Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Journalism wanted: why aren't Hydro workers electricians?

I just blogged that Hydro workers should be allowed to reconnect homeowners' equipment in order to facilitate power outage recovery.

Then I read an article about what the Hydro CEO was doing during the outage, which mentions in passing:
Meanwhile, workers report that, after finally restoring power in many neighbourhoods, they are being forced to disconnect some houses because of damage done to stand pipes, the hollow masts usually mounted on rooftops that serve as a conduit for power cables to enter a dwelling. A bent or broken stand pipe poses a risk of fire, and it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to have it fixed by a qualified electrician.
Hydro workers are not electricians.
 (My emphasis.)

So why aren't Hydro workers electricians?  They're working with electricity.  They're connecting bigger wires than electricians usually work with, so it seems like they should be able to be electricians.  Are they actually unable to do the work of electricians?  Or is this merely a certification issue?  Or is it a jurisdiction issue?

 What would it take for Hydro workers to be electricians?  Would they have to learn new skills?  Or just get an additional certification?

 I hate it when I walk away from a newspaper article with my questions than I went in with.

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