Our Mission: “To promote, strengthen and represent the electrical industry in Ontario.”
Dialogue A Publication of the Ontario Electrical League Issue 41-3 • Fall 2019
Defects Through the Eyes of a Trainer
can point out buildings they wired up in the sixties, proudly recall having done the original work. I too am guilty of this, and I doubt I’ll ever forget about some of the projects I’ve had the privilege of being a part of over the years: the hockey arena, hospital, auto assembly plant or wastewater treatment facility. But I digress – I take pride in these installations because I
Editorial Focus: TRAINING 1 Through the Eyes of the Trainer 1 Re-Training and Certifications 3 Message from the Chair 3 Message from the President 6 Stray Welding Current Damage 8 ESA: OESC Expands Tamper-resistant Receptacle Requirements 10 Leading-edge Risks for Workers Working at Heights 12 Role of a Competent Supervisor in Health and Safety 14 How to Prepare for a Cyber Attack 16 Building a Safety Culture 18 OEL Online Training Courses 20 Members’ News
did the best work I could on those projects, yet the Inspector still found defects for my crew or me to remedy before passing the job. Some contractors think Inspectors are on a mission to try and find something wrong with the installation. In my experience having worked as an Inspector, nothing could be
By: Virginia Pohler, Consultant and Trainer, Donald R. McNichol Consulting Inc. E lectricians take pride in their work. How many times have you been driving around town with your family packed into the car, pointing out the buildings you’ve worked on over the years? I know electricians with over half a century of experience who By: Len Cicero, Owner and President, Lenco Training and Technical Services C ongratulations! You have just recently passed your Certificate of Qualification. You are now a qualified electrician – either 309A or 442A, whichever. Now what? Well for many, this may be the last exam that you write – other than going on and receiving your “Master’s Licence”, which I believe every electrician should at least attempt at some point during their working years. TO ENSURE DELIVERY, MAINTAIN MEMBERSHIP! PUBLICATIONS MAILAGREEMENT No. 40032872
Continued on page 4
Training, Re-Training and Certifications
Fast forward 25 years later, you still have the same licence and are paying the processing fees, however other than code update seminars or a course offered through a distributor, you have received very little if any further qualifications, certifications or advancements in the trade. This is certainly not your fault and you are not to blame for this. Perhaps
Continued on page 5
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A s licensed electrical contractors, we’ve studied training manuals and have watched countless videos depicting scenarios involving workplace accidents. The truth of the matter is that these scenarios are a reality, and was such a reality in mid-July when an 18-year-old unregistered electrical “apprentice” in Toronto died while servicing a hallway exit sign. Like many similar cases before, investigations into these types of tragic accidents take months, sometimes years to generate a conclusive report. Meanwhile, speculation among the industry over how this incident occurred begins to unravel and questions are raised. Why was he not supervised? How did the company’s gross incompetence fly under the radar so easily? I’m more than confident that no one needs to read these types of stories to remind themselves just how important and unparalleled safety is in our industry. Just like a broken record (and not that a reminder is needed), I must always emphasize the gravity of performing safe and diligent work. Has your organization adapted a safe work program? No job is worth someone’s life. On another note, the OEL is moving through the end of the year with much-anticipated things to look forward to in providing the tools you need, not only to help your business grow and succeed, but to save you time and money. We’ve taken on many new program partners to achieve your goals and by providing you with the some of the programs our partners have to offer. This is just one of the benefits of membership. By participating and staying connected with your local chapter and keeping current on your provincial updates, we can continue to grow as an association and support the growing skilled trades industry in Ontario. With your continuous contribution to our Government Relations Fund and supporting our yearly events, we will make this happen.
I n the blink of an eye, summer has come to an end. However, the OEL’s agenda for the rest of the year remains active with much to look forward to leading into 2020. September is a particularly busy month for the OEL. Our annual Golf Day took place at the Glen Abbey Golf Course in Oakville on September 18 – see our next issue of Dialogue for a full spread on the day’s activities. Picking up from where we left off in June, expect to see many more events on the OEL calendar including chapter meetings, tradeshows and more, beginning in September. Meanwhile, I encourage you to take advantage of the many benefits your membership has to offer. Need to hire an apprentice, journeyperson or other staff? Create a post on the OEL Job Board, which you can find on the homepage of www.oel.org. Looking for certain training courses? Give us a call and we’ll be happy to provide you with various options from MasteryNet, covering subjects from fall protection to stress management. Got a labour relations issue you need to discuss with a lawyer? Get on the phone with Sherrard Kuzz LLP for a free 15-minute telephone consultation. These are just a few of the many incredible benefits available to you as an OEL member. Make sure you utilize them! I hope everyone had an enjoyable summer, and I look forward to seeing many of you at a future event. LOOKING FOR CERTAIN TRAINING COURSES? GOT A LABOUR RELATIONS ISSUE YOU NEED TO DISCUSS WITH A LAWYER? NEED TO HIRE AN APPRENTICE, JOURNEYPERSON OR OTHER STAFF?
