OTTAWA – Hydro Ottawa has launched its new “Know Safety, No Accidents” campaign to educate the public about staying safe around electricity, and when in proximity to the utility’s power lines and equipment.
The campaign, which continues until March 2022, is in response to a 2020 Public Awareness of Electrical Safety Scorecard survey, which resulted in an index of 72 per cent amongst Ottawa residents. The survey, which has occurred every two years since 2016, consists of six core questions that were developed through a province-wide industry consultation, before it was ultimately approved by the Ontario Energy Board. The goal of Hydro Ottawa’s campaign is to improve Ottawa’s overall safety score, while increasing awareness and ultimately preventing incidents and injuries across our community, including groups that are most at-risk of encountering safety hazards, including contractors and subcontractors such as heavy equipment operators, excavators, and municipal workers.
Hydro Ottawa’s latest campaign will include radio and online advertising, direct mail, email and web-based educational resources, as well as a contest (in 2022). The company also hopes to work with community partners, first responders and the City of Ottawa to further raise awareness and increase public education around electricity safety.
In parallel to this campaign, Hydro Ottawa continues to offer in-school presentations to demystify electrical safety and conservation for students from kindergarten to grade 8 through a partnership with Electricity Safety & Conservation. Since 2001, the initiative has helped deliver more than 2,393 presentations in 427 elementary schools across Ottawa, teaching more than 279,440 students to “become as smart as a fox” about electricity.
For more information about Hydro Ottawa’s public safety campaign, including tips and resources, visit its dedicated page at www.hydroottawa.com/knowsafety.
Outlined below are the percentage of respondents that selected the ‘best answer’ for each of the six core questions in Hydro Ottawa’s 2020 survey.
- Proximity to overhead power lines: 17 per cent of survey respondents believe you should maintain a distance of three to six metres from an overhead power line.
- Likelihood to call before you dig: 44 per cent said they would definitely call Ontario One Call before digging.
- Proximity to a downed power line: 58 per cent believe you should maintain 10 metres or more from a downed power line.
- Danger of touching electrical equipment: 77 per cent say it’s ‘very dangerous’ to tamper with Hydro Ottawa’s electrical equipment.
- Appropriate action: 81 per cent believe it’s safer to stay in their vehicle when it’s in contact with a downed power line.
- Impact of touching a power line: 88 per cent say it’s ‘very dangerous’ to touch an overhead power line.
“Safety is and will always be at the core of everything we do, and this public safety campaign is a reflection of this commitment to our employees at work, and to our entire community. Every year, across our city, we continue to see a number of power line contacts which can cause injury or even be fatal. I hope this campaign raises that level of understanding of how crucial it is to stay mindful around electricity whether you are playing outside with friends and family, doing yard work at home, or working on the job.”
- Bruce Lang, Director of Health, Safety and Environment
Manager, Media and Public Affairs
Tel: 613-738-5499 ext. 2345