Safety

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Electricity networks by their very nature and the presence of live electrical currents must be operated safely. As such, the safety of our colleagues and the public around our network is always top priority and we have developed our approach for safety with our stakeholders People and groups with an interest in our operations as the region’s electricity distribution network operator. This includes customers, local authorities and installers of low carbon technology , including customers, contractors and team members.

Electricity networks can be challenging environments to operate in and live currents present danger, which is why we are committed to public safety and protecting and supporting our colleagues with their physical and mental wellbeing.

Since 2018 we have delivered a strong safety performance that means we are on track to exceed the commitment we made to reduce our accident rate by 50 per cent. We have achieved 690 days without any operational time lost due to an accident. This is something we call ‘lost time accident’ rates and is a benchmark of safety excellence in our industry.

We will build on this for the next business plan period (2023-2018) by expanding our safety programmes, continuing to deliver education and intervention programmes, and increasing support for our colleagues’ mental wellbeing.

Customers will see the following outcomes:

  • a 50 per cent reduction in our contractor accident rate;
  • a continued reduction in our ‘lost time accident’ rate until we consistently see no such accidents;
  • a 50 per cent reduction in preventable vehicle accidents giving us a safer fleet and a reduced driving risk to both our colleagues and the public; and
  • enhanced safety intervention and education programmes in our communities.

Actions we will take to achieve these outcomes include:

  • delivering training programmes that equip managers with the skills to identify and resolve risk behaviours and address the root causes of minor accidents in our workforce;
  • focussing on the main causes of injuries and continuing to reduce exposure to high-risk activities;
  • implementing specific target setting and monitoring for contractor safety;
  • integrating hazard and near-miss reporting systems for contractors with our own system;
  • introducing a health and wellbeing management programme for our workforce, including an accredited health and wellbeing management system;
  • delivering a comprehensive and tailored driver training programme;
  • ensuring new fleet vehicles are supplied with the latest safety features as standard including telematics to enable data-based interventionsData-based interventions enable us to provide our workforce with tailored feedback on their driving to support behavioural change and improve safety; i
  • delivering awareness education programmes, utilising technology to reach more school-aged children and workers in high-risk sectors;
  • trialling fleet vehicles with defibrillators to support community first responder (CFR) programmes;
  • collaborating with agriculture and haulage sectors to deliver a programme of initiatives to reduce the number of contacts with overhead lines
  • developing innovative technology with the agriculture sector to alert workers to the location of overhead power lines;iiand
  • delivering an overhead line clearance initiative to address overhead line clearance issues based on a routine programme of foot patrols.

Benefits:

  • a safer fleet on the region’s roads;
  • fewer accidents;
  • improved workforce mental health and wellbeing;
  • reduced repair costs; and
  • increased electricity safety awareness and education in our communities.

i data-based interventionsData-based interventions enable us to provide our workforce with tailored feedback on their driving to support behavioural change and improve safety enable us to provide our workforce with tailored feedback on their driving to support behavioural change and improve safety.

ii We are working with agricultural sector partnersOrganisations with whom we collaborate on projects and operations within our regions and our sector to develop a system that alerts workers to overhead lines using satellite navigation.

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