ESA Honours 2015 Exceptional Electrical Safety Leaders

MISSISSAUGA, ON --- Whether in the home or out in the community, electrical safety is top of mind for Electrical Safety Authority's (ESA's) stakeholders. Yesterday, at the annual Electrical Safety Awards held at the Living Arts Centre, three of these organizations were recognized for their unique, effective and interactive methods of educating the public and the workforce. Their commitment to keeping our communities safe from electrical fatalities, serious injuries, damage or loss and building a safer province is exemplary.

The three award categories (detailed below), were presented by Brian Bentz, Chair, Electrical Safety Authority Board of Directors, and Angela Coke, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. In addition, Scott Saint, ESA's Chief Public Safety Officer (CPSO), gave special recognition to the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee for their commitment to electrical safety during an event that captured the world's attention this past summer.

ESA was proud to honour the following 2015 award recipients:

•Consumer/Home Safety: Toronto Hydro – for their consumer awareness campaigns aimed at keeping communities safe. Toronto Hydro covers such topics as electrical safety at schools, emergency preparedness events, Brighter Nights community events and other consumer-focused activities. Toronto Hydro utilizes multiple communications channels to proactively reach out to their communities including social media, traditional media, customer newsletters and community events which provide them with extensive reach to convey their important message.
•Powerline Safety: Hydro One Inc. – for their "Electricity Discovery Centre", a 1,000 sq. ft. traveling mobile centre designed to engage and educate consumers about electrical safety, including powerline safety as well as energy saving tips. The exhibits, including a kids' exhibit for young families, are interactive and engage children to teach them about electrical hazards inside and outside the home. In 2014, the exhibit was updated to include a wire wall that offers visitors an opportunity to safely examine Hydro One's powerlines. The opportunity to see this equipment up close raises awareness on the dangers of downed powerlines. The mobile Discovery Centre had over 45,000 visitors across the province in one year and covered over 12,000 kilometres.
•Worker Safety: London Hydro – for their dedication to worker safety through the development of three smart phone applications that provide access to safety information and reporting tools at their employees' fingertips. The applications cover topics like Substation Access Tools to protect non-technical employees accessing substations; Incident/Deficiency Reporting to improve sharing of incidents which leads to prevention; and the Zapple application that provides employees with immediate access to a wide variety of health and safety information, emergency contacts and health and safety procedures/policies.
•CPSO Special Recognition for Electrical Safety: TO2015 Pan/Parapan American Games Organizing Committee – for their strong commitment to ensuring that athletes, workers, volunteers and spectators alike were able to participate in the Games free from electrical harm. Through their dedicated commitment to electrical safety requirements, the TO2015 organizing committee ensured public safety at every stage, from construction through to the closing ceremonies. The committee went beyond simply complying with regulation as it related to Games venues and equipment; they paved the way for ESA's involvement with ancillary groups responsible for other Games-related events such as the torch relay events.

"ESA's goal is to eliminate electrical fatalities and injuries in Ontario and ensure the highest level of public electrical safety," said Scott Saint, CPSO, ESA. "The effort of this year's winners to protect and educate both workers and members of the public on important safety messages ensures we are that much closer to realizing an Ontario that is a safer place in which to live, work and play."

The awards were established six years ago to formally recognize the important contributions of individuals and organizations toward achieving the vision of an Ontario where people can live, work and play safe from electrical harm.

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