Safety

Safety comes first in all of Caruna’s activities. Our goal is to ensure that our electricity networks or operations do not cause any danger or harm to people or the environment.

  • Our project supervisors and contractors carried out nearly 3,000 work site inspections and Caruna’s own employees completed over 400 safety observation rounds, also referred to as ‘Safety Walks’.
  • We launched an action programme to improve the safety of subcontractors in particular.
  • We gave out Caruna Safety Awards to our safety-conscious contractors for the third time.
  • Through our network improvement programme, we supported and promoted the security of supply and safety in the society.

Safe electricity network

In Finland, the basic requirements for electrical safety are defined in the Electrical Safety Act. At Caruna, we design, build, and maintain our electricity networks in accordance with legislator regulations, sector standards and best practices.

One of the requirements of the Electrical Safety Act is that electricity networks may not cause danger. We pay particular attention to safety in our network design and network component selection, as well as in the requirements and supervision regarding construction sites and electrical work.

Read more about safety management.

We identify and evaluate risks and hazards related to our electricity network and operations on a regular basis.

We identify and evaluate risks and hazards related to our electricity network and operations on a regular basis. We assign potential safety flaws into categories and repair them in order of urgency; either as immediate fault repairs, in connection with maintenance scheduled for the near future, or within the next few years within projects included in our long-term network improvement programmes.

All of our electrical equipment bears warning plates to indicate the danger of electric shock. We prevent any intentional or unintentional access to electrical equipment by locks, structural solutions and careful placement of equipment. We repair all faults with the potential of causing danger and remove any trees fallen on the electric lines as quickly as possible. We mark off work sites and provide clear signage to ensure outsiders are prevented from accidentally entering these areas.

Unfortunately, there are occasional electricity-related injuries and near misses every year in Caruna’s networks. The majority of these are due to failure to follow safety regulations regarding electrical work. We report any electricity-related accidents and near misses immediately to the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes), to share information and to improve electrical safety in the sector.

In 2017, there were eight electrical injuries in our network area, mainly caused by weather and carelessness, and one near miss involving third parties.

 

Safety of the society

The reliability and security of electricity supply has an indirect impact on the safety of the entire surrounding society. Our electricity network improvement programme boosts the operational reliability for users who are critically dependent on uninterrupted supply and minimises the probability of adverse effects to the society. Such critical users of electricity include, for instance, hospitals, nursing homes, public transport, teleoperator base stations, water supply plants and waste water treatment plants.

Read more about the importance of electricity distribution for safety and security of supply in the society.

Customer safety

Ensuring customer safety is an integral part of Caruna’s safety management. If our electricity network suffers damage, we repair the faults quickly.

We monitor any faults and the quality of electricity via remotely readable meters. We regularly analyse any atypical data registered by the meters to identify possible faults in the electricity network or customers’ meter reading centres. We investigate and repair unclear cases. In 2017, remotely readable meters helped us find 384 faults in the electricity network or customers’ meter reading centres. We repaired them immediately.

We have also trained our customer advisors to identify different types of faults on the basis of descriptions by customers.

Occupational safety

We require that all our employees and partners be offered the opportunity to work in an environment that is healthy, safe and motivating. Our goal is to entirely avoid all accidents.

Occupational safety requires collaboration between all parties working at the office, site or projects. Risk assessment is fundamental for safety at work sites. We require both ourselves and our partners to continuously monitor the risks and dangers associated with work methods and environments. We draw up a safety plan for each project and keep it up to date.

Our goal is to entirely avoid all accidents.

We require that all deviations are reported and investigated, that corrective or preventive measures are set up for them, and that the progress of these measures is followed up. We share with our partners what we learn from the investigation of deviations, to help prevent further similar occurrences throughout the supply chain. Caruna is a member of the Zero Accident Forum of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and committed to the concept of ‘zero accidents’.

We monitor the safety of our work environment and operations by conducting regular inspections and safety observation rounds, also referred to as ‘Safety Walks’. Safety Walks are safety-oriented, interactive rounds at work sites or offices. They focus on people and safe working methods and conditions, whereas site inspections usually tend to focus on techniques and safety deficiencies.

We have set our personnel Safety Walk goals based on their tasks. In 2017, our employees completed a total of 426 Safety Walks.

Work site inspections, on the other hand, are mainly carried out by the project supervisors of our partners. We require our contractors to monitor work sites and send us safety reports. We help them in these tasks by providing mobile tools that enable them to send reports directly from the field, attaching any necessary photographs. In 2017, our project supervisors and contractors reported a total of 2,930 work site inspections.

Contractor safety

The requirement of safe work and work environment applies equally to all of Caruna’s personnel, contractors and subcontractors. We agree on safety rules and practices when entering into collaboration agreements. We give induction training to all of our contractors and require all subcontractors to be presented to us for advance approval.

LWIF, the indicator tracking contractor and subcontractor safety, is one of our key indicators.

LWIF (Lost Workday Injury Frequency), the indicator tracking contractor and subcontractor safety, is one of our key indicators. It reflects the ratio of occupational injuries to contractors or subcontractors, including trainees and temporary workers, while they work for Caruna or are within a Caruna work site, leading to a disability of at least one working day, in relation to working hours (incidents/million realised working hours).