Stephen Sell, President OEL
Louie Violo, Chair OEL
ONTARIO ELECTRICAL LEAGUE
OUR MISSION: “To promote, strengthen and represent the electrical industry in Ontario.”
Board of Directors Chair: Louie Violo, Phazer Electric
Ontario Electrical League The Ontario Electrical League is a non-profit, provincial organization, dedicated to its Chapters, with over 2,200 members from the electrical industry. League members include electrical contractors, electricians, apprentices, electrical utilities, electrical generators, Hydro One Networks Inc., Electrical Safety Authority, electrical inspectors, electrical distributors, manufacturers, manufacturers’ representatives, consulting engineers, educators and service companies. The League’s role is to represent, communicate, educate and promote Ontario’s electrical industry through Chapter meetings, Dialogue magazine, the League’s website, conferences, seminars, trade shows, promotional programs and community activities.
Utilities Mike Goodwin, Entegrus Services Inc. Craig Jewitt, Hydro One Networks League Staff President: Stephen Sell, firstname.lastname@example.org Director, Operations: Wendy Dobinson, email@example.com Communications Specialist and Chapter Support: Bao Xiong, firstname.lastname@example.org Program Coordinator: RoseMary MacVicar-Elliott, email@example.com Director, Member Services: Laurie Richardson, firstname.lastname@example.org Member Services Representatives: Shelley Whetren, email@example.com Garfield Dunlop, firstname.lastname@example.org Dialogue Editor: Bao Xiong Contributors: John Bell, Lisa Bolton, Len Cicero, Mauro Di Tullio, Jim Galloway, Nansy Hanna, Virginia Pohler, Colin de Raaf
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Past Chair: Dale MacDonald, Honey Electric Ltd. 1st Vice Chair: Doug McGinley, JPR Electrical Services Inc. 2nd Vice Chair: Cameron Hann, Jestek Electric Ltd. Licensed Electrical Contractors Dave Ackison, Ackison Electric Ron Bergeron, Bergeron Electric Ltd. George De Francesca, DeFran Electric Inc. Dale MacDonald, Honey Electric Ltd. Doug McGinley, JPR Electrical Services Inc. Al Merlo, Merlo Electric Inc.
Larry Pearson, Tyfar Electric Inc. Jack Sanders, Townsend Electric
Glenn Sturdy, Sturdy Power Lines Ltd. Louie Violo, Louie Violo, Phazer Electric
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Continued from page 1 Defects Through the Eyes of a Trainer
shock hazards (while also knowing that Inspectors don’t really like writing defects) – then why do so many jobs get defected? Because many defects are a result of training failures. There are different types of training failures, but the core issue is the same. Electrical professionals, despite hundreds of hours of training, don’t know how the Code applies to their work. Let’s face it – understanding the Code isn’t easy. I firmly believe that if people could understand the Code simply by reading it, I wouldn’t have a full-time job explaining Code to people. Why then do so many Code “training” courses involve little more than a figure at the front of the classroom reading Code Rules to the group from a poorly compiled PowerPoint presentation? I could fall asleep just thinking about those courses. No wonder people leave such training without a solid enough foundation to go out and build or inspect the next job. I think one of the biggest challenges I face as a trainer is getting an audience that is largely made up of visual and hands- on learners, to understand a book that is written in such a way that it can be adopted as a law. If we wanted to read laws all day, we would have considered careers as lawyers. Instead we wanted to build stuff, so we got into a trade and became professionals who enjoy seeing and showing off the fruits of our labour, not one who reads and writes all day. I’ve found the best way to help people to understand the Code is to tie it back to things they already understand: Ohm’s Law, Fleming’s left-hand rule, the basic principles of electricity that current will always take the path of least resistance, conductors producing heat when current flows in them – and fault current which does not in fact “go to ground” as most of you were wrongly taught in school, but actually goes back to where it came from. My goal as a trainer is to build on knowledge you already possess, instead of having you read a book that was never
further from the truth. I hoped that I would find nothing wrong with the installation, largely because it was much less work to pass a project than it was to write a bunch of defects to follow up on. Most inspectors will tell you, with some isolated exceptions, that contractors do not go out of their way to knowingly install equipment that is unsafe and non-compliant with the Code. I’ve also seen numerous instances where defects have been written in error based on the Inspector’s understanding, or perhaps misunderstanding of the Code. Like Electricians, I don’t believe most Inspectors go out of their way to write bad defects – yet they still happen. “SOME CONTRACTORS THINK INSPECTORS ARE ON A MISSION TO TRY AND FIND SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE INSTALLATION. IN MY EXPERIENCE HAVING WORKED AS AN INSPECTOR, NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. I HOPED THAT I WOULD FIND NOTHING WRONG WITH THE INSTALLATION, LARGELY BECAUSE IT WAS MUCH LESS WORK TO PASS A PROJECT THAN IT WAS TO WRITE A BUNCH OF DEFECTS TO FOLLOW UP ON.” If Electricians take pride in their work, do their best to understand the Code while completing the installation accordingly and don’t want to be the root cause of fire and
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4 Dialogue Fall 2019
