Safety Posts

Cutting trees near power lines CAN BE FATAL

On Saturday, February 25, 2017, customers in Baie Verte and and surrounding areas experienced an outage as a result of a tree falling into a transmission line. This caused loss of power to our entire Seal Cove Substation, leaving approximately 1,000 customers without power for about 3.5 hours. The tree made contact with the energized line as a result of an individual cutting trees around his cabin.

This incident could have resulted in severe injury or even death for the individual cutting the trees as well as anyone who may have been in close proximity. It is also an extremely dangerous situation for our employees who must visit the site to make repairs. Our first concern is, and always will be, the safety of our employees, customers, contractors and the public.

We’re only two months into 2017 and we’ve already had three incidents involving individuals cutting trees that have fallen into power lines.

Trimming trees around power lines should only be attempted by trained professionals. Serious injuries and even fatalities have occurred when untrained individuals attempt to do this work themselves. Each tree trimmer working for Newfoundland Power is an experienced, trained professional. Tree trimming is carried out in the immediate vicinity of energized high voltage power lines and only by qualified personnel.

Please don’t take your safety or the safety of others for granted. Visit http://www.newfoundlandpower.com/ElectricalSafety/AtHome/TreeTrimming.aspx for more information about cutting or trimming trees near power lines.

Think Safe. Live Safe.

Employees receive national Lifesaving Award

We couldn’t be prouder of two of our employees, Wayne Baggs and Jim Short, Meter Readers in Corner Brook. On Tuesday, November 15, 2016, Wayne and Jim attended a Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) Safety Symposium in Toronto where they each received a 2015 CEA Lifesaving Award.

This is their story:

 Jim Short and Wayne Baggs were driving east on the TCH about 5 km past Deer Lake when they came across an accident scene.  A vehicle had been travelling west on the TCH when it struck some slush and the driver lost control.  The vehicle did several 360 degree turns before going off the road and ended up upside down in a water filled ditch. The men parked their vehicles and ran to the ditch along with three other drivers who had also stopped.  The driver of the vehicle was trapped inside and the five men decided they had to try to lift the vehicle to allow the driver to escape.  They entered water up to their knees, quickly realizing that meant the driver of the vehicle was upside down and submerged in freezing water which was filling the drivers’ compartment.  The driver was also surrounded by airbags that had just gone off and was in great peril if the men could not lift the car – but they did it, and the driver was able to crawl out.   Had they not been there and lifted the vehicle quickly the driver mostly likely would have drowned. It was noted from the time they stopped until the rescue no other vehicles drove past the accident scene – this truly meant their efforts had made the difference between life or death. 

Congratulations to Wayne Baggs and Jim Short – you are truly heroes!

Did you know cutting a tree could be fatal?

On Saturday, November 5, 2016, over 4,300 customers in the Lewisporte area experienced a lengthy power outage. This outage was the result of individuals cutting trees in close proximity to electrical infrastructure. In this instance, one of the trees actually fell directly into a high voltage transmission line.

Of c image4 ourse this creates a major safety concern for those in the immediate vicinity of the contact. It also results in needless power outages to homes and business, not to mention critical locations such as hospitals, clinics and customers that rely on electricity to run home-based medical support equipment.

In this particular case, Newfoundland Power crews that responded to the incident found significant evidence of burning on the tree and at the base where the tree had been standing. Not only could the individual who was cutting the tree have been seriously injured or killed, but the same could also apply to anyone that was in close proximity to the tree at the time of the contact. Make sure you think about this the next time you are cutting trees, whether you are completing a commercial job, or you are just out to cut firewood or find the perfect Christmas tree – as our safety ads say, make sure you Look Up Before You Cut.

It was only pure luck that no one was seriously injured or killed as result of this incident, however, we cannot say the same for similar situations in the past. Please don’t take this warning for granted. It could mean the difference between life and death. 

If you see someone cutting wood in close proximity to a power line please let us know immediately by calling our emergency line at 1-800-474-5711.

Think Safe. Live Safe. 

Water and Electricity DON’T MIX!

If your home or business is flooded, THINK SAFE AROUND ELECTRICITY!

 

It is important to remember that water and electricity DO NOT mix.  If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of having water in your home or business, it is important to think before you act.  We know you are in a hurry to get things back to normal, but if water levels have risen to the level of baseboard heaters or electricity outlets, it’s possible the water is energized and potentially lethal. Water could also come through your electrical panel. If you find yourself in any of these circumstances – STAY AWAY!

 

The first thing you should do if you are concerned water may have interacted with an electrical source in your home or business is to SHUT OFF POWER. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you make contact with water in order to attempt to shut off power. To guarantee there is no power running through your home, power must be disconnected through your meter. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO THIS YOURSELF. A certified electrician can help, or you can call us at 1-800-474-5711. When in doubt…reach out, we are here to help.

 

It is also important to be smart outside of your home.  After storms, high winds may have caused downed power lines and trees falling into lines. Always assume downed lines are energized. Electricity and water is just as dangerous outside as it is inside.  Be vigilant and look for downed lines. If you find one STAY AWAY and call us immediately.  For more information about downed lines visit http://www.newfoundlandpower.com/ElectricalSafety/DownedPowerLines/Default.aspx

 

THINK SAFE. LIVE SAFE.

John Curran
Manager, Safety and Environment

Electricity Safety in Your Home

Newfoundland Power wants you to stay safe. While electricity is an extremely valuable form of energy it must be treated with care and respect. If handled carelessly, it can result in serious property damage, injury SafetyInsidetheHome or death. Every year, electricity-related incidents in Canada cause thousands of fires, many deaths by electrocution and hundreds of hospitalizations (for electrical injuries excluding burns).

Electricity makes life much more convenient, comfortable and fun. Refrigerators, air conditioners, microwave ovens, radios, TVs, stereos and computers are all made possible by electricity. However, electricity is continuously seeking all paths to ground through conductors, such as metal, wet wood, water, or your body. Your body is 70% water and therefore an excellent conductor for electricity. Here’s a few tips to stay safe at home:

  • Keep appliances, especially hair dryers, away from bathtubs, puddles, sinks and wet hands. Wet skin increases your risk of shock, so always unplug an appliance before cleaning it; even if it is turned off, it can still shock.
  • If you do not have them, ask a licensed electrician to install ground fault circuit devices (GFCI) in your bathrooms, kitchen, garage and some other places like basement and outdoor outlets. GFCI monitors the flow of electric current and stops the current to avoid danger if an imbalance occurs.
  • Keep anything that could burn (e.g. curtains) away from light bulbs, heaters, portable heaters or toasters. If you’ve ever touched a hot light bulb, you know how hot it can get; up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Turn off heating and cooking appliances before leaving home.
  • Don’t overload outlets. If you must use an extension cord temporarily, match the amperage or wattage limits marked on the cord with your appliance. Don’t use cords that are frayed or have cracked insulation or damaged plugs. Extension cords can be a big help, but if not used properly they can lead to fires.

Think Safe. Live Safe. Because, electricity waits to leap into action at the flick of a switch.