The Electrical Safety Coalition of Ontario ( announced in a recent press statement the launch of a unique electrical safety campaign aimed at suppressing the demand for 'live work' on energized electrical equipment.

Coalition partners — the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario, Electrical Safety Authority, Electrical & Utilities Safety Association, IAPA (Industrial Accident Prevention Association) and the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) — unveiled this new campaign at the Centre for Health & Safety Innovation in Mississauga, Ontario on Friday, June 12th.

‘Working Live’ by electricians is responsible for 50% of all occupational injuries and deaths due to contact with electrical equipment (MOL, 2006). This harm reduction campaign was created to encourage clients to ‘Just Don't Ask’ their electrician(s) to work live.

However, those who work on high voltage power and utility lines must work live. They do so under the strictest of guidelines and safety measures, and the reduction in their incident rates proves those strategies are working. This is not the case with industrial, commercial and residential electricians where clients or operations managers are asking these electricians to work live, rather than undertaking the service work with a planned shutdown, or, locking out, tagging out, and without other protective procedures in place.