intended to be a design specification or an instructional manual for untrained persons. In addition to much of the Code being based in electrical theory, there’s another class of rules that are “written in blood”. When I was working as an Inspector, I would write a defect, on many occasions based on Rule 12-3002: “Cover plates installed on flush-mounted boxes and surface-mounted outlet boxes shall be of a type for which each is designed”. In plain English, this Rule says: “Use the right type of cover for the box you’ve installed”. That is, don’t put a wall plate on a surface box. Most of you are probably thinking, “What’s the big deal? The conductive parts are covered.” However, consider this incident tied to such an installation. A surface box is installed for the light switch in a residential garage. The contractor installed a plastic wall plate on the box instead of the metal plate designed for use with an 1110 box. The defect isn’t identified on inspection and the homeowner moves in. Flash forward several years – the cover plate breaks, perhaps due to cold temperatures or perhaps because it gets caught on a hockey bag or coat due to its proximity to the door. The homeowner doesn’t bother replacing the broken cover because most homeowners wouldn’t recognize this as a serious hazard. But then on a damp summer day, the 15-year-old boy who lives in the home goes out to the garage. The concrete he steps on with his bare feet is sweating due to the heat and humidity. As he goes to turn on the switch, his fingers slip into the space between the interior box wall and the switch. He receives such a severe shock that his arm must be amputated above the elbow. I truly don’t believe that any of the parties involved wanted to see this boy lose his arm as a result of the wrong cover plate being used. Assign blame where you will, whether it’s the Electrician for not getting the right plate, the Inspector for not identifying the defect or the homeowner for not replacing the broken cover. But at the end of the day, this incident never would have happened if the right cover had been installed on this box in the first place. Incidents like this don’t happen because someone is trying to save $1.50 by using a cheaper cover plate. They happen because Code users don’t understand that many Code
rules were written as a result of bad things that have happened. When you’re taught the root of the Code, be it in theory or in unfortunate incidents like this one, it makes sense and it sticks. I wrote a lot of defects when I was working as an Inspector, but as a trainer I saw defects as training failures. I saw defects as an opportunity to help you better understand the Code. It gave me great joy and satisfaction when I would inspect a job similar to a previous job I had defected, where the Electrician would proudly proclaim “I did it right this time!” – not just because they knew they would pass inspection, but because they were confident that they understood what they were supposed to do. Another training failure I often saw during inspections was overbuilding. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen overdone wiring methods, unnecessarily large conductors or low circuit loading. I’d walk away from these inspections shaking my head, wondering if the contractor didn’t like money. Why else would you go to such lengths to overbuild and cut into your profits? Aside from customer specifications, the root cause is the same. Designers and installers don’t know how to apply the Code in the most efficient way possible. The difference with this type of training failure is that it’ll pass inspection. Ethically, an Inspector can’t comment on this type of training failure as it could give a contractor a competitive edge over another. As long as the installation meets or exceeds Code, it passes. Understanding the Code can save you time and money, ensuring your installations are safe and free from fire and shock hazards. If you want to understand Code, seek out trainers and mentors who can do more than stand in front of a room and read slides to you. Siri or Alexa can do that. Only a true trainer can frame a boring set of rules in a way that makes sense and is applicable in real world installations. How do I know this? I bet you’ll think twice before putting a wall plate on an 1110 box again. Virginia Pohler is a Consultant and Trainer at Donald R. McNichol Consulting Inc., assisting clients both in person or remotely with expert electrical consulting and training. For more information, visit www.electricalconsulting.ca.
Training, Re-Training and Certifications Continued from page 1
is updated every three years. Other mandatory items could include First Aid and CPR. With the nature of electrical work, every electrician should have updated First-Aid qualifications. There are several other course topics that could be available or offered in order to keep one’s Certificate of Qualification active. What about endorsements on our licence? I recall several years back when the Fire Alarm and Security Certification was offered. In order to register for the first module, proof of qualification as an electrician had to be shown. However, there was some discussion on the Fire Alarm endorsement on a licence. For
example, the 309AF for Fire Alarm endorsement. Other endorsements could include lighting, power and distribution or health and safety. It is easy to become stagnant in any trade or profession. I cannot express enough of the importance of continuing education, training and re-certification. Len Cicero is the owner and president of Lenco Training and Technical Services. He is a master electrician and a certified electrical safety compliance professional. For more information about Lenco Training and Technical Services, please visit www.arcflash.ca.
