Safety

We consider safety of primary importance in all of our operations. Our goal is to ensure that our electricity networks or operations do not cause any danger or harm to people or the environment.

  • We achieved our best result so far in the injury frequency of contractors.
  • Caruna’s safety management system was certified in accordance with the international safety management standard, OHSAS 18001:2007.
  • In 2016, the Zero Accident Forum run by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health assigned Caruna the highest possible category in occupational safety, for the second year running.
  • We gave out Caruna safety awards to our contractors for the second time.
  • Our project supervisors and contractors carried out over 2,200 work site inspections and Caruna’s own employees completed nearly 500 safety observation rounds, also referred to as ‘Safety Walks’.
  • 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. We design, construct and maintain our electricity networks in accordance with statutory 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. The overall responsibility for safety management was transferred to the Head of Network Operations at the end of 2016.

Read more about safety management

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 the 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.

One of the requirements of the Electrical Safety Act is that electricity networks may not cause danger.

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 lines as quickly as possible. We mark off work sites and provide clear signage to ensure outsiders cannot accidentally enter these areas.

Caruna’s networks are subjected to occasional electricity-related accidents and near misses every year. 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 the electrical safety in the sector.

In 2016, two near miss incidents to third parties took place in our network areas. In both cases an electric discharge caused a minor fire in the open but neither resulted in personal injury.

Safety of the society

The reliability and security of electricity supply has an indirect impact on the safety of the entire surrounding society. Our network improvement programme boosts the operational reliability of users who are critically dependent on uninterrupted supply and minimises the probability of adverse effects to the society. Such critical users of electricity can be, 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 the safety of society and security of supply

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 the quality of electricity and faults via remotely readable meters. We regularly analyse any atypical data registered by the meters to identify possible faults in the electricity network or customer’s meter reading centres. We investigate and repair unclear cases. In 2016, remotely readable meters helped us find 358 faults in the electricity network or customer’s 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 monitor continuously 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’.
 

Case: Caruna ranks among the top in the world in occupational safety


 
For the second year in a row, Caruna has achieved the best rating in the occupational safety classification granted by the Zero Accident forum of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. A total of 67 companies achieved the Zero Accident category and 29 made it to the top of the world category.

The Zero Accident forum grants annually classifications to workplaces that have invested in the continuous improvement of safety at work. In considering the classification, the forum looks at the level of safety at the workplace through, for example, its accident frequency and management practices. The notification and investigation procedures for occupational accidents and dangerous situations must be in order both for the company’s own staff and contractors.

In 2016, Caruna’s safety management system was certified according to the international standard, OHSAS 18001:2007.

“Safety is a key part of all our operations and we commit to it fully, from top management down,” says Piia Häkkinen, Head of Health, Safety and Environmental Issues.

Caruna’s current development priority is the improvement of contractor safety.

“At worksites, safety is even more important than for us office workers. This year we have invested particularly in training the whole procurement chain, supervision at worksites, boosting contractors’ self-monitoring processes and making the reporting and processing of pro-active indicators, such as near misses and safety observations, more efficient. Also, supplier auditing is a central part of our safety management system. These audits ensure that our contractors have the basics under control,” Häkkinen says.

According to Häkkinen, common safety practices must be put into practice and the whole subcontracting chain must be trained on them. Every worksite has its own safety plan that is based on the recognition of risk factors and on risk assessment. Everyone working on the worksite, regardless of who their employer is, must be familiarised with the safety plan. Separate, written plans are required for jobs that present a special danger, such as demolition or explosion work.

“One of our contractors is implementing a good practice on securing the safety of the subcontracting chain. They have divided their own subcontractors by risk category and plan safety measures carefully according to them,” Häkkinen explains.

Caruna’s contractors and subcontractors are required to take an online course on safety and the environment. The course deals with the basics of safety. After completion, the course qualification is valid for three years, and more than 1,500 people have now completed the course, which was updated in 2015.

 
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, safe working methods and the 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. During 2016, our employees completed a total of 492 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 the 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 2016, our project supervisors and contractors recorded a total of 2,200 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 be presented to us for advance approval.

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 while they work for Caruna or are within Caruna’s sites, leading to a disability of at least one working day, in relation to working hours.

The indicator tracking contractor and subcontractor safety is one of our key indicators.

We have systematically enhanced our reporting systems for contractor injuries and working hours from 2011. The peak of contractor injuries was seen in 2013, which is partially explained by more efficient reporting procedures. We have been able to cut down on the frequency of injuries, thanks to training, induction and systematic handling of anomalies. In 2016, the contractor injury frequency was at its lowest during our entire reporting history: 5.2 (incidents/million realised working hours). Our goal for 2017 is less than 8.

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

We had three serious contractor injuries in 2016, two of which involved subcontractors working for a main contractor. In January, a technician fell down from a pole, breaking his shinbone. In February, a subcontractor stumbled on uneven ground at the work site and landed hard on his hand, resulting in a broken wrist. In July, the lifting tool used with cable drums fell down and hit a member of the excavation contractor’s staff who suffered a broken heel. The improvement of subcontractor occupational safety in collaboration with main contractors is one of the key areas we focus on in safety matters in 2017.

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. In 2016, we gave Caruna’s second safety award to contractors who excelled in improving safety at work. In the company category, we presented the award to Infratek Finland. They emphasise preventive actions in their safety practices, which can be seen in the safety statistics: the company did not sustain any injuries leading to absence in 2016.

In the individual category, we rewarded two people: Mikko Iso-Räsy from Voimatel and Taneli Vihanto from Rejlers. Iso-Räsy prevented damage by being very vigilant when carrying out a connection programme. Vihanto has worked hard to refine the role of safety coordinator in collaboration with contractors.

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.

An online course in safety and environmental matters is obligatory for everyone working at Caruna’s work sites. In 2015, roughly 600 contractors took the course, and in 2016, roughly 900. An online course on electrical safety at the work site is recommended for all who work at any work site. This course was taken by roughly 400 contractors in 2015 and by 700 in 2016.

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 management of adjacent forest areas. More than 1,700 people attended these courses in 2016.