The safety observation campaign inspired people to collect positive observations

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The two-month safety observation campaign led to a record-setting 220 observations from suppliers and Fingrid’s personnel. This time, the campaign sought to gather positive observations that could improve safety.

 

We classified 70 of the observations we received as positive ones that improve safety. From this group, five were selected as the winners of the main prize – a vehicle camera.

“It was difficult to choose the winners, as there were more than five very good observations. I would have liked to hand out more prizes,” says Occupational Safety Expert Markku Pöysti.

The campaign promoted four safety themes: safety toolbox talks, safe mobility, personal protective equipment, and introduction and local guidance. Each theme had two weeks in the spotlight.

Fingrid has several years of experience in running safety observation campaigns. This year, we began issuing communications on the campaign much earlier than in previous years. This provided everyone with the opportunity to think about how to use the campaign as an aspect of their occupational safety work.

Another new aspect was the visual appearance, which included illustrations by a cartoonist. The aim was to use light-hearted humour to make an important issue more memorable. Pöysti thinks that the campaign was a success overall and that it can continue this year in a slightly different form.

“We hoped to receive observations for improving safety from more and more work locations, both during the campaign period and beyond it.”

The work plan was updated on-site to ensure safety

One of the award-winning observations was related to moving a foundation pillar when a support has already been constructed on the pillar. Eltel Networks’ Safety Supervisor, Ville Ala-Kokko, and his team observed that the excavator in use was not suitable for carrying out the work safely.

“We were not able to place the excavator used as a support point as we wanted to due to the excavator’s moorings, so we needed to change the position of the machine significantly. We carried out a new risk assessment and made a new plan, and the work was ultimately done well. I submitted a positive safety observation about this,” Ala-Kokko says.

Monitoring safety is a constant part of Ala-Kokko’s work, and he says that he normally writes up a few observations every week. The safety supervisor also gives several safety toolbox talks each week.

“I did not find myself becoming significantly more active during the campaign. However, I noticed that I made more positive observations when Fingrid was specifically requesting them. Otherwise, they can easily be overshadowed by shortcomings and faults.”

Campaign and prizes inspired people to get involved

During the campaign, Enersense, a service provider, submitted a substantial number of high-quality observations, and three of them won prizes. Vice President Antti Keskinen is responsible for substation projects, and he is working as the project manager for Fingrid’s substation construction work in Utanen and Nuojuankangas.

“Above all, we have an enthusiastic group of people working here, and they want to do the work as well as possible. This attitude also shone through in the safety observation campaign.”

Keskinen says that Enersense communicated the campaign effectively in-house.

“Observations are made all year round, but the campaign inspired a clear increase in the number of observations in our company. MVR measurements are taken every week on worksites, and they also highlight safety aspects.”

Keskinen was happy with Fingrid’s communications in relation to the campaign. For example, the campaign themes and materials came directly from Fingrid.

“Fingrid’s prizes also inspired us to get involved. We also held an in-house competition in two strands: one for our employees and one for subcontractors.”

Multiple methods for reporting observations

Most of Enersense’s observations were submitted directly to the Quentic system. Other ways of submitting observations were also offered.

“We offered the opportunity to submit reports on paper if the person was unfamiliar with the application. We also posted notices in worksite cabins advising people to access the application using a QR code.”

The matter was also discussed during coffee breaks. The discussions primed people to think about the matter and take note of things that might otherwise go unreported.

“For example, positive observations can easily be forgotten. Encouraging them was a very good and important theme,” Keskinen summarises.

Other prize-winning observations

Tuomas Kekki/Enersense International Oyj (Empower PN Oy): The observation described how the distance driven, the risks of mobility and emissions could be reduced, and the job satisfaction of testers could be improved by placing relay cabinets closer to where they live.

Teemu Anttila/Enersense International Oyj (Empower PN Oy): The observation demonstrates how vital it is to give and receive orientation to the hazards in the workplace. An employee of a subcontractor came to work on a substation, and during the orientation, it came to light that the person was using a pacemaker, so they would not be able to work safely in the substation area.

Hannu Matila/Fingrid Oyj: An observation concerning the totems for attaching safety harnesses, delivered with transformers and intended for placement on the transformer cover. These coloured totems stand out well and help to alert employees to the locations of totems and other pipelines on the cover of the transformer.

Anssi Niiles/Enersense International Oyj (Empower PN Oy): observed that foresight was very important during the coronavirus pandemic. Based on a separate risk assessment, a second site manager was trained in case the ordinary site manager fell ill.

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Fingrid Oyj
Läkkisepäntie 21
00620 Helsinki
Tel. 030 395 5267

Fingrid is Finland’s transmission system operator. We secure reliable electricity cost effectively for our customers and society, and shape the clean, market-oriented power system of the future.