A Windsor, Ontario, Canada, company, JF Industrial Systems Inc. has been convicted of charges related to performing electrical work illegally and fined $25,000. The illegal work came to light after one of  the company's employees suffered an electrical contact and was seriously burned when a machine on which he was doing electrical work exploded, showering him with molten metal.

JF Industrial Systems Inc. was found guilty on one count of performing electrical work without an electrical contractor's licence. By law, only Licensed Electrical Contractors are permitted to contract to perform electrical work in Ontario.

In October 2011, JF Industrial Systems (Windsor) Inc. was hired to install new electrical equipment to existing machines at a local company. In January 2012, a young apprentice, in his 20s, was removing a piece of electrical equipment from a machine, when the equipment caught fire and showered him with molten metal. The worker suffered severe burns and is not yet medically cleared to return to work. JF Industrial Systems (Windsor) Inc. did not hold a valid electrical contractor licence and was not legally allowed to perform the electrical work.

"It's extremely unfortunate that this incident resulted in a young man sustaining serious injuries with long-term effects that may change the course of his chosen career," says Scott Saint, ESA's Chief Public Safety Officer. "However, it is encouraging to see that the courts have sent such a strong message that doing electrical work without a licence has serious consequences.  I believe that this case will serve as a deterrent to others who consider ignoring the law."

ESA reminds anyone considering hiring an individual or company to do electrical work to follow 'the three Cs':

  • check to ensure the contractor holds a valid electrical contractor licence (you can search the database at www.esasafe.com);
  • confirm that they are arranging the appropriate inspections from ESA;
  • and call ESA at 1-877-ESA-SAFE (1-877-372-7233) if you suspect a company is misrepresenting itself or performing work that must be done by a contractor licensed by the Electrical Safety Authority.