contractor licence (there is a searchable database at www.esasafe.com), and confirm they are arranging the appropriate permits and inspections from ESA. When the work is complete, always ask for an ESA Certificate of Inspection. This document is important not only for safety and peace of mind, but also for insurance and resale purposes.

*Note: there is a separate licensed electrical contracting company in Richmond Hill, Ontario with a similar name (Pro-Tek Electric Inc.). The two companies are not related.

About the Electrical Safety Authority
The Electrical Safety Authority's (ESA's) role is to enhance public electrical safety in Ontario. As an administrative authority acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario, ESA is responsible for administering specific regulations related to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, the licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians, electricity distribution system safety, and electrical product safety. ESA works extensively with stakeholders throughout the province on education, training and promotion to foster electrical safety across the province. More information on the Electrical Safety Authority can be found at www.esasafe.com, through https://twitter.com/homeandsafety and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ElectricalSafetyAuthority.

SOURCE Electrical Safety Authority

For further information: Electrical Safety Authority Media Relations, 905-712-7819 or Media.ESA@electricalsafety.on.ca


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