“Be aware of the work environment under all circumstances”

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Fingrid’s occupational safety campaign for 2021 emphasises the importance of work planning and foresight. No matter how confident we are with our work, we should always check the conditions and assess the risks before we start. We collected some examples of methodical approaches to work and situations requiring special attention on our worksites.

 

Olli Forsman, Site Manager, NRC Group, Refurbishment of the Keminmaa substation

”There always needs to be a plan when moving around in a substation. Areas ­usually contain excavations and channels that need to be crossed with care. Furthermore, the signage in work areas must be kept in good order, and employees must comply with signs. Care should always be taken to ensure that the work area is unenergised and earthed. In the winter, slippery conditions pose an additional challenge, and if anti-slip studs are used on shoes, it is important to remember that they can easily pierce the plastic insulation on conducting cables. If personnel lifts are used, it is important to check that the terrain is strong enough to support the hoist throughout the entire route.”

Jarkko Honkarinta, Transmission Line Technician, Destia Oy, Forest Line sections B and C

”I have plenty of experience, so it is quite easy for me to identify potential hazards. However, it is important to remain alert at all times, even if the work feels routine. A general rule for new installation technicians is that if they feel even slightly unsure about a situation, they should always ask the supervisor or a more experienced colleague. In hot summer conditions, it is important to remember to drink enough. Dehydration is a danger, especially when working on towers, and this increases the risk of accidents.

Ville Ruokamo, Transmission Line Technician, Destia Oy, Forest Line sections B and C

”Our company has a policy known as the ‘ten-minute rule’: before any work begins, we take a peaceful moment to assess the potential hazards and check our equipment. The work tools always need to be checked at the work location before any work begins. It is not enough to check them when we set out to start the work because they could get damaged on the way there. We always need to check the surroundings and the movements of other employees. If you ever notice a colleague acting carelessly, you are obliged to say something. In my experience, everything has become more rushed over the years as deadlines are often tight. This naturally increases the amount of pressure on people, and attention to detail may suffer.”

Antti Peltokorpi, Infrastructure Technician, VEO Oy, Construction of the Pysäysperä substation

“Everyone needs to ensure their own safety and make sure that their actions do not put anyone else in danger while working. A calm approach is the key to this. Stress and thoughtlessness are the greatest risks. Worksites may have excavations more than two metres deep with steep sides. We need to be alert when we move around and ensure that it is safe to enter such excavations, for example, by using a ladder.”

Think before you act

The idea behind the “Think before you act!” campaign is to remind employees of the importance of a methodical and thoughtful approach to work. The aim is for everyone working on Fingrid’s worksites to prepare themselves thoroughly and thoughtfully for every job.

Fingrid seeks to permanently integrate the “Think before you act!” approach into practice and incorporate it into the orientation provided on worksites. The approach is founded on the idea of checking the work location from afar and thinking for a moment before doing anything else. Before starting the work, the hazards associated with the work and the environment should be identified, and the personnel should assess whether the work can be done as planned. At the same time, it is necessary to verify that the resources required for the work are adequate: personnel, work tools, materials and personal protective equipment. In addition, contingency plans must be made in case of emergency.

“In 2020, there were too many accidents that could have been prevented by thinking a little more carefully before starting work,” says Markku Pöysti, Expert, Safety at Fingrid.

Video competition challenges people to consider occupational safety

When the campaign began at the start of the year, Fingrid’s service providers and their managers were informed of the matter by letter. In addition, two webinars were held on the topic in February and June. The issue is also being raised actively at regular occupational safety information events. In support of the campaign, Fingrid created posters and a package of material that safety coordinators are covering during safety toolbox talks on worksites.

In order to drive home the message, Fingrid is also producing four videos covering the theme and some real-life situations.

“The videos present the events leading up to accidents. Three of the videos review the build-up to accidents from the perspective of the injured parties and consider how similar accidents could be avoided. In addition to the three short videos, we will create one longer video that covers the other three videos in more depth.”

Fingrid invites its service providers to get involved in improving occupational safety and considering examples and approaches for preventing accidents. Suppliers are encouraged to produce their own videos on the theme. The videos should be no longer than four minutes, and they do not need to be produced to professional standards. The important thing is the content. Prizes will be awarded for the best videos.

“We hope that the inclusive element to this campaign will provide our partners with a new way of communicating an important message.” 

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