Safety

We prioritise safety in all of our operations. The key principle is that Caruna’s electricity networks and operations shall not cause any danger or harm to people or the environment.

Safety management

Our health, safety and environmental policy defines the principles of our safety management. Our HSE policy also applies to our business partners and covers our entire supply chain.
 

Safety management at Caruna observes the principle of continuous improvement.

Safety management at Caruna is goal-oriented and observes the principle of continuous improvement. Safety goals and targets are set for operations and their realisation is monitored and communicated regularly. The frequency of contractor injuries causing absences is one of Caruna’s key performance indicators. Our safety management applies to the entire supply chain, including our business partners.

A member of the Caruna Management Team is responsible for Caruna’s safety management (the Head of Projects, IT and Sustainability). The Caruna Management Team sets the common rules, goals and targets for safety-related matters, and monitors their realisation in practice. It ensures the availability of human and material resources required by these goals. Safety responsibilities are further allocated to business units in accordance with their type of their activities.

In safety management-related tasks the Management Team is supported by the HSE manager, together with the HSE work group composed of representatives from all business units. Caruna’s occupational well-being team and industrial safety committee handle issues related to the occupational health and well-being of the company’s own personnel.

We are active participants in the development of the safety culture of our industry. We actively collaborate to the development of the safety culture within our industry. We take part in various safety-related collaboration and development groups, such as the occupational safety committee of the industry association Finnish Energy (ET=Energiateollisuus ry), various other groups and the Zero Accident Forum, run by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

Safe electricity networks

In Finland, the basic requirements for electrical safety are defined in the Electrical Safety Act (statute 410/1996). We design, build, and maintain our electricity networks in compliance with legal requirements, industry standards and best codes of practices. By following industry standards, we ensure that the safety of our installations is always up to date and we comply with the regulatory requirements. We only acquire installations for our electricity networks that comply with electrical safety regulations. We evaluate hazards related to our network assets and operations on a regular basis.

 

Caruna’s electrical safety management is the responsibility of the Head of Network Operations.

We identify and evaluate hazards related to our network assets and operations on a regular basis. Potential safety deficiencies are classified and processed on the basis of their urgency; either as urgent fault repairs, maintenance actions, or as planned network improvement actions included in investment programmes.

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

All electrical equipment is equipped with warning signs to warn people from inadvertently getting too close to them. We prevent any intentional or unintentional access to electrical equipment by locks, structural solutions, and careful placement of network structures. We repair all faults with the potential of causing danger, and remove any trees fallen on overhead lines as quickly as possible. Work sites are isolated and signposted clearly to prevent any outsiders from inadvertently accessing these areas.

Caruna’s networks are subjected to some electricity-related accidents and near misses every year. The majority of these are due to failure to follow regulations regarding safety at electrical work. We report any electrical accidents and electricity-related near misses immediately to the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes), to share information and thus improve the electrical safety within the whole industry.

In 2015, we had three electrical accidents.

  • In January, a crane hit Caruna’s 110-kV overhead line on a construction site of a third party.
  • In August, three people forced their way into a property-mounted secondary substation through a maintenance hatch, and one received a 20-kV electrical shock.
  • In December, a contractor’s supervisor received a 20-kV electric shock while going through the introduction training with new workers by entering too close to a transformer he believed to be disconnected. The supervisor did thus not follow the defined safety procedures.

Electrical accidents to outsiders, reported to Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes)

  • Electrical accidents
  • Near misses

Safety of the society

The reliability and security of electricity distribution has an indirect impact on the safety of the surrounding society. Reliability investments help the electricity users who are critically dependent on uninterrupted distribution of electricity to manage the risks of their own, which, in turn, minimises the probability of adverse effects to the society. Such electricity users can be, for example, hospitals, nursing homes, public transport, tele operator base stations, water supply plants, and wastewater treatment plants.

Customer safety

Ensuring customer safety is an integral part of Caruna’s safety management. Should the electricity network suffer damage, the normal network voltage may increase without triggering the protection devices that protect the network and devices connected to it. As a consequence, customers’ electrical devices may work incorrectly or even break down.

We use smart electricity meters for monitoring the quality of electricity. We analyse atypical data registered by the meters on a regular basis to identify any overvoltage situations, i.e., neutral faults. Any suspicious situations are investigated and if necessary, faults are repaired on site. In 2015, smart meters detected 451 neutral faults, which were repaired as urgent fault repair tasks.

Sometimes customers may notice that their electrical appliances function in an unusual way, such as lights appearing brighter or dimmer than normally, and contact Caruna customer service. Our trained customer service staff is able to identify potential zero-conductor faults as customers describe the problems they have noticed.

Reported overvoltage events caused by network faults (so-called neutral faults)*

  • Reported overvoltage events caused by network faults

*Over half of the events in 2013, i.e., 463 overvoltage events caused by network failures were attributable to the exceptionally strong storm Seija in December.

