Utility Work Protection Code (UWPC)

We're updating our work protection operations.

Toronto Hydro is in the process of changing our work protection operations to the Utility Work Protection Code (UWPC) in order to better comply with provincial regulations. Work protection means that power is disconnected for a period of time to help provide a safe work environment.

As we transition to UWPC, we’ll be implementing a temporary suspension of work protection requests from December 1, 2020 until January 9, 2021.

Frequently asked questions

The UWPC provides a set of rules and regulations that helps ensure the hazards associated with electrical work have been identified, eliminated or controlled whenever possible. This helps keep electrical workers – either Toronto Hydro workers, third-party contractors or other organizations – safe.

Work protection is used for multiple types of work, including large construction projects, upgrades to customer-owned equipment and emergency work. It means that power is disconnected for a period of time to provide a safe work environment while the work is being completed.

The UWPC is the provincial standard for ensuring worker safety, and because safety is our top priority, we’re adopting the UWPC to better align with the Electrical Utility Safety Rules and O. Reg. 213/91.

Between December 1, 2020 and January 9, 2021, Toronto Hydro will not be able to offer work protection to any customers, contractors or agencies. This temporary suspension period is necessary to properly change over to new UWPC processes and operating procedures, as well as train staff.

In the event of an emergency situation that poses a public safety risk or a wide-scale power outage, Toronto Hydro will provide emergency work protection and/or hold-offs where required. Due to the nature of this type of process change, no exceptions will be granted unless it falls within our defined emergency situations.

We don’t anticipate any delays in the end date of the temporary suspension period. However, in the event of a delay or extension of the temporary suspension period, we’ll email an update to impacted customers and stakeholders.

Toronto Hydro will still be offering hold-offs during the temporary suspension and the process for scheduling hold-offs remains the same. Hold-offs are used for all types of work, including tree trimming, replacing equipment or connecting new transformers.

The difference between work protection and hold-offs is that work protection fully isolates and de-energizes the equipment from the system, ensuring the work being completed does not have any live electricity present. A hold-off only prevents the re-introduction of electricity by disabling a function in the control room used to automatically open and close switches. A hold-off does not protect a worker from coming in contact with electricity.

Depending on the type of work and equipment, a hold-off may be sufficient. Many electrical equipment operations require the establishment of work protection, which is a complete isolation of the equipment from all our known sources of energy. If you’re unsure if you need full work protection or a hold-off, or would like to request either of these services, please follow the directions below:

Customers who book 2021 isolations will follow the same process and, for the most part, the process of the isolation will remain unchanged. The only difference will be a different colour of tags that are put on the equipment during the isolation.