A licensed electrical contractor was fined $537,500 in a Niagara Falls, Ontario court on March 30, 2016, the largest fine in the history of electrical contractor licensing in Ontario. The contractor, Pro-Teck Electric*, pleaded guilty in April 2015 to multiple charges.
All fines include a 25% victim surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
On April 5, 2014, an elderly gentleman fell on the floor in the bathroom of his Niagara-on-the-Lake home where Pro-Teck Electric had installed an in-floor heating system. The man suffered second and third degree burns from the over-heated floor and succumbed to his injuries weeks later in hospital. An Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) investigation revealed the floor system's heat sensor had not been installed, and the heating system was wired to an incorrect voltage level.
Pro-Teck Electric pleaded guilty to three charges: 1) leaving an unsafe electrical condition; 2) failure to procure connection authorization before use; and 3) failure to apply for an electrical inspection.
"We are terribly saddened by this incident and it underscores how dangerous electrical work can be when it's not done properly," said Scott Saint, chief public safety officer, Electrical Safety Authority. "We aggressively pursue those who work outside the law and we're pleased the court has delivered a strong message that if you break the law and put public safety at risk, there will be serious consequences."
Licensing laws, permits and inspection requirements are in place to help protect consumers and make Ontario a safer place in which to live, work and play.
*Note: there is a separate licensed electrical contracting company in Richmond Hill, Ontario with a similar name (Pro-Tek Electric, Inc.). The two companies are not related.