Information Bulletin: Incident and hazard reporting - Electrical
A. General details
This information bulletin clarifies incident reporting requirements. It is issued with respect to sections 36 and 37 of the Safety Standards Act, and section 34 of the Safety Standards General Regulation.
How to report incidents and hazards to Technical Safety BC
For emergency assistance, call 911 or your local police or fire department directly.
Report incidents and hazards to Technical Safety BC through our website. Alternatively, you can call 1 866 566 7233 and follow the prompts to report an incident or hazard.
Note: voicemail and email messages made to Technical Safety BC employees about incidents and hazards are not considered to have been reported to Technical Safety BC as required by regulation.
Incident: A failure of a regulated product, work or operation that causes:
- damage to property, personal injury, or death; or
- damage to safety features.
Note: Property damage or injury focuses on the impact that the failed equipment may have had outside the boundaries of the product, work, or operation.
Damage to safety features relates to failures where the damage:
- is limited to the failed product, work, or operation.
- does not render the product or activity inoperative; and
- impairs the safety feature’s effectiveness.
Safety feature: An aspect of a product’s design, installation, maintenance, or operation that is intended to prevent people or property from being exposed to a hazard.
Hazard: A source of potential harm to persons or potential damage to property.
Duty holder: A person or company responsible for compliance because they either own regulated products or perform regulated work.
Reporting of incidents to Technical Safety BC
The following duty holders are required to report all incidents to Technical Safety BC:
- Person in charge of a regulated product or regulated work
- Owner of the regulated product
- Permit holder
- Person authorized to perform or performing regulated work
- Person authorized to operate or operating a regulated product
- An officer or employee of a utility
- Owner of a plant (as defined in the regulations)
Only one incident report per incident is required.
Duty to preserve incident site for investigation
Unless directed by a safety officer or safety manager, one must not remove, disturb, or interfere with anything in, on, or about the place where the incident occurred except as necessary to rescue another person, prevent injury, or to protect property.
Reporting of hazards to Technical Safety BC
Hazards are required to be prevented or immediately corrected by duty holders responsible for the regulated product, work, or operation. Hazards must be immediately reported to Technical Safety BC when:
- The duty holder is correcting a hazard not yet reported to Technical Safety BC.
- The same or similar hazards have been repeatedly observed and are associated with the same duty holder.
When to report incidents and hazards to Technical Safety BC
Unless otherwise indicated, all incidents are to be reported within the following timeframes:
- Incidents resulting in a moderate, major, or fatal injury – immediately
- Incidents resulting in moderate, major, or severe property damage – immediately
- All other incidents – within 24 hours (or as soon as practicable).
Moderate injuries are those that, while serious, are considered unlikely to have a significant effect to long-term quality of life. Examples include single limb fractures, concussions, or disorientation.
Moderate damage is damage that results from controlled exposure to energy (e.g. electrical, thermal, mechanical) or the limited/controlled release of substances intended to be contained.
All hazards as described in the ‘reporting of hazards’ section above are to be reported to Technical Safety BC immediately.
What to expect after reporting an incident or hazard to Technical Safety BC
Technical Safety BC tracks and investigates incidents and hazards that are reported to inform awareness and prevention initiatives. Technical Safety BC does not follow up on all reported incidents unless there is an intention to investigate.
Summaries of all reported incidents and completed investigations can be found at here. Technical Safety BC protects the identity of persons who report or may be involved with incidents or hazards.
Unless otherwise indicated, duty holders are required to preserve the equipment, products, and items involved in an incident. Technical Safety BC will contact duty holders within one business day following the report of an incident if more information is required or an investigation is planned.
B. Examples of electrical incidents and hazards
Electrical incidents that are required to be reported:
- Fires that have a reasonable suspicion of being caused by electrical equipment or infrastructure
- Electrical shocks
- Arc flash occurrences
- Electrical consumer product failures that result in injury or damage (notifications should include product manufacturer, type, make, model, and certification body (e.g., CSA or ULc)
- Any other electrical product failure
Electrical occurrences outside of Technical Safety BC jurisdiction
Electrical incidents occurring within the following municipalities are not under the jurisdiction of Technical Safety BC and should be reported to the municipality instead:
- Burnaby: 604 294 7944
- Maple Ridge: 604 463 5221
- North Vancouver (city): 604 985 7761
- North Vancouver (district): 604 990 2311
- Surrey: 604 591 4011
- Vancouver: 604 873 7011
- Victoria: 250 385 5711
- West Vancouver: 604 925 7000
Additionally, the following types of electrical incidents are not part of Technical Safety BC’s jurisdiction:
- Electrical power or supply outages
- Electrical incidents where the public utility is under the Authority’s jurisdiction
- Circuit breaker trips or blown fuses
- Electrical appliances, products or equipment that no longer function but remain in a safe OFF condition
Examples of electrical hazards that should be reported to Technical Safety BC
- Energized or exposed electrical equipment
- Water in contact with, or near exposed electrical equipment or work
- Foreign debris or combustible material that presents a risk of fire or malfunction to the equipment
- Unrepairable or unserviceable appliances that are in use or available for use
- Incomplete electrical work that could result in a fire or exposure to electrical energy
- Combustible material near regulated equipment that has, or will cause the equipment to operate in an unsafe manner
- Regulated electrical work being completed by
- unlicensed businesses or
- persons not qualified for the work
- Unpermitted work or operation of electrical equipment (including, but not limited to use and/or installation of unapproved, not-mounted control panels/temporary electrical services)
Provincial Safety Manager
Safety Standards Act
Electrical Safety Regulation
Safety Regulation Safety Standards General Regulation