When service providers enter into contracts with Fingrid, the terms and conditions include mandatory safety training and orientation. According to Karri Koskinen, Fingrid’s Occupational Safety Expert, the purpose of the requirements is summarised by the Zero Accident target.
“We endeavour to equip everyone with the capabilities to ensure safety. We require our service providers to do the same.”
First aid and occupational safety card course and E-school: compulsory for all
First aid and occupational safety card courses are mandatory for everyone working on Fingrid’s sites. The personnel must also complete at least the basic modules on Fingrid’s E-school before they can begin working.
“More advanced modules may be completed gradually, in line with the project supervisor’s plans as the project progresses,” Koskinen says.
The E-school also includes modules for specific types of work, which employees must complete before they begin such work.
Specific training for operational and electrical work
Employees operating on Fingrid’s high-voltage equipment must complete a course entitled “Operating and electrical work safety on the main grid”.
“The course reviews how to work safely at Fingrid’s substations and on power lines. Other parties have also chosen to complete this training,” says Pasi Lehtonen, Fingrid’s Safety Manager,
The safety guidelines, which dictate the content of the training, are updated every three years. Wide-ranging, workday-long training events are held after every update.
“We also arrange shorter targeted training events. The topics included in the guidelines are also reviewed during risk assessment days.”
Risk assessment day raises risk awareness on construction sites
Fingrid strives to arrange risk assessment days as a part of every substation and power line project. In 2018, risk assessment days were arranged for every area of maintenance work, both on powerlines and in substations.
“The project supervisor is responsible for assessing the risks of work and sites that are identified as hazardous. The risk assessment day supports this work.”
Some high-risk sites are reviewed as an exercise. The day also involves discussing general occupational safety matters, such as rules, accidents that have occurred, and near-misses.
“The events are attended by the employees of the project supervisor and subcontractor, who are reminded of the presence of risk and of the occupational safety rules,” Koskinen says.
Construction site orientation and local guidance are prerequisites for safety
On Fingrid’s investment projects, the project supervisor is responsible for providing employee orientation on the rules and hazards on the construction site, as well as for advising on how these hazards can be avoided. Fingrid is tasked with providing the project supervisor with local guidance before work begins and when changes occur on the work site, such as changes in the operational situation. The project supervisor shares local guidance with people working on the site.
“In the areas managed by Fingrid, such as substations where no construction work is done, Fingrid is responsible for orientation,” Koskinen says.
Less intensive occupational safety events may also be arranged on construction sites in the form of occupational safety briefings. These may include presentations by Fingrid’s experts on occupational safety matters as a part of the project’s kick-off meeting.
Power line and substation training support safe construction
In addition to the forms of training required by the contractual terms and conditions, Fingrid arranges occupational safety training with a more limited focus for service providers.
Power line training comprises a series of training events intended for people working on Fingrid’s power lines.
“The events are held once or twice a year, and they review the basics of power line construction and updated information,” says Hannes Maasalo, Fingrid’s Power Line Expert.
“We also arrange individual training events. Last autumn, we held a safety training event for Fingrid employees working at heights. Next autumn, we will provide this training to our service providers,” Maasalo says.
Substation training is also held regularly. Training days are arranged twice a year with varying themes, including high-voltage equipment and high-quality substation construction.
“The training events cover technical requirements, as well as safe, high-quality installation and operating models. We also review the contractual terms and conditions if they have been amended,” says Janne Eskelinen, Project Manager.
Exchanging information at seminars and webinars
Occupational safety matters are also discussed at Fingrid’s occupational safety seminar, which is held every two years. The seminar is attended by project and construction site managers, as well as occupational safety experts and managers.
At the beginning of the year, Fingrid trialled a webinar as a new communication channel for occupational safety.
“The 90-minute webinar reviewed the state of occupational safety last year and the targets for 2019. We received encouraging feedback, so we plan to hold more webinars – perhaps also for training purposes.”