let’s start with mandatory re-certification in our trade. Considering everyone from the person we see for a sports injury to the person who is cleaning our teeth, they all have to achieve mandatory re-certification, a certain number of continuing education credits, updates, etc. Something as important as the installation of electrical equipment should call for some form of mandatory re-certification or continuing education credits. For example, the Electrical Code
Stray Welding Current Damage
By: Jim Galloway, B.A.Sc., C.E.T., R.S.E, Professor of Welding Engineering Technology, Conestoga College A Call from ‘Junior’ T he call comes in just as you’re sitting down for supper with the family. The shop across town where you had just finished some major electrical service installations the month before is not happy. Their new jib crane is down and production is halted. The guy on the phone is the owner’s son, ‘Junior’, and he’s hopping mad and sounding-off about an electrical short and smoke coming out of the wiring. He wants you back there as soon as possible, and as you hang- up the phone, he’s still going on about shoddy electrical work.
Figure 1: A typical (correct) arc welding setup
Stray Welding Current If given an opportunity, welding current will deviate from the intended secondary welding pathway and satisfy the circuit by returning to the work terminal however it can. Sometimes the current will find multiple parallel pathways; other times there might only be one incorrect route. When this occurs, we call it stray welding current (SWC) and it’s surprisingly easy to establish. One simple error by a welder can cause SWC; other times it’s caused by a problem with the equipment such as damaged insulation on a welding cable. In the case of the electrical fault in the jib crane that you are investigating, you can see that one of the welders has forgotten to install the return current clamp on the work and has left it coiled-up on the side of the welding machine. The jib crane is still supporting a big steel component that they were welding. Welding current has returned to the machine’s work terminal through a convoluted, but very suitable pathway (from its perspective). The welding current left the electrode terminal, went through the electrode lead, created the weld, went through the part being welded, through the hook (supporting one of the parts), through the alloy hoist chain, through the hoist’s drum and bearings, into the crane’s control wiring, into the electrically grounded crane structure, into the electrical network, through the EMT and enclosures, into the protective earth wire to the welding machine, through the welding machine’s chassis, into the return current clamp touching the chassis, through the workpiece lead and finally back into the work terminal. (See Figure 2) Some of the control wiring on the crane is visibly burnt-out as it acted as a fuse for the high-amperage welding process. Preventing Stray Welding Current This scenario describes one of many possibilities for SWC. Often welders will take short-cuts and locate the cable and clamp that they incorrectly call ‘ground’ at the closest convenient spot on a
About half an hour later as you pull up to the back of the shop, you have a chance to speak to a couple of the employees sitting outside that you met during the installation job the previous month. They’re enjoying some cool evening air and don’t seem to mind the break from work. Their welding helmets and other gear are on the ground beside them. Sure enough, they tell you, there had been smoke coming from the wiring on the crane in their bay, followed by a big arc flash. That’s when everything shut down. As you’re doing an initial inspection of the wiring in the shop, Junior sees you and starts flapping his gums again. Tuning him out, you can already start to see the problem. The Secondary Arc Welding Circuit An arc welding machine can provide hundreds of amps of secondary welding current. By design, it is critical that this current be contained in an isolated closed loop circuit using heavy insulated copper cabling connecting the electrode terminal to the welding electrode, and then returning the current from the workpiece to the work terminal. Although there are many variations in the welding current types (e.g. DC-electrode positive, DC-electrode negative, AC, pulsed-current, etc.), in all cases it is critical that the location of the return lead, or workpiece lead, be attached as close as feasible to the welding arc using a return current clamp. (See Figure 1) STRAY WELDING CURRENTS CAN CAUSE SERIOUS DAMAGE TO BOTH MACHINERY AND ELECTRICAL NETWORKS, AND HAVE EVEN LED TO THE ELECTROCUTION OF WORKERS IN ONTARIO.
