We ensure the continuity of our operations by actively identifying and managing risks.
Exceptional weather conditions
The most significant operational risks relate to exceptional weather conditions, such as storms, heavy snowfall, and exceptionally severe frosts, which can affect the reliability of electricity supply in the transmission and distribution network. The key method of preventing interruptions is to replace overhead lines with underground cables, forest management near overhead lines and development of remote network control.
In addition, we develop the structure of our networks in such a way that a faulty part can be secluded during an outage, which again improves our ability to minimise the number of customers affected by it. Careful prior planning enables adequate preparation, which is essential in case of a disturbance.
Changes in the regulatory environment
In the long term, operational risks often emerge as a result of changes in regulations but also, in the short term, from differing interpretations of regulations and decisions. The Finnish regulatory environment can be considered stable. The current regulation period commenced at the beginning of 2016, and it provides an 8-year perspective instead of a 4-year one.
Due to various reasons, such as liquidation, the suppliers we use may be unable to deliver the commissioned network projects and services. Our procurement model will ensure Caruna a favourable and sound position for competition in each of its network areas.
A systematic control model for contractors and services will provide fast signals from the market of any contractor-specific problems, consequently providing the opportunity to step in and perform the necessary corrective actions in time.
Risks related to health, safety and the environment
The management of health, safety and environmental (HSE) risks is integrated in Caruna’s total risk management and dealt with in accordance with the company’s risk management principles.
Identification and assessment of HSE risks, along with the definition and monitoring of the measures to manage such risks, are part of work carried out by Caruna’s internal HSE working group. A comprehensive HSE risk assessment is carried out every year as part of the business planning process. The list of risks is revised monthly, and the changes in risks are reviewed quarterly, including an assessment of the level of risk and the status of measures. In the company-level risk matrix, the level of all identified HSE risks is given as low or moderate.
Caruna’s safety risks include incidents such as subcontractor injuries and serious near misses. Subcontractors, who do not have a contractual relationship with Caruna, carry out a significant part of the work on site. The majority of their work is demanding and requires specific expertise.
The number of contractor injuries that occurred during the first quarter of 2017 was the same as that for the whole of 2016. Half of all the injuries and all serious injuries happened to the subcontractors. As a risk management measure, Caruna supplemented its contractor safety improvement programme, with particular attention paid to the measures affecting subcontractors, such as the Caruna Card training and the HSE partnership network. The injury frequency rate evened out towards the end of the year, and the results for the fourth quarter had clearly improved from the previous quarters.
The most significant environmental risk has been the risk of oil spills, especially in the class 1 groundwater areas. Caruna’s objective is to completely eliminate this risk by the end of 2019 with the help of the groundwater pole-mounted transformer regeneration programme.