We have systematically enhanced our reporting systems for contractor injuries and working hours. Through training, orientation and the systematic processing of anomalies we have been able to significantly reduce injury frequency. However, 2017 saw a setback in the injury frequency of our contractors, with 9.5 injuries per million working hours. This means that after our record low 5.2 injuries in 2016, we are back at the level we were in 2014 and 2015.

We are also monitoring serious contractor injuries. We classify an injury as serious if it leads to a disability of at least 30 days or a permanent disability.

In 2017, there were four serious contractor injuries and they all happened to the subcontractors of our main contractors:

  • A subcontractor’s truck driver suffered a hairline fracture in his hip when he slipped and fell off the back of the truck.
  • An excavation contractor’s employee suffered an electric shock when the excavator came too close to a live overhead line.
  • A subcontractor’s employee suffered a crush injury to his foot when an excavator bucket set in an upright position fell onto it.
  • A subcontractor’s employee got a compound fracture in his leg when a cable rail came loose and flew at his feet.

Developing subcontractor safety

The improvement of subcontractor occupational safety in collaboration with main contractors was one of the key areas we focused on in safety matters in 2017. Some of our key measures included establishing an HSE cooperation network together with our main contractors, adopting our own safety inspections throughout the contracting chain, updating the contents of our safety-oriented online courses and ensuring that our control and communication model for safety deviations was put into practice throughout the contracting chain.

Case: HSE network

Although safety at Caruna work sites is improving constantly, the beginning of 2017 brought bleak figures to the statistics of occupational accidents: the first three months of the year saw as many serious contractor injuries as the whole of 2016.

Caruna decided to step in and founded the HSE network for contractors (Health, Safety and the Environment) in order to find solutions for the safety challenges in the sector. Its goal is to improve safety at work by standardising occupational safety practices and streamlining the flow of information at work sites. The network also works to increase awareness of environmental issues. About a dozen contractor representatives joined the network straight away.

The network shares good practices for safe cable installations and dismantling, for example. Based on the feedback received, there has been a clear need for this kind of a new form of cooperation.

“Starting the HSE network was a superb idea for improving occupational safety. Contractors have found that through this network the occupational safety requirements and goals set by Caruna have become clearer to them. It is not always necessary to reinvent the wheel; instead, you can adopt methods that others have tested and found useful. An example of this is the use of electrical tools in occupational safety inspections,” says HSEQ Manager Juhani Kamila from Eltel Networks Oy.

Until now, the HSE network has worked on a safety inspection method for employees to check their own work and standardised the practices of reporting safety deviations. Previous accidents and their causes have been examined together and corrective measures to prevent them from happening again have been agreed upon. Faster flow of information and consistent modes of operation have also facilitated work with subcontractors.

“We have improved and clarified both Caruna’s and our partners’ modes of operation and instructions. These have helped to improve turnaround times at work sites because different work sites have different safety challenges. Now we always apply the best possible modes of operation for the safety of the site in question,” Project Manager Timo Rantala from TLT Connection Oy explains.

The whole network agrees that the best way to improve occupational safety is to do it together.

“We want to be involved in creating a new occupational safety culture for the entire sector. I hope that, in the future, subcontractors will also join the network,” says Network Service Manager Hannu Hiltunen from Rejlers Oy.

In 2017, we started implementing safety inspections of employees’ own work throughout our contracting chain. The purpose of this system is to guide people working at work sites to continuously observe their working environment and circumstances and to take responsibility not only for their own safety, but that of the whole work site. We will continue to implement this system in 2018.

Safety Award

We reward our partners for good safety-related work and address any shortcomings

We reward our partners for good safety-related work and address any shortcomings. For the third year running in 2017, we gave Caruna Safety Award to contractors who excelled in improving safety at work. Measures to promote subcontractor safety were emphasised in the selection of the winners.

The award in the company category went to Caruna’s subcontractor Lounais-Suomen Verkonrakennus Oy, which has been found a reliable partner by Caruna’s main contractor, Netel Oy. This award-winning small enterprise devotes resources to its employees’ competence, continuous professional development and occupational safety.

Case: Occupational Safety Award

 

Every year, Caruna gives prizes for contractors who have distinguished themselves by promoting occupational safety. In 2017, the jury focused on subcontractors’ efforts to make the work site a safer place. The award in the company category went to Lounais-Suomen Verkonrakennus Oy, which has acted as Netel Oy’s subcontractor for Caruna’s network building project.

“Safety is something we at Caruna pay a great deal of attention to, right up to top management. This seems to be the case also at Lounais Suomen Verkonrakennus. During Caruna’s work site inspections, we have noticed the company’s broad experience, considerable expertise, their employees’ skills and their appropriate plant and machinery,” says Caruna’s CEO Tomi Yli-Kyyny.

Lounais-Suomen Verkonrakennus has not had a single accident at work. This company of seven is confident that they will be able to keep their exemplary record of zero accidents also in the future.

