Eventful start of year: exceptional weather and COVID-19 outbreak
The start of the year has been mild in large parts of the country and the snow line has been far north. This has presented some challenges to demolition work. Instead of slippery and icy ground, the problem has been soft and wet terrain. Since the conditions have changed, we’ve also had to revise our working methods. This played a role in one accident that led to absence from work. It should be remembered that when plans change, the risks to safety, the environment and the quality of work must also be re-evaluated.
The second theme is also related to weather: in the first quarter, there were storms at several consecutive weekends, during which the importance of occupational safety and the coping of employees was emphasised. Rest is crucial even if there is great pressure to get work done.
Since March, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has given us cause for concern. The restrictions imposed by the Government on the movement and gatherings of people have changed the organisation of work. We should all remember not to unnecessarily expose ourselves, our partners, our customers or third parties to the virus. If there are customer interactions, we must use the required protective equipment and maintain good hygiene by washing our hands before and after customer visits. If hand washing is not possible, we must use hand sanitiser.
Let’s view this as an opportunity to learn – something that will make us more prepared for future challenges. We should observe the working environment, report our observations and identify the root causes to be fixed. In this way, we can learn and we won’t have to repeat the same mistakes. (16.4.2020)
Continuous improvement model
Caruna's safety management is based on a continuous improvement model, where safety is incorporated into every activity. The safety management model is ISO 45001 certified.
If our electricity network suffers damage, we repair the faults quickly
We repair all identified deficiencies in order of urgency: either as immediate fault repairs, as part of maintenance planned for the near future, or within the next few years as part of our investment programme.
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 means of locks, structural solutions and careful placement of equipment. We repair all faults that could potentially cause danger and remove any trees fallen on power lines as quickly as possible. We mark off work sites and provide clear signage to ensure outsiders are prevented from accidentally entering these areas.
Ensuring customer safety is an integral part of Caruna’s safety management under all circumstances. If our electricity network suffers damage, we repair the faults quickly.
We monitor faults and the quality of electricity via remotely readable meters. We have also trained our customer advisors to identify different types of faults on the basis of customer descriptions.
We aim for a healthy, safe and motivating work environment
Caruna is a member of the Finnish Vision Zero Forum of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, and we are committed to the concept of zero accidents.
Despite these efforts, near misses and even occupational accidents do sometimes occur. We aim for every deviation to be reported and investigated and for corrective measures to be taken to prevent the incident from recurring.
We report all electrical accidents and near misses to the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) to share information and improve electrical safety in the sector.
We monitor the safety of our work environment and operations by conducting regular site inspections and safety observation rounds, known as Safety Walks.
Safe work and working environment for Caruna's partners
We agree on safety rules and practices when entering into collaboration agreements. We give induction training to all our contractors and require all subcontractors to be presented to us for advance approval.
We have systematically enhanced our reporting systems for contractor deviations and working hours. We have been able to significantly reduce the frequency of accidents through training, orientation and the systematic processing of incidents. For precise figures and more key indicators of occupational safety, see our 2019 annual report.
We follow up on serious contractor and subcontractor injuries. Accidents are serious if they lead to a loss of working capacity for at least 30 days or a permanent disability.
Developing worksite safety
Caruna holds Caruna Card training events to improve safety for subcontractors. The training is intended for subcontractors who do work such as excavation or forestry rather than electrical work. The aim is to ensure that subcontractors across the field have a basic understanding of the safety factors at stake in Caruna’s operating environment and to support contractors in fulfilling their own induction obligations.
Everyone working on Caruna’s worksites must complete our online course in safety and environmental matters
In addition, an online course in electrical safety at the work site is recommended for those working at the sites. The qualifications are valid for three years, and more than 2,500 people now have valid qualifications.
We also provide our partners with different types of training in safety and environmental matters, such as on-duty service, fault detection, land-use planning, major disturbance situations and forest operations near power lines.
The Caruna safety award for good work
Every year, we reward some of our partners for achieving a good standard of safety and working to promote safety.
Caruna handed out safety awards 2019 to Netel Oy, N3M Oy and Jaki-Matik Oy. This is the fifth time Caruna has given safety awards, and the criteria for these awards were reliable partnership and exemplary individual performance in relation to safety. Read more.
In 2018, Caruna gave safety awards to Maanrakennus Ohtamaa Oy, Koneurakointi Kivistö Oy and ELTEL Networks Oy's Build group of technicians. Year's award criteria emphasised safety attitude and reliable partnership. Read more.