Beware when hiring an electrical contractor
A Hamilton court has sent a clear message: If you break the law and put public safety at risk, there will be consequences.
Hamilton Provincial Offences Court has convicted the owner and operator of MJ Construction, who pleaded guilty for conducting unsafe electrical work without a licence at seven locations across Southern Ontario, and ordered him to pay $25,000 in fines plus a $6,250 victim fine surcharge. The charges involved unlicensed work conducted at seven locations in Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Paris and Township of Flamborough.
Leonard Sankar pleaded guilty to 13 charges in total, including multiple counts of working without an electrical contractor’s licence and not taking out an electrical permit. He also pleaded guilty to one count of unsafe electrical condition, where a live wire was left hanging in the basement of a home. If someone had touched the exposed wires, they could have received a fatal shock.
Subsequent to charges being laid, but before the guilty plea, MJ Construction hired a licensed electrical contractor to go to all of the locations flagged by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) so the electrical work could be corrected of any defects. This was done at most of the addresses and was done at the expense of MJ Construction.
Derek Sankar, manager of MJ Construction, was convicted on June 20, 2017 for doing electrical work without an electrical contractor’s licence, for failing to apply for inspection and for unsafe electrical conditions. Much of the electrical work MJ Construction did at the time was found to be non-compliant with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.
“Illegal electrical work puts Ontario residents at serious risk of injury,” says Joel Moody, chief public safety officer, Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), Mississauga. “Electrical work is hazardous and should be performed by a licensed electrical contractor with the expertise, equipment and training to do the job safely.”
ESA reminds homeowners and businesses to:
- Ensure the contractor holds all required qualifications and licences – including an ECRA/ESA licence for electrical work. Ask for references.
- Check that the contractor has secured all appropriate permits and inspections.
- Advise the contractor that you expect a copy of the ESA Certificate of Inspection once the electrical work is complete.
To verify or find a licensed electrical contractor, visit findacontractor.esasafe.com.