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#184052 01/31/09 12:22 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 111
E
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CSS -continuous safety services is a "open permit" program where you document any electrical work done in your building and then an inspector comes along once a month and looks over your documented work. He then picks a few jobs and inspects them.

My problem with this is acording to the ministry of labour only registered electricians or apprentices can work on electicity yet our inspectors are inspecting work done by untrained maintenance workers.

By doing this, maintenance workers are gaining false confidence and doing more and more electrical work. What happens if one of them gets hurt while working on electrical? Acording to the ministry they're screwed and so is their boss but when you talk to ESA they say "It's a grey area?"

Why is ESA doing this?

For money. They know maintenance workers are out there changing ballasts, replacing broken outlets, etc without a permit. With this program they can now make money off of those situations.

I am tottaly against this, it goes against everything I was taught. I've spoken with the ministry and they agree with me but do nothing. They say they have to catch it while it's happening.

I guess we'll just have to wait untill some one dies before something is done?

Rant over

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 402
J
Member
The inspector only shows in our office building every 3-4 months.

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 111
E
Member
I guess I should have posted this in the safety forum, sorry. I posted in the canadian code forum because it only pertains to Ontario, I think.

I wonder if this sort of program exists in other provinces or in the US?

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 376
F
Member
In some establishments a competent employee can do electrical work Refer to page 547 of the pocket Ontario OH&S regulations for an example.
It's not the electrical inspectors job to police who does the work just that its up to code they can only alert the ministry of unqualified and incompetent employees as you have already done.
Also many ministry personnel can't articulate there own regulations you need to talk to a ministry workplace inspector
CSS was instituted to target workplaces who use competent yet unqualified employees to do electrical work and rocking the boat by being heavy handed causes the hide and seek reflex with there customers.Employee safety is the ministrys job not the electrical inspectors.they just want to see the work is up to code.
Bill C 45 is very specific towards worker safety and carries stiff penalties even jail time if someone gets hurt.


Last edited by frank; 02/10/10 12:15 AM.
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 35
H
Member
the ess contractor program is a joke. yes if you own a business you can designate anybody to be competent to do the work. as long as esa makes money they don't care but hire an electrician under the table and it's heavy fines. get the business owner to say your a casual employee. as for the min. of labour it's just a small fine, again a joke. i know of a contractor who employ's unqualified people and has been caught. got a small fine keep's doing it because mol does nothing to ensure it does'nt happen again.

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 98
B
Member
In Ontario, Industrial Electrician is NOT a regulated trade.
A company can therefore designate anybody to perform electrical work at their facility and it's legal.
The only time that I'm aware of that a compnay would get severe punishment from the MOL is if the person was hurt or killed and the company couldn't show that they (the worker) had received appropriate training.

You should also be aware that if a company has the CSS program, that a licensed electrical comtractor (that's not an employee) can go into that facility and not need to pull a permit for any maintenance work performed. The work just needs to be logged.

My biggest complaint with the CSS program is that it's not available to a licensed electrical contractor such as myself. I mean why shouldn't I be able to pay a flat fee per year that covers all maintenance work performed by my company? As long as the work is logged, the ESA can still go every 3 months and pick a random job to inspect, just like they do for a factory.
It's not right that I'm supposed to pull a permit just to go to a commercial building and change one ballast, or one light switch.

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 613
M
Member
BC appears to be similar and given that they used Ontario's rules as a guide I am not surprised to hear this.
In BC, If a facility has an operating permit and the FSR is a direct employee of the company owning a facility then the electrician can instruct the Anybody to do specific maintenance tasks like changing ballasts. The Anybody must be instructed on the techniques and safety requirements like turned off and locked out etc.
If the facility uses a contractor to take the operating permit then only qualified persons may do electrical maintenance.

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 106
M
Member
Originally Posted by brsele
My biggest complaint with the CSS program is that it's not available to a licensed electrical contractor such as myself. I mean why shouldn't I be able to pay a flat fee per year that covers all maintenance work performed by my company? As long as the work is logged, the ESA can still go every 3 months and pick a random job to inspect, just like they do for a factory.
It's not right that I'm supposed to pull a permit just to go to a commercial building and change one ballast, or one light switch.


Hi, I work in a plant as an industrial electrician. Our inspector comes twice a year. As far as a contractors point of view and having a blanket permit for maintenance, could you not use the ACP program somehow.

As well you do not need to pull a permit to change a ballast or a switch. In fact I am sure no permit is required when replacing like for like for items up to 30amps. You are required to pull a permit when you add to, or alter exsisting electrical wiring, on so on.


Never trust an electrician with no eyebrows!!
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 98
B
Member
Originally Posted by mr_electrician
Originally Posted by brsele
My biggest complaint with the CSS program is that it's not available to a licensed electrical contractor such as myself. I mean why shouldn't I be able to pay a flat fee per year that covers all maintenance work performed by my company? As long as the work is logged, the ESA can still go every 3 months and pick a random job to inspect, just like they do for a factory.
It's not right that I'm supposed to pull a permit just to go to a commercial building and change one ballast, or one light switch.


Hi, I work in a plant as an industrial electrician. Our inspector comes twice a year. As far as a contractors point of view and having a blanket permit for maintenance, could you not use the ACP program somehow.


The ACP program means that not all of my projects need to be inspected and the permits cost less money. But I still need to pull a permit for all jobs.

Originally Posted by mr_electrician
As well you do not need to pull a permit to change a ballast or a switch. In fact I am sure no permit is required when replacing like for like for items up to 30amps. You are required to pull a permit when you add to, or alter exsisting electrical wiring, on so on.


Yes you do need to pull a permit to change a ballast or switch as per 2-004. The only exception to this rule is outlined in rule 2-005. (For those of you outside of Ontario, please note that these 2 rules are specific to the OESC.)

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 106
M
Member
Originally Posted by brsele
Originally Posted by mr_electrician
Originally Posted by brsele
My biggest complaint with the CSS program is that it's not available to a licensed electrical contractor such as myself. I mean why shouldn't I be able to pay a flat fee per year that covers all maintenance work performed by my company? As long as the work is logged, the ESA can still go every 3 months and pick a random job to inspect, just like they do for a factory.
It's not right that I'm supposed to pull a permit just to go to a commercial building and change one ballast, or one light switch.


Hi, I work in a plant as an industrial electrician. Our inspector comes twice a year. As far as a contractors point of view and having a blanket permit for maintenance, could you not use the ACP program somehow.


The ACP program means that not all of my projects need to be inspected and the permits cost less money. But I still need to pull a permit for all jobs.

Originally Posted by mr_electrician
As well you do not need to pull a permit to change a ballast or a switch. In fact I am sure no permit is required when replacing like for like for items up to 30amps. You are required to pull a permit when you add to, or alter exsisting electrical wiring, on so on.


Yes you do need to pull a permit to change a ballast or switch as per 2-004. The only exception to this rule is outlined in rule 2-005. (For those of you outside of Ontario, please note that these 2 rules are specific to the OESC.)

I disagree. I would never pull a permit to change a switch, receptacle, or ballast on any 120volt circuit rated at 30A or less. Why....because 2-005 says I don't have to. Please show me what rule you are refering to in 2-004 to support your answer.


Never trust an electrician with no eyebrows!!
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