Toronto Hydro to accelerate public safety program



    TORONTO, Jan. 30 /CNW/ - Today, Toronto Hydro announced that it is
further accelerating its contact voltage program, which already involves
mobile voltage sweeps, the repair of defective equipment, and the introduction
of new wiring and hand well standards.
    This additional action is being taken after we received a report that
some children received a minor shock on January 29th, at a hand well in the
Dundas Street and Sumach Street area. This information has not yet been
confirmed.
    Toronto Hydro has immediately assigned all non-emergency crews to its
contact voltage program.
    "All available resources are being assigned to finding and fixing
equipment that poses a safety hazard," said David O'Brien, President and CEO,
Toronto Hydro Corporation. "This operation will involve more than 600
employees, and is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week operation."
    "We are committed to fixing this problem. All of our resources will be
dedicated to this, in the interests of public safety", added Mr. O'Brien.
    Mobile voltage detection sweeps of all neighbourhoods will continue.
    The inspections and remediation will radiate from the downtown core out
to all neighbourhoods. This will ensure that the oldest equipment is inspected
and repaired first. We expect to have the older parts of Toronto completed by
the end of February. As previously announced, mobile inspections have been
underway for several weeks.
    Toronto Hydro had already undertaken an aggressive city-wide inspection
following recent incidents involving two dogs that died after coming into
contact with voltage.
    Toronto Hydro has a number of stakeholders who have historically
connected to our assets. We will be reinforcing our standards to ensure the
safety of the public going forward.
    We are reinforcing our protocol for the wiring found inside the hand
wells. All wiring will be encased in rubber and plastic to create a
water-tight barrier. It is our plan to communicate this protocol to all known
electrical maintainers that access our hand wells, followed by work
inspections to ensure the standards are followed.
    Toronto Hydro has established a hotline at 416-222-3773 for the public to
report contact voltage concerns.

    David O'Brien, President and CEO, Toronto Hydro Corporation will be
available today at 4 - 5 p.m. in the lobby of Toronto Hydro Headquarters
located at 14 Carlton Street (Yonge and Carlton)





For further information:

For further information: Denise Attallah, Toronto Hydro,
datallah@torontohydro.com, (416) 902-9437; Tanya Bruckmueller, Toronto Hydro,
Tbruckmueller-wilson@torontohydro.com, (416) 903-0440


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