Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is a non-profit corporation that regulates and promotes electrical safety in the province of Ontario, Canada. The company works towards ensuring that people can live, work, and play without the risk of electrical harm. ESA achieves this goal through various means, including anticipating, identifying, and targeting leading causes of electrical-related harm, verifying compliance with Part VIII of the Electricity Act and its associated regulations, promoting awareness, education, and training to make the public aware of potential electrical harms, and collaborating with Licensed Electrical Contractors, utilities, manufacturers, safety partners, and other stakeholders to improve electrical safety in Ontario.
The Ontario government has given ESA a mandate to improve public electrical safety, and the company administers Part VIII of the Electricity Act and oversees related regulations. ESA's work is guided by annual business plans, five-year strategic plans, and stakeholder feedback, and it has an administrative agreement with the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery.
Mandate, Mission, Vision
The mandate of the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is to enhance public electrical safety through a range of activities, including training, inspection, authorization, investigation, registration, enforcement, audit, and other regulatory and non-regulatory public electric safety quality assurance services. ESA's mission is to improve electrical safety for the well-being of the people of Ontario. This mission is achieved by anticipating, understanding, and preventing electrical-related harms. ESA has a clear vision of an Ontario where people can live, work, and play safe from electrical harm.
In order to achieve this vision and mission, ESA upholds a set of core values that guide its actions and decisions. These values include safety, accountability, leadership, collaboration, integrity, and trust. ESA believes that by prioritizing these values and working collaboratively with stakeholders, it can make Ontario a safer place for all citizens.
Promoting Inclusion and Diversity
The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is committed to promoting inclusion and diversity within the organization and the wider community. ESA recognizes that valuing diversity and fostering an inclusive environment leads to a more robust exchange of ideas and perspectives, which is crucial to achieving its mission of improving electrical safety for the people of Ontario.
Guided by the Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmark, ESA has established specific strategic goals to promote inclusion and diversity, which include diversifying the composition and reach of the organization, deepening leadership capacity and accountability, and fostering an inclusive work environment. ESA has also renewed its commitment to the Electricity Human Resources Canada's Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which aims to promote diversity and inclusion in the electricity sector.
ESA's approach to inclusion and diversity is inclusive of all underrepresented groups, including women, people with disabilities, Indigenous people, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. This approach is reflected in ESA's Corporate Organizational Excellence Strategy and very comprehensive IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility) program.
About the CIO
Kelley Irwin is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Electrical Safety Authority, with a wealth of experience in leading technical and digital transformation for both customer experience and regulatory compliance. She is an accomplished leader who has received recognition for improving employee engagement levels and the diversity of her teams over a 25-year period in numerous firms. Kelley's passion for IT is evident in her commitment to supporting women entering the field as professionals. She holds multiple degrees in mathematics, computer science, and cybersecurity credentials, making her an expert in her field. She also considers learning to be an ongoing process, which shows her commitment to keeping up with new technology and advancements.
As a thought leader, Kelley fosters respectful, cooperative relationships with other executives, board members, and outside stakeholders. Her experience leading large IT teams across the globe to provide business and customer value for Fortune 500 global corporations has helped her to develop a creative, forward-thinking, and all-encompassing digital strategy for the ESA. Kelley's interest in technology was sparked during her time at Ohio State University, where she enrolled in a computer science course with her brother. She was fascinated by the numbers, patterns, and sequences that led to creating a moving object or a process. She found the problem-solving phase to be magical and realized that technology was her passion.
With Kelley's hiring as the ESA's first CIO in 2019, the organization demonstrated its commitment to growing and investing in IT. Her responsibilities include organizing the division and developing a creative, forward-thinking, and all-encompassing digital strategy.
Unique Solutions for New Challenges
The Electrical Safety Authority faces several challenges in achieving its mandate of improving electrical safety for the people of Ontario. One of the main challenges is staying up-to-date with new and emerging technologies, as these can pose new electrical safety risks that must be identified and mitigated. Additionally, the ESA must balance the need to enforce regulations and standards with the need to educate and engage with stakeholders, such as electrical contractors and the public, to promote electrical safety. Another challenge is ensuring inclusivity and diversity in the organization, both in terms of its workforce and in its outreach to the community. The ESA recognizes that promoting diversity and inclusivity leads to a more robust exchange of ideas and perspectives, which is critical to its mission of improving electrical safety for all Ontarians.
To overcome these challenges, the ESA has several strategies in place. For example, the organization invests in ongoing training and professional development for its employees to ensure they have the knowledge and skills needed to address new electrical safety risks. The ESA also uses a combination of enforcement, education, and outreach to promote compliance with electrical safety regulations while also engaging with stakeholders and the public to raise awareness of electrical safety risks and promote safe practices.
To promote inclusivity and diversity, the ESA has implemented an IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility) program, which sets strategic goals for diversifying the composition and reach of the organization, deepening leadership capacity and accountability, and fostering an inclusive work environment. The ESA has also committed to the Electricity Human Resources Canada's Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to promote inclusivity and diversity in the electricity sector.