Understanding Safety Risks: Injuries
The number of injuries reported to us in a given year provides an important indicator of the impacts of the hazards inherent in regulated equipment. Together with industry, our goal is to minimize incidents and injuries.
Please note that Technical Safety BC receives its injury reports and descriptions from operators or first responders at the time of, or immediately following, the incident. Injuries reports are based on evidence available during investigation and any long term effects of an injury are not reflected in the statistics.
Please note that injuries associated with incidents still under assessment are excluded.
|Fatal||An injury causing death.|
|Major||An injury where residual effects are likely to significantly affect long-term quality of life.|
|Moderate||An injury where residual effects are unlikely to significantly affect long-term quality of life. E.g., temporary loss of consciousness, fractures, concussions.|
|Minor||An injury where there are typically no residual effects and recovery is expected. E.g., bruises, cuts, minor disorientation (confusion).|
|Insignificant||An injury where there are typically no residual effects and full recovery is expected. E.g., temporary pain and discomfort.|
One incident involving a fatality related to electrical equipment was investigated in 2021.
A general contractor was refilling a gasoline fueled portable electric generator in the basement of a house under construction and perished after the exposure to carbon monoxide (CO). The investigation found that the generator was placed in the basement to combat frost damage to the concrete foundation during the -30 to -40C cold weather, to prevent theft, and to quiet running noise for neighbors. A fire fighter’s gas detector maxed out at 1000 parts per million (PPM) of CO inside the basement where the worker was found, and the generator was no longer running. With the CO levels likely well over 1000 PPM when the worker had entered the space, the conditions within are considered immediately dangerous to life and health.
Carbon monoxide exposures continue to be a tenacious risk to our safety system. While the effects of CO poisoning can be devastating, they can be prevented. We are committed to providing continuous education on CO safety.
Of the closed investigations, 6 incidents were ranked as “major” in 2021. These included:
1. Gas incidents
One incident involved a natural gas fired boiler in a residential home producing high levels of carbon monoxide, resulting in three individuals in medical distress due to exposure to carbon monoxide (CO). Another incident was an explosion involving propane gas in a recreational vehicle, resulting in burns to the victim’s face, hands, ears, and legs.
Energized components of a 600 Volt main distribution center were removed without the equipment being shut down. As a result, an arc flash caused first to third degree burns to the head, neck, shoulders, chest, arms of an individual, while chest pain and breathing difficulties were reported by a second person. In another incident, an arc flash resulted in first degree burns for an electrician who was replacing a circuit breaker.