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U of T Engineering Students Chosen as Finalists in International Competition

uoft.jpgThey won! The Canadian Electrical Contractors Association University of Toronto student chapter was chosen, along with Penn State University, as finalists in the 2017 ELECTRI International Student Passport Competition. Both schools attended the ELECTRI Council Meeting, July 13-14 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Boston, to conduct a 15 minute presentation supporting their projects and U of T was chosen as the winner. Ernesto Diaz Lozano Patino presented for U of T and Professor Brenda McCabe was there for guidance.

The U of T project involves the design of an efficient way to address serious public safety problems in Toltenco, Mexio using an off-grid array of LED street lights with integrated solar panels and batteries.

Located along the southern rim of Mexico City, Toltenco faces crippling infrastructure deficiencies, lacks reliable electricity and safe housing. Residents of Toltenco identified public lighting as the most effective way to improve security and trust. Street lighting is an important step in the overall goal of developing Toltenco into a sustainable, safe community.

The U of T students will work with the ELECTRI Council and other industry partners to acquire contributed materials for the installation. The selected project must be initiated and completed within the upcoming academic year (September to May). For more on the competition and U of T’s submission visit

Falls Continue to be Major Cause of Workplace Injuries in Construction Sector

Falls continue to be a major cause of workplace injury and are the number one cause of traumatic fatalities in the construction industry.

The MOL recently expanded its definition of "critical injury". The new definition captures more types of injuries than the previous definition, so a comparison of current data with last year's is not a true comparison.

There have, however, been seven fatalities in the construction industry in the first five months of 2017 versus only four last year, reports the MOL. There have been 88 critical injuries so far this year versus 40 last year.


CSA Group Warns of Unauthorized CSA Group Certification Marks on Wiring


Unauthorized use of CSA Group certification marks has been found on wiring by Triumph Cable Co., Ltd./Dongguang Chengxing Cable Co., Ltd. CSA Group has not certified any products from these companies.

There have been no reports of damage, fire or injury to date.

Anyone who has received product manufactured by Triumph Cable Co., Ltd. / Dongguang Chengxing Cable Co., Ltd bearing CSA Group marks is urged to contact CSA Group’s Anti-Counterfeiting team at:

The marks appear in various colours, gauges and types of wiring branded as “Chengxing,” “Triumph,” or “Shangpai,” as shown in the photos.

Electrical Safety Authority’s 2017 Annual Licensing Holder Meeting Dates Announced

ESA will be hosting their annual licensing holder meeting on two dates and in two locations this fall. First up is North Bay on Oct. 17 followed by Mississauga on Nov. 21.

ESA.pngAgenda topics include: Transitioning to a risk-based oversight system for wiring - ESA’s plan and what it means for you; Cracking down on the underground economy — an update on ECRA/ESA enforcement activities including Kijiji pilot results; An investigator’s first-hand perspective on the underground economy and how to tackle it; and Overview of the Designated Master Electrician role, consumer protection issues and compliance activities. New this year is a “Technical Hour” where attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions to an ESA Technical Advisor.

For more information and to register visit

Considering the Cloud

Today's jobsites rely on any number of programs and applications to keep operations on track. From enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in the office to site monitoring and collaborating tools in the field, these digital technologies are critical to a project's success and the safety of its workers.

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ECAO Annual General Meeting & Trade Show

ECAO’s annual general meeting will be held on Thursday, Sept. 21 at 9 a.m. at the Westin Toronto Airport Hotel. Coinciding with the AGM will be a trade show where ECAO’s Associate Member organizations will be on hand to chat with Board members and let them know about the latest in their products and services.

College Seeking Feedback on Proposed Trade Classification Review 

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The Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) is seeking feedback on a proposed regulation that would establish the process for the referral of trade classification review requests.

In Ontario, trades are classified as either compulsory or voluntary, and the practice of all compulsory trades is regulated by the College under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009.

Trade classification reviews are the process through which the classification of a trade is initially assigned (in the case of new trades), or changed (in the case of existing trades).

Click here to provide your feedback and find for more information on this consultation. The consultation is open now until July 30, 2017.

World’s First Solar-Powered Fully Transparent Power-Generating Windows Installed

Physee, a tech startup, has outfitted the headquarters of a Dutch bank with the world’s first commercial, fully transparent solar-power-generating windows. The windows have solar cells installed in the edges at a specific angle that allows the incoming solar light to be efficiently transformed into electricity.

POWERLAUNCH-1-SIZED.jpgThe first installation of Physee’s PowerWindows was unveiled in June in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The headquarters of Rabobank, the Netherlands’ biggest bank, has been fitted with 323 square feet (30 square m) of the PowerWindows. The bank’s employees will be able to plug their smartphones into the windows using USB ports to charge their batteries, according to Physee.

Other buildings in the Netherlands are already lined up to receive the innovative solar technology, which has won Physee a place on the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers 2017 list. Physee is already working on the next-generation technology that would triple the efficiency of the PowerWindows.

The Fair Practices Commission Requesting Feedback

The Fair Practices Commission is consulting stakeholders doing outreach to get information about their office out to employers who regularly deal with the WSIB. The Fair Practices Commission is the organizational ombudsman for the WSIB.

The Commission is an independent, neutral and confidential resource for injured workers, employers and service providers. The Commission addresses current concerns about the fairness of services or treatment at the WSIB.

More information about their office can be found on their website:

Affinity program Offers Exclusive Savings for ECAO Members

A reminder to all ECAO members that ECAO has teamed up with key providers to the electrical industry to help members save on items and services they use every day through negotiated price reductions and value-added packages. These benefits are only available to current ECAO members. The details can be found in the Members Only section of the website. Login as a member with your username and password then click “Member Services” at the top of the page to access these great savings. 

Summer Students Count as Employees When it Comes to Accessibility Compliance

Even though summer students are temporary staff, they are to be included in the employee count.  If a company has 20 or more employees at any point in the year, then an accessibility compliance report needs to be submitted by Dec. 31, 2017 at

Here are some highlights of what needs to be done:

Train summer students on accessibility as soon as possible.  This can be provided through handouts at an orientation session, a mandatory online module, a classroom setting or in other formats.

Provide accessible emergency information. When necessary, provide accessible and customized emergency information.

Provide workplace information in an accessible format if an employee asks for it.  This includes things like job descriptions, manuals and other general information that is available to all employees.

Inform summer students about company policies to support people with disabilities.

Review the complete list of requirements at or contact the AODA Contact Centre (ServiceOntario) at 1-866-515-2025 or

The Boss Man – Nic Bittle – to Speak at ECAO in September

ECAO 05 08JUN2017.jpgAs part of its 2017 Professional Development Series, ECAO is pleased to welcome Nic Bittle on Sept. 28. He will be presenting A FOREMAN’S FIELD GUIDE TO DEVELOPNG YOUR WORKFORCE – What Smart Leaders are doing to Develop Their Workforce.

Nic Bittle is the founder of Work Force Pro and works with contractors that want to prepare and develop their workforce to lead with impact, act like a pro, and perform at their best on a daily basis. Nic is author of three books, Small Business, BIG Mistakes, Perform Like the Boss! & Good Foreman; Bad Foreman.

Cost for each seminar is $525 tax included. Seminars run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch will be provided.  Space is limited so register today. Visit ECAO website for more information.

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Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario

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