PowerStream and ESA kick off Ontario Powerline Safety Week

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VAUGHAN, Canada, May 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nobody wants to be a statistic—especially one related to an electrical fatality. Think it can't happen? Over the past decade, 28 Ontarians have died due to contact with live powerlines. Sadly, each of these tragedies could have been prevented.

To kick off Ontario's first-ever Powerline Safety Week, which runs this week through until May 19, the Community Powerline Safety Alliance, a group formed by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), safety organizations, educational institutions and local utilities, including PowerStream, urges all Ontarians to remember three life-saving Ls —"look up, look out and locate" —when it comes to powerlines near their homes, in their communities, or where they work.

PowerStream and the Community Powerline Safety Alliance are urging everyone to take several basic and easy steps to stay safe. These can be found on the ESA's Powerline Safety website and include the following:

  • Carry ladders horizontally, never vertically, and look up and look out for overhead powerlines.
  • Inspect all powerlines when cleaning eaves troughs or pruning trees.
  • When digging, whether in your garden or for fence posts or deck supports, call Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 to check for and mark underground cables.
  • Children should not play with or around powerlines or other electrical equipment, including the green metal boxes sometimes seen on lawns or in fields.
  • If you ever see a downed powerline, stay well back, and call 911 immediately.
  • Should a powerline fall on your vehicle, stay inside until help arrives.


  • "PowerStream is fully committed to safety for our employees, our customers – and everyone around us. Launching this first ever Powerline Safety Week is another way to help Ontarians focus on safety in their work and daily lives," says Frank Scarpitti, PowerStream Board Chair and Mayor of the City of Markham. "We all need to take a role for ourselves and for others – especially children – in staying safe and staying clear of power lines."
  • "One death or injury from contact with powerlines is one injury or death too many, adds Doug Crawford, the ESA's Chief Public Safety Officer. "The ESA's goal is to eliminate every careless injury and death in Ontario. But we cannot do it alone—we need everyone to remember to look up, look out, and locate—and never take safety for granted."


  • Fifty-four per cent of non-occupational electrical-related fatalities happen during recreation and repair and maintenance activities around the home or in public spaces.
  • Seventy-three per cent of known incidents involving electrical contact occur in the construction industry, where heavy equipment, such as cranes and dump trucks, can hit powerlines on job sites if dedicated spotters are not present.
  • Over 60 per cent of the probable causes of job-related electrical fatalities occur because of improper procedure—a number that soars to 69 per cent when combined with human error.


PowerStream is a community-owned energy services company providing power and related solutions to more than 355,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. It is jointly owned by the Cities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan.


Established in 1999 as a self-sustaining, not-for-profit corporation, the Electrical Safety Authority's mission is to improve electrical safety for the well-being of the people of Ontario. The overall vision of the ESA is to achieve zero electrical accidents, injuries and fatalities across Ontario.



CATEGORIES – Community, Safety
KEYWORDS – Powerlines, Electricity, Safety

CONTACT: Eric Fagen, Director, Corporate Communications Media Line (24/7): 905-532-4400 Email: News@PowerStream.ca Website: www.PowerStream.ca

Source: Powerstream