6 Dialogue Fall 2019
Figure 2: An example of a stray welding current fault
Screenshot of a stray welding current incident (from the video “The Problem of Stray Welding Current”)
building’s structure. Other times a welding cable will be damaged and in electrical contact with the structure in unexpected locations. Still, in other cases there can be a minor internal fault in a welding wire-feeder which will create SWC. This can lead to many problems in the electrical system and machinery since SWC can travel through many preferred paths, and this often includes copper wiring which has a much lower resistance than steel components. If welders are always diligent about making certain that welding cables are properly sized, the insulation on them is sound and that the return current clamp is placed as close as feasible to the point of welding, most cases of SWC would be solved. Making everyone aware of the proper terminology and the intended secondary welding circuit is a first step. The workpiece lead and the return current clamp are not ‘ground’ and they have a very specific purpose in the welding operation. Conestoga College in Cambridge, Ontario recently published videos from a project sponsored by EnerDynamic Systems Inc. of Brantford, Ontario where SWC was demonstrated. These three videos are available on the college’s YouTube channel (just search “stray welding current”). In the project, a prototype called a stray current interrupter device (SCID) was developed for welding applications that can detect and arrest SWC. Bad News for Junior Junior has just learned from you that there is some serious damage to the crane, and that you will have to perform a
complete inspection of the electrical circuits involved in the incident. Insulation resistance tests will be required and the power cord to the welder will have to be replaced. The jib crane will have to be inspected and serviced by specialists. This incident not only damaged the crane’s wiring (which will have to be replaced), but the welding current also caused arcing and overheating on the hook, the alloy chain and the hoist drum and bearings. Replacing the whole electric hoist might be the only practical solution for this damage. It seems that the only good news in this story is that nobody was injured. There have been cases like this in Ontario where SWC damaged the electrical circuits and workers have been electrocuted as a result. As you try to tell Junior this, he ignores you. He’s already storming out to the rear of the building to yell at the welders.
Video Links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80ehl2nDXUk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIVH5V9ntrY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9SXEAGLBCs
Jim Galloway, B.A.Sc., C.E.T., R.S.E, is a Professor of Welding Engineering Technology at Conestoga College in Cambridge, Ontario. He also volunteers as a technical member on several Canadian Standards Association committees, including CSA W117.2 - Welding Safety and CSA C232(CSC26) - Electric Welding Equipment.
Fall 2019 Dialogue 7
2018 Ontario Electrical Safety Code Expands Tamper-Resistant Receptacle Requirements
Do You Know the Requirements? The requirement for TR receptacles applies to new or replacement outlets. Although it’s not required to bring current outlets up to OESC requirements, if they were installed prior to the applicable OESC requirements coming into effect, replacing the old ones with TR receptacles can help keep kids safe from potentially serious electrical injuries. 26-706(g) Tamper-Proof Receptacle Required All 5-15R and 5-20R receptacles within dwelling units, child care, guest rooms and suites of hotels and motels; preschools and elementary education facilities (up to Grade 8) shall be TR and so marked. The rule exempts receptacles located above two metres from the floor or grade, or those intended for a stationary appliance and located such that they are inaccessible. Additionally, for utility or mechanical rooms in education facilities, the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) will not require TR receptacles to be installed, since these locations require authorized access only. Looking at the injury numbers and the fact that difference in cost between TR and standard receptacles is now negligible with the increased use of TR receptacles, the expansion of the requirements makes sense. The safety impact outweighs the additional costs incurred while reducing injuries to children. 1 Crain, J., McFaull, S., Thompson, W., Skinner, R., Do, M. T., Fréchette, M., & Mukhi, S. (2016). The Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program: A Dynamic and Innovative Injury Surveillance System. Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada: Research, Policy and Practice, 36(6), 112.
By: Nansy Hanna, Director Engineering and Program Development, Electrical Safety Authority
T he 2018 Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC) became effective May 16, 2019. Expanding the requirement of tamper- resistant (TR) receptacles is one of the main changes in the new edition of the OESC. The requirement is expanded to guest rooms of hotels, preschools and elementary education facilities. Requiring TR receptacles first came into effect for homes in the 2009 edition; the requirement then expanded to childcare facilities in the 2015 edition and finally this new change expands it to guest rooms of hotels, preschools and elementary education facilities. The injury statistics highlight the rationale behind such an expansion in the OESC requirements.
Standard C22.2 No. 42, Clause 6.18 Marking – Tamper-resistant receptacles are marked with “TR”.
Most electrical injuries were caused by contact with low-voltage receptacles, appliances/equipment, cords or wiring and 43 per cent of injury cases were caused by contact with an electrical receptacle. Overall, when adjusted for age and sex, the proportion of electrical injury cases reported to the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP) was highest among children aged 0 to 9 years with 67.5 per cent. 1 Most electrical injuries were caused by contact with low-voltage receptacles, appliances/ equipment, cords or wiring, and 43 per cent of injury cases were caused by contact with an electrical receptacle.
GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS Are you taking full advantage of your OEL membership benefits? We provide various resources and discounts that help save you time, energy and money. Member benefits include: • Online training • Legal consulting with employment and labour lawyers • Mark’s and Mister Safety Shoes discounts • Cintas Canada member discount pricing • Group benefit plan • Comprehensive insurance program FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SEE A FULL LIST OF ALL OEL MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS, LOG IN TO THE MEMBERS INFORMATION CENTRE AT WWW.OEL.ORG. • Personal pension plans • Discounts on gasoline and diesel • General Motors Competitive Assistance Discount Program • Chrysler Canada Fleet Discount Program • Preferred national rates with Jim Peplinski Leasing
8 Dialogue Fall 2019
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Leading-Edge Risks for Workers Working at Heights
By: John Bell, Sales & Business Development Manager, Industrial & Construction Safety Solutions Did you know? A n unprotected edge presents a serious fall hazard to workers. Because of this hazard, workers must use some form of fall prevention or fall protection. Although guardrails and travel restraints are the preferred methods to protect workers, the use of such protection may not always be possible or feasible when working near a leading edge. In such cases “fall arrest” is used and is designed to stop the worker’s fall before the worker hits the ground, a floor or an object below. LANYARDS, LIFELINES AND SELF-RETRACTING LIFELINES (SRLS) ARE GENERALLY DESIGNED AND TESTED FOR FALLS WHEN THE ANCHOR IS LOCATED OVERHEAD. Lanyards, lifelines and self-retracting lifelines (SRLs) are generally designed and tested for falls when the anchor is located overhead. This limits the fall distance and lowers the risk of the worker hitting an object below or beside them. However, when working on a leading edge, the anchor point is usually located at ground level.
If a lanyard, lifeline or SRL is attached to an anchor point at ground level and a worker falls over a leading edge, that edge may be very rough or sharp (whether it’s steel structures, steel beams or rough concrete). Should a fall occur, the equipment may rub against the edge and possibly result in damage to the point where say a lanyard (as an example) may be cut through and immediately fail. If anchor points are not directly behind the worker when they fall, they may also swing back and forth. This is known as the “pendulum effect” or “swing fall”. Friction caused by such a fall makes it very likely that the lanyard, lifeline or SRL could be cut through as it passes over the sharp edge repeatedly in a swinging or sawing type of motion. Anchor points located at ground level can also add to the falling distance, putting more force on the body and on the fall protection equipment. What can workers do to protect themselves with respect to leading edges? 1. First and foremost, inspect all fall arrest equipment that is to be used before each use. 2. Use travel restraint systems so that workers cannot reach an edge to the point where they can fall over that edge. 3. Where possible, attach a lifeline to an anchor point overhead
10 Dialogue Fall 2019
Albeit staged, proof that safety standards for working at heights have improved over the years. Lunch atop a Skyscraper, published in the New York Herald-Tribune, October 2, 1932.
edge, the worker is not in travel restraint! 7. When using SRLs, make sure that they are specially designed for leading edge work. They must be classified as SRL-LE and certified by either the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Since the CSA standard was published only recently, ANSI certified SRL-LEs may be easier to find. And if in doubt, be sure to check with the manufacturer! 8. A best practice would be to remove any existing SRLs from service that don’t meet the criteria for leading edge protection. By doing this, workers won’t inadvertently use the wrong type of SRL!
or as high as possible so the lifeline is vertical rather than horizontal where it could run along a rough edge and be cut. 4. When choosing anchor points, choose ones that are directly behind the worker to limit the fall distance as much as possible, and once again, prevent the lanyard from running over the edge. 5. Ensure that sharp surface edges are covered or protected (e.g. use edge softeners such as rubber bumpers, rubber padding or rubber mats to cover any sharp edge). 6. Use SRLs for travel restraint so that workers cannot fall. Make sure that the length is shorter than the fall hazard (edge). Remember: If the line is long enough to go over the
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Fall 2019 Dialogue 11
Due Diligence and the Role of a Competent Supervisor in Health and Safety
By: Lisa Bolton, Litigator, Sherrard Kuzz LLP M any employers spend considerable time and money developing and maintaining a workplace health and safety program. Programs typically focus on identifying and addressing workplace hazards, implementing safe work procedures and providing health and safety training for workers. But is this enough to demonstrate compliance with an employer’s general due diligence obligation under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to take “every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker”? The answer is no, taking “every reasonable precaution” also requires competent supervision. “Competent” Supervision One of the most important responsibilities of a supervisor is to monitor and enforce health and safety protocols and practices. Competent supervision requires consistent, deliberate observation, monitoring, communication and correction. A supervisor should be present at a workplace or jobsite often enough to give direction, oversee work, identify hazards and unsafe work practices and have the authority to take immediate corrective action. This can