Tag: Safety Management

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Northeast Utilities Takes Safety Off-Road

Nobody likes getting stuck in mud, rock, sand, snow or anything for that matter. As a company that maintains more than 1,600 miles of transmission lines in all kinds of terrain, Northeast Utilities (NU) understands this fact all too well. Environmentally it can be a nightmare, logistically it can affect job completion estimates and from a safety perspective it can put employees in harm’s way. It was these reasons, along with a proactive approach to safety, which led NU to invest part of its safety budget into a 4×4 training and recovery techniques program for its transmission line crews...

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Solid Footing

In a few years I’ll be 60. I’ve been in the business now for 37 years, but no one ever talked to me about how to care for my feet until I finally had to go to a podiatrist a few years ago. When he looked at my X-rays he said, quite confidently, “You are a lineman right?” It seems he had seen the picture several times before. The bones and connecting tissue and ligaments that make up your feet and legs, as it turns out, are fairly malleable. For the first 20 years of my career, I worked in an older city area where just about every distribution pole was in a backyard, so I climbed almost every...

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LOTO vs. Switching and Tagging

Electric utilities have unique issues that are not easily addressed in a traditional LOTO program. Traditional programs typically address equipment and system designs that rarely change. This is certainly not true with electric utility Transmission and Distribution (T&D) programs. LOTO procedures are dynamic, changing from day to day and sometimes from hour to hour. So the question arises: What is the difference between traditional LOTO and switching and tagging programs? Several key differences are equipment source and load conditions that constantly change; various types of switches and...

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NESC-2012-Part 4: Summary of Change Proposals

NESC-2012 change proposals have been published and are available for comment through May 1, 2010. Subcommittee 8, Work Rules Sections 40-44, is responsible for the changes to Part 4 of the NESC. The main change proposal includes a requirement for employers to determine potential electric arc exposures for employees who work on or near lines, parts or equipment 50- 1,000 volts. NESC-2007 does not specifically require employers to perform an arc hazard analysis on low-voltage systems so this will be a major change for 2012. According to the 2012 proposals, NESC Subcommittee 8 established a Low...

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Keeping the ‘Fighter Pilots’ of Your Company Safe

A consistent, clear safety message backed by unwavering actions is what is takes to keep your employees flying straight. Most fighter pilots are 25-years-old and full of vinegar. Sure, they’re smart, but most have a lot of velocity, and often very little vector. There’s no way they can keep themselves from harm. Therefore, peacetime training losses are acceptable. This is the way military leadership used to think. Back then (1988), old school commanders honestly believed that if we were going to train (fly) like we were going to fight, a few losses were to be expected and accepted....

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