Occupational safety

Occupational safety is based on consistent leadership, clearly defined and applied common rules as well as careful incident reporting, investigation and corrective action.

All of our employees and business partners shall have the opportunity to work in a healthy, safe and motivating work environment. Our goal is to entirely avoid any accidents.

Occupational safety requires collaboration between all parties working at the office, site or project. Risk assessment is fundamental for safety at a project site. 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.

We require that all incidents are reported and investigated, that corrective or preventive actions are set up for them, and that the implementation of these actions is followed up. Learnings from the incident investigation must be communicated to others, in order to help prevent further similar occurrences throughout the supply chain.

Training and incentives to promote occupational safety

We organise training and induction to both our employees and business partners. In 2015, we updated two online induction courses on safety, specifically tailored to contractors working with us.

The safety and environment course is compulsory for everyone working on Caruna’s project sites. Nearly 600 people took the course during 2015, and we plan to continue in the same fashion in 2016. The second safety-related online course regards safety at electrical work. We recommend it to everyone working at our sites, and nearly 400 took this course during 2015.

In addition to these, we offer our partners training on various themes of our operations. These include matters related to safety, such as a seminar on duty service and fault repair, training on major outage organisation as well as induction on safety electrical work for those working on adjacent forest area clearing tasks. Approximately 950 people attended these events in 2015.

We monitor our work project sites 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, safe working methods, and the conditions, whereas site inspections usually tend to focus on techniques and safety deficiencies.

Caruna’s employees have been assigned Safety Walk goals based on their roles. Work site inspections, on the other hand, are mainly carried out by our partners’ project supervisors and documented using field tools. In 2015, we documented over 5,000 site inspections and nearly 800 Safety Walks, of which Caruna’s staff accounted for approximately 300.

Safety walks

We reward our partners for good safety performance and address any shortcomings. In 2015, we handed the first Caruna safety award to a contractor who excelled in improving safety at work. We deal with any shortcomings actively, by applying methods agreed upon with our partners. The actions are based on the seriousness and recurrence of identified issues. The systematic adoption of measures for addressing shortcomings and other issues is set to continue in 2016.

 

We are in the world’s forefront in safety.

Caruna wants to enhance the occupational safety of contractors through the development of contractor cooperation networks and improvement of interactive channels during 2016.

Caruna is a member of the Zero Accident Forum of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and is committed to the concept of ‘zero accidents’. For the first time, in 2015 we applied for a level classification regarding 2014. We were assigned category I, meaning that we are among the best companies in occupational safety-related matters internationally.

Contractor safety is one of our key performance indicators

The requirement of safe work and work environment applies equally to all of Caruna’s personnel, contractors, and subcontractors. Safety rules are agreed upon once contracts are signed. Safety documentation attached to the contracts are complemented by adding more detailed instructions. We give induction training to all of our contractors and require that all subcontractors are approved by us beforehand.

For Caruna, the improvement of contractor safety represents the most significant challenge related to occupational safety. LWIF (Lost Workday Injury Frequency), the indicator tracking contractor safety, is one of Caruna’s key performance indicators. It reflects the ratio of occupational accidents to contractors or subcontractors while they work for Caruna or are within Caruna’s premises, leading to a disability of at least one working day, and realised working hours.

We have systematically enhanced our reporting systems for contractor accidents and work hours since 2011. The peak of contractor accidents was seen in 2013, which is partially explained by more efficient reporting procedures. We managed to cut down the accident frequency remarkably in 2014 through training, briefing and assertive handling of incidents. Increased investments and the arrival of new contractors and subcontractors are seen as a slight increase in injury frequency seen in 2015. We reached our LWIF goal for 2015, which was to remain below 10. For 2016, the goal is below 9.

We had two serious contractor accidents in 2015. An accident is classified as serious if it leads to a disability of over 30 days or a permanent disability. In September, a forest worker of a subcontractor sustained an injury on his leg with a chain saw, resulting in a period of disability of two months. In October, a fitter suffered a broken heel when the stump of a tree hit his foot while he was removing the fallen tree from the overhead line. This accident resulted in a period of disability of more than two months.

 

2015

2014

2013

WIF contractors*

9.8

8.6

19.7

Serious accidents**

2

3

4

TRIF***

1.9

0

0

* The indicator reflects the ratio of occupational accidents to contractors or subcontractors while they work for Caruna or are within Caruna’s premises, leading to a disability of at least one working day, in relation to the millions of realised working hours spent disabled.
** An accident leading to a disability of over 30 days or a permanent disability.
*** The TRIF (Total Recordable Injury Frequency) indicator reflects the ratio of occupational accidents to Caruna’s employees, leading to absences from work or requiring medical treatment, in relation to working hours (incidents/millions of realised working hours).