present a challenge for workers required to travel or perform work at different locations. Thus, remote monitoring methods may help supplement direct supervision. The role of a supervisor has become even more important in light of a recent decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario. In that decision, the court held that it is possible for an employer to violate the general duty under the OHSA to take every precaution reasonable for the protection of a worker, even if the employer complies with all relevant regulations under the OHSA. That means due diligence may require an employer to go beyond any safety standard in the regulations and implement additional safeguards to demonstrate compliance with the general obligation to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances. The role of a competent onsite supervisor is therefore critical to ensure any additional safeguards are identified and implemented, even if all regulatory standards are met. Practical Tips for Employers The meaning of every precaution reasonable will differ from workplace to workplace and will depend on the nature of the work performed. That said, the following best practices can help ensure competent supervision in most workplaces: IMPLEMENT THE WORKPLACE’S HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICIES AND PROGRAMS. EVERY SUPERVISOR SHOULD HAVE ALL REQUIRED CERTIFICATIONS AND BE TRAINED TO UNDERSTAND AND
• Train: Every supervisor should have all required certifications and be trained to understand and implement the workplace’s health and safety policies and programs. • Observe: The supervisor’s duties should include regular, consistent and systematic observation of the workplace and workers to ensure health and safety compliance. This should include random spot checks. A supervisor should not be so busy with other workplace responsibilities that he/she is unable to appropriately ‘supervise’ workers, nor should supervision be ad hoc or sporadic. • Keep Records: A supervisor should keep a daily log or notes detailing his/her observations and any remedial or followup steps taken with workers to ensure compliance. • Communicate: A supervisor should regularly and consistently communicate with workers, other supervisors and senior managers to identify issues and ensure prompt safety compliance. • Enforce: Together with the employer, a supervisor should consistently and transparently enforce all health and safety requirements including imposing discipline for a health and safety infraction. • Hold Supervisors Accountable: Health and safety should be a key deliverable for every supervisor and should be considered when evaluating supervisor performance. To learn more and for assistance with any health and safety matter, contact Sherrard Kuzz LLP. LisaBolton isa lawyerwithSherrardKuzzLLP, oneofCanada’s leading employment and labour law firms, representing management. Lisa can be reached at 416-603-0700 (Main), 416-420-0738 (24 Hour) or by visiting www.sherrardkuzz.com. The information contained in this presentation/article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice, nor does accessing this information create a lawyer-client relationship. This article is current as of July 2019 and applies only to Ontario, Canada, or such other laws of Canada as expressly indicated. Information about the law is checked for legal accuracy as at the date the presentation/article is prepared, but may become outdated as laws or policies change. For clarification or for legal or other professional assistance please contact Sherrard Kuzz LLP.
12 Dialogue Fall 2019
Knowing your business matters.
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Federated Insurance Company of Canada is the insurer of Federated Insurance policies. [3706-028 ed01E | 08-2018]
How to Prepare for a Cyber Attack
By: Mauro Di Tullio, Senior Account Representative, Associations, Federated Insurance A s technology continues to develop and evolve, businesses need to keep up and protect themselves by preparing for a cyber attack. The 2018 State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium Businesses study, conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Keeper Security, found that just 28 per cent of small and medium- sized businesses say they are “highly effective” at mitigating threats, vulnerabilities and attacks. With cyber attacks on the rise, it’s no longer sufficient to simply react and clean up the mess that occurs. Now, there needs to be a shift from reactive to proactive. That’s why it’s vital for businesses to consider what steps are necessary when preparing for a cyber attack. Yet almost half of respondents (47 per cent) said they had no understanding of how to protect their businesses from cyber threats.
create strong passwords and even use password management tools to safely store them. Passwords should be changed frequently to help protect a company’s data, and different passwords should be used for different accounts when possible. That way, having one account compromised will not result in all the employee’s accounts being compromised. Some businesses may consider implementing using a two-factor authentication for logins involving financial, personal or other sensitive data. Utilize Tech Safeguards While preparing for a cyber attack, you can further protect your business by ensuring your company has the most up-to-date technology to protect against a potential breach. Installing firewalls, anti-virus programs and anti-spyware programs on employees’ computers is a good first step.
But your efforts to protect your company’s data shouldn’t end at the office. With work from home programs becoming increasingly common, it’s also crucial to ensure any devices your employees are using remotely are protected. A virtual private network (VPN) should be set up, and employees working remotely should be required to use it to surf the web or access their email, rather than logging onto unsecured public networks.
