OESC introduces new requirements

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The newest edition of the Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC) includes important updates to safety requirements for any electrical work.

According to the Electrical Safety Authority’s press release the changes are designed to enhance electrical safety and protect workers and the public.

“Revisions to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code are made through a broad consultative process at both the provincial and national levels, and through the collaboration of ESA and its safety partners. The updated Code harmonizes the Ontario requirements with the rest of Canada,” says Nansy Hanna, director of engineering and program development, regulatory and safety programs, Electrical Safety Authority.

Ontario’s new legal requirements for electrical installations include:

  • Re-write of Section 10 requirements for bonding and grounding have been reorganized and reduced in size with some changes that will improve safety and simplify the installations;
  • Expanding the use of Tamper-resistant receptacles in educational facilities and hotels/motels;
  • Requirements for installing an identified (neutral) conductor at each control (switch) location of the permanently installed luminaire;
  • Alignment with the Ontario Building Code to prevent the installation of high-voltage conductors over buildings;
  • Providing adequate working space for electrical workers to undertake necessary repairs, maintenance and installation of transformers greater than 50kVA;
  • Prohibiting of installation of cables in concealed locations in the corrugated roof decking
  • Adding requirements for Energy Storage systems; and
  • Facilitating the use of Power over Ethernet to provide a pathway for sources of electricity.

In addition to prescriptive amendments and rules regarding instructions for safe electrical installations, the OESC also contains requirements regarding notifications. Specifically, almost all electrical work requires a notification. In Ontario, only a Licensed Electrical Contractor is legally allowed to be hired for electrical work, and only homeowners or occupants are able to conduct electrical work in their own home.

The 27th Edition of the Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC) became effective May 16, 2019.

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