“For us, occupational safety begins with our employees’ strong professional skills, professional pride and excellent work ethic. Occupational safety also requires continuous studying and development. If our employees discover a fault in safety on the field, they inform us of it immediately and we start looking for solutions right away,” says Janne Syväjärvi, one of the owners of Lounais-Suomen Verkonrakennus.

In addition to the company category, there is a personal category and in 2017 Caruna awarded Robert Norrgård from Netel and Juha Kaltiokumpu from Voimatel.

Manager of field work, Robert Norrgård, was applauded for his uncompromising attitude to occupational safety. His solid expertise in field work and safety at work enable him to make sure that everyone pays attention to safety issues, including subcontractors. Norrgård has also developed a practice whereby contractors check each other’s work, which has noticeably reduced deficiencies in work site safety.

Project manager for Voimatel in Northern Finland, Kaltiokumpu notifies any safety deviations quickly and investigates them thoroughly. Kaltiokumpu also provides induction and guidance for the staff at his own work sites. Caruna applauds his exemplary work.

“Congratulations to the winners of the safety award for work well done! I hope that their example will encourage others to pay attention to occupational safety too. We value our every employee and contractor and want to see everyone go home in good health at the end of the day,” says Sustainability Manager Piia Häkkinen from Caruna.

In the individual category, we rewarded two people: Robert Norrgård from Netel and Juha Kaltiokumpu from Voimatel. Norrgård impressed the jury with his uncompromising attitude to safety, his solid skills in the field and his ability to ensure that new procedures and systems are put into practice right down to the subcontractor level. Kaltiokumpu is a nationwide example in his company of someone with an excellent command of work site safety, the ability to handle any safety deviations appropriately and share what can be learned from them quickly and meticulously both with his own and subcontractors’ staff.

Safety and environmental training

We train and provide induction for both our own personnel and the personnel of our partners in matters related to safety and the environment.

We train and provide induction for both our own personnel and the personnel of our partners in matters related to safety and the environment.

An online course in safety and environmental matters is obligatory for everyone working at Caruna’s work sites. The course content was updated in 2017 and, at the same time, supplemented with contents relating to the management of electricity network assets. The course qualification is valid for three years, and nearly 2,500 people now have a valid qualification.

In 2017, we also updated our online course on electrical safety at the work site, which is recommended for all who work at any Caruna work site. Almost 1,000 people completed both the course in safety and environmental matters and the one in electrical safety in 2017.

We also provide our partners various types of training on safety and environmental matters, such as training on duty service, fault detection, land-use planning, major disturbance situations and forest operations near power lines. Approximately 400 people attended these courses in 2017.

Case: Electrical design training at the Tampere Adult Education Centre TAKK

The work of an electricity network designer requires extensive knowledge, ranging from electrical dimensioning to how to interact with landowners. It is a good idea to update your professional skills from time to time, and that is why Caruna has joined forces with the Tampere Adult Education Centre TAKK to organise further training for electricity network designers.

Provided since 2015, this popular continuing professional training has inspired a total of 226 professionals to grow their expertise. Based on the feedback from participants, contractors and the organisers of the training, there is a demand and need for further studies in this field.

“It has been great to collaborate with Caruna on this training and I hope this study programme continues to run for several years more. As an educator, this training has given me the opportunity to brush up my own skills in real time alongside the changes occurring in Caruna’s operations. The atmosphere in the classroom has been open and interactive. All in all, this is simply fantastic!” says educator Jaana Harju from the Tampere Adult Education Centre.

The four-day training is directed specifically for new designers just beginning their careers, but content-wise it is well suited also for more experienced professionals looking for a refresher course and for designers participating in Caruna’s projects for the first time. Applications are accepted twice a year.

This intensive course examines the design and planning principles of Caruna projects, electrical dimensioning, the positioning of the electricity network in the terrain and technical equipment, such as pad-mounted secondary substations. The course ends with an exam, and those who pass it receive a Caruna electricity network designer certificate. The educators on the course are Jaana Harju from TAKK, Caruna’s own experts, and guest educators Pepe Vahlberg from the ELY Centre and Airi Kulmala from the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK).

In addition to the Tampere Adult Education Centre, Caruna has boosted its cooperation with the Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK). This collaboration has generated parts of the course content, such as the section on interacting with landowners. The designers also learn more about what effects the placing of a cable in a field has on farming subsidies and why it is important to keep landowners up to date about work progress.

“Our collaboration with TAKK and MTK is excellent and we will continue to organise this course if there is as much interest in it as there has been,” promises Kalle Sato who acts as the person responsible for this training at Caruna’s end.

We launched Caruna Card training as part of our action programme for contractor safety. This training is directed particularly at subcontractors who are not electricity professionals but instead, for example, excavation contractors or forestry workers. The purpose of this training is to guarantee them a basic understanding of the safety factors at stake in the Caruna operating environment across the subcontractor field and also to support Caruna’s contractors in fulfilling their own induction obligations.

The concept for the Caruna Card and its pilot were created in 2017 and the regional training linked to it will start at the beginning of 2018. Our goal is for all our subcontractors to participate in this training in 2018.