Below we outline some key steps you can take when preparing your business for a cyber attack. Perform a Cyber Security Audit Before you can begin taking steps to protect your business from cyber threats, you need to figure out where your vulnerabilities are. Conducting a security audit can highlight areas for improvement for your business. Once you know where
your company excels in security and where you could improve, you can begin taking concrete steps to improve your security and help protect your business against potential cyber attacks. Provide Cyber Security Training to Employees In the 2018 State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium Businesses study, 60 per cent of those surveyed cited a negligent employee or contractor as being the root cause for a breach. Because of this, it’s especially important that you educate your employees about the risks of cyber attacks and some of the potential tactics hackers can use to access company data. A business should develop a cyber security policy that works for them and the type of data they collect and store. Once that’s established, then you can incorporate the policy into your employee handbook and training. Cyber security training should be given at least once a year so that you can educate employees on new threats and ensure your company is as safe as possible. Make Use of Strong Passwords Weak employee passwords can be a major vulnerability for a company. 40 per cent of respondents in the study said that their companies experienced an attack involving the compromise of employees’ passwords in the past year, with the average cost of each attack being $383,365 USD. Respondents in the study said their two biggest password-related pain points were having to deal with passwords being stolen or compromised (68 per cent) and employees using weak passwords (67 per cent). Because of this, employers should ensure those working for them
Create and Refine Your Incident Response Plan Even after taking every possible precaution, a cyber attack could still occur. That’s why it’s important to have an incident response plan in place. That way, if your business suffers from a cyber breach, you’ll know exactly what to do. The plan should include details like who the specific decision-makers within your organization will be and any other notifications that must be sent out (e.g. to users and affiliates). Get Cyber Insurance If your business should suffer from a cyber attack, the last thing any business owner wants to do is shoulder the financial burden on their own. Breaches can be pricey, and they can also affect your reputation. That’s why insurance specifically designed to help with a cyber attack is vital. Cyber risk coverage doesn’t just help your business through the event, because consequences from the breach can last for some time. On top of regaining access or recovering lost information, your business may also face things like network repair, legal claims and public relations services to help restore your reputation and rebuild trust among customers. With such far-reaching consequences, getting your company back to business as usual can take days, weeks or even months. Mauro Di Tullio is the Senior Account Representative for Associations at Federated Insurance. To learn more about the cyber risk coverage Federated Insurance offers, visit www.federated.ca.
14 Dialogue Fall 2019
Building a Safety Culture and Inspiring Confidence
By: Colin de Raaf, Training Director, Ontario, CLAC B y now, we have all seen the headlines: “Mississauga teen electrocuted on the job in Toronto” This devastating industrial accident, which occurred in June 2019, has caused many in the industry to pause and consider the possible contributing factors. The Ministry of Labour (MOL) will continue its investigation, will most likely press charges and in 18 to 24 months, we will see a court bulletin briefly outlining the monetary charges and background details behind what happened and the contraventions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Regardless of the outcome of this case, we can act now to protect our new workers. Our sector can always do better to create confidence in our respective communities that a career in the skilled trades is safe, prosperous and will set a young person up for a successful life. In late 2018, the Ontario government adjusted all the journeyperson-to-apprentice ratios to 1:1. This adjustment provides every contractor with the opportunity to employ and properly register more apprentices in the electrical trade. Due to the tight labour market, there isn’t an influx of second-to-fifth term apprentices ready to hire. They are already gainfully employed and nearly impossible to find. Therefore, and as advertised, this adjustment is primarily a means to remove barriers of entry into the skilled trades, allowing employers to register entry-level workers into an apprenticeship. If done responsibly, this is a potential game-changer for the skilled trades. We have already seen small-to- medium-sized employers attempt to maximize their apprenticeship ratios, yet many employers have not changed their hiring practices and are reluctant to hire entry-level workers. Even our Jobs Team at CLAC still predominately gets requests for experienced apprentices or journeypersons. Why? “AS AN EMPLOYER, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE EVERY PRECAUTION REASONABLE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES FOR THE PROTECTION OF EVERY WORKER. THAT MEANS YOU CANNOT SOLELY RELY ON PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE OR TRAINING WHEN A WORKER IS NEW TO A SITUATION.” There is always a risk in hiring a new worker, even in low-hazard occupations. According to the MOL, new workers are three times more likely to get injured on the job compared to other workers. This is a relative statistic. Due to a shortage of experienced apprentices, a company has to hire inexperienced entry-level workers to maximize ratios. However,
construction employers naturally look for ways to eliminate hazards in their workplaces and an easy way to do this is to limit the number of new workers, especially those that require constant supervision. How has the MOL responded? We already have mandatory training for Working at Heights (WAH), we have comprehensive regulatory requirements related to high-hazard work and we also have proactive inspection blitzes. The MOL inspection blitz in the summer of 2019 focused on new workers. However, the inspectors focused their visits on workplaces that typically hire young workers. As the average age of a construction apprentice is close to 30, construction is not your typical sector that employs young workers. Therefore, there is a slim chance you experienced a proactive visit from an inspector looking for new worker hazards. Due to the nature of electrical work, the sector is already safety orientated. Even the electrical code is labelled as a safety code, the MOL relies on each contractor to have a strong internal responsibility system (IRS) to control the hazards and reduce incidents. That means we must look inward to our people, processes and policies to be successful in our safety performance. What can you do to support new workers? A new worker means an inexperienced worker. However, any worker can be considered inexperienced. As an employer, it is your responsibility to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of every worker. That means you cannot solely rely on previous experience or training when a worker is new to a situation. Take mandatory WAH training as an example: as many WAH providers as there are in the market and as many instructors that those providers employ equals how many different versions of the MOL-mandated learning outcomes are conveyed in the classroom. What can you do to enhance learning outcomes for new workers? Promote the value of training amongst your workers. Be an
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