Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Wind Energy Health SafetyWorkers in the wind energy sector face a range of hazards and challenges, according to a new study released by Quebec’s Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST), one of Canada’s leading workplace health and safety research centres. Hazards and challenges include those associated with the mechanical aspects of wind turbines, cardiac risks, and electrical hazards associated with power circuits and control circuits, as well as getting access to company injury prevention plans and timely response from emergency services when performing winter work in isolated locations.

The wind energy sector is an emerging industry across Canada. In Quebec alone, an estimated 1,000 people work full time in the operation and maintenance of Québec wind farms, and another 2,000 are occasionally involved. Work at heights, in confined spaces, isolation, the absence of nearby emergency assistance, the physical requirements to climb towers, work at very low temperatures, and electrocution risks are many of the occupational health and safety challenges in this sector.

This study analyzes the accidents and critical incidents that have occurred in this sector, and injury prevention practices of wind farms located in Quebec and elsewhere in the world. In the process, the researchers created a scientific database on the typical risks to which this sector’s workers are exposed.

To analyze on-site working conditions, the researchers observed technicians performing their operation and maintenance tasks, as well as construction companies and subcontractors during the wind farm construction phase. These observations supplemented the data collection and helped characterize work hazards and procedures.

In many cases, it was noted in the field that only company managers have access toan injury prevention plan.Workers and technicians are aware that a plan exists, and some have read a summary of it, but they have problems getting access to the plan’s detailed guidelines and protocols. In other words, the company can meetgovernment requirements and show that a plan exists, but few workers know its detailed provisions.

The study is believed to be the first to create a health and safety profile of people connected to the industry. Researchers found that injury statistics are fragmentary and injury prevention programs in the industry are “an odd assortment and come in many forms, often simply borrowed from wind turbine manufacturers.” Nor did the researchers find clear, instructive examples of related practices elsewhere in the world. They recommended that companies shift towards implementing adapted prevention plans that comply with Quebec legislation and CSST requirements. In broader terms, the jurisdiction in which the companies are operating.

The project has resulted in a number of changes and advances in workplace accident prevention at several wind energy organizations and companies, the study says.

Find out more: http://www.irsst.qc.ca/en/publications-tools/publication/i/100813/n/wind-sector-safety-risks-prevention-strategies-r-858

 

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Schneider Electric

For the eighth year in a row, Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management and automation, participated as a proud sponsor in the 17th annual Tremblant 24h. With support from family, friends, employees, and the company, Schneider Electric Canada employees raised funds and presented a cheque for $101,840 to support local children’s causes. 

The company was one of 366 teams participating in this year’s events, which took place December 8 to 10 in Mont-Tremblant, Québec.

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EFCElectro‐Federation Canada (EFC) and Cámara Nacional de Manufacturas Eléctricas (CANAME) of Mexico, have submitted joint recommendations to their respective governments to safeguard future trade in North America.

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Now in its 24th edition, the 2018 Canadian Electrical Code, Part I includes a number of significant updates and changes to better help electrical workers in the safe maintenance of electrical equipment and create safer electrical installations.

This edition features important revisions to many sections. For example, Section 26 now mandates the use of tamper-resistant receptacles in additional areas where children may be present. Section 62 now requires ground fault circuit interrupter protection for heating devices and controls in proximity to tubs, sinks, and shower stalls. Section 10 has been updated, reorganized, and significantly reduced in length.

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Copper $US Dollar price per pound

 Sean Freeman

Sean Freeman is a vibrant, enthusiastic and selfless individual who has taken his trade expertise beyond that of a simple career. Not only is he a Master Electrician but he has traveled around the world as an electrical technician delegate with the Red Cross Emergency Response Unit. His skills are a vital part of emergency response and disaster relief.

In 2013 Sean responded to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. In 2014 Sean spent almost a month in Kenema, Sierra Leone working at the Ebola Treatment Centre. There he was responsible for ensuring electricity and clean water were available, and worked to strengthen the infrastructure of the facility. 

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