Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Nov 9, 2018

Peers and ProfilesAllison Wood and Dominique Rivet are two apprentices who had a wealth of career options available to them but chose to work in the powerline trades. They couldn’t be happier with their decision.

“The trades may be a little rough around the edges,” says apprentice powerline maintainer Allison Wood. “But I love that it’s never the same day twice.”

Wood, now a second-term apprentice with IBEW Local 636 in Niagara, had a lot of options when she graduated high school. With a lot of math and science courses under her belt and a track record of 80s and 90s in her classes, she was considering becoming a doctor.

What changed her mind? “I didn’t want to sit in a classroom for years, just racking up debt. I was also really enjoying my technical classes, and decided I like working with my hands just as much as I like mental stimulation.”

Dominique Rivet (shown in photo), also an apprentice with IBEW Local 636, was initially was looking at becoming an electrical engineer. “After completing a semester I realized I was much more interested in building and troubleshooting the circuits than designing them,” she says. “I did a great co-op placement with an engineering firm, but there was no field work.”
Rivet is an apprentice power station electrician with Hydro Ottawa, and their second female in the role. Prior to that, she was Hydro Ottawa’s first female apprentice metering technician.
She’s very happy with her choice and her path. “For a long time it’s been my goal to get into a utility company. Everything here is great, and the team here really makes me feel included. Once I have my license and get more experience, my goal is to get a tech position here, doing protection and control of the lines.”

Finding their dream jobs

“A few years ago, I saw a video showing a linesman working high up on a pole, and I just thought that what he was doing was so cool,” says Wood. That video became the inspiration to her career path.

Wood had started on an apprenticeship doing construction and maintenance electrical work. But as a petite female, her supervisors felt she wasn’t physically strong enough to do the job. She lost her position, but that didn’t stop Wood from pursuing her dream.

“I started working with a personal trainer,” she says. “Some of the tools an electrician uses can be heavy, and you do need to have the hand strength to use things like hand crimps. I worked hard and developed the upper body strength I needed.”

It was at that point that she saw the video that inspired her to change direction. She applied to Niagara Peninsula Energy as an apprentice Powerline Maintainer and is working through her probationary year as a member of IBEW.

Rivet’s journey to her power station work was less direct. “I took a bit of a longer route and started by getting my instrumentation and control engineering diploma, followed afterwards by my electrical engineering technologist diploma.”

While she notes her job is physically demanding, Rivet didn’t have any trouble with the physical requirements. “I play hockey and I box, so I found it challenging but very doable.”
Rivet cites another key quality she feels is needed to be a success in her field. “Personally I think a good attitude is very important in being an exceptional electrician. I believe someone who comes to work optimistic and happy is more prone to working safely. Being more involved in the day to day business means they will learn more about the trade.”


Loving the work

Since she signed on with Niagara Peninsula Energy, Wood has attended several rounds of in-class instruction and has assisted journeymen with restoring power to homes and businesses after storms and other incidents. After one storm, she had her first taste of some of the long hours powerline workers sometimes face with a 7:00 am to 11:00 pm shift.

For Wood, however, it’s all a part of a job she loves. “In school I’ve been climbing 65’ poles, practicing pole-top rescue, stringing wires and changing transformers.” She clearly can’t wait until she’s able to do these tasks in the field.

She also likes the work she’s currently doing, under the careful supervision of the journeymen on her team. “This week a car crash resulted in a pole being snapped in two. The only thing holding up the top was the communications cable. Once power to the pole was disconnected, we went in, stripped off all the overhead lines. When the new pole was put in place, we reconnected everything. It was a basic pole, so the whole thing took about four hours. It can take longer for more complicated poles.”

She really likes the training aspect of her apprenticeship as well as the overall atmosphere. “All the guys are really helpful. If you’ve got a problem they’ll help you work through it, asking you questions so that you learn to step back, reassess, and go at the problem from a different angle. It’s very logical, and no one shoots you down or tells you, ‘That’s a stupid question.’ They’re very keen on helping you through the learning process, explaining why we use certain materials or processes.”

While Rivet won’t be climbing hydro poles, she is learning to do critical work that keeps the power flowing throughout the city of Ottawa.

“Right now I’m on a maintenance crew, and we go through each cell in a station and calibrate and test the relays, breakers, switch and other parts, and perform any necessary repairs to all the cell equipment.”

She notes that she’ll be doing something different fairly soon. “Hydro Ottawa is pretty good for rotating their apprentices through all the different aspects of the job. After maintenance, I should be joining a capital crew which involves building and commissioning new stations.”

Rivet has also seen her share of repair work due to storms, like the one that hit Ottawa in spring 2018.

“The power was out all over the city and it was while I was on the inspection crew. We were asked to walk some of the lines to find a fault since all of the powerline technicians were needed to repair the numerous lines that were down. We eventually found the fault — it was a very big maple tree that was leaning up across two phases. We made the area safe and ensured no one from the public would go near the line or the tree, and waited for a line crew to come to do the repair.”

Challenges and rewards

Do they find there are any big challenges as women in the electrical power trades?

“I’ve been pretty fortunate. So far all the guys are pretty good for making me feel part of the group,” says Rivet. “I guess the biggest challenge I have is finding bathrooms while I’m out on the road, since it’s not as easy for me as it is for the guys,” she laughs.

“That, and finding work gloves in size small,” says Wood.

As it’s not yet a common sight to see a woman on a powerline crew, Wood does get a surprised reaction sometimes from members of the public. “But nothing mean,” she says. “Just light-hearted jokes. Once someone saw me with the guys and said, ‘There’s a rose between the thorns.’ That kind of thing.”

Rivet agrees. “I think the nicest comment I have ever received happened when I was going home from work. I was in the elevator with a mother and her two children, and the little girl just thought I was the coolest person ever. She was flooding me with all sorts of questions.”

Peer support helps along the way

As part of the small percentage of female power supply electricians, these young women are in a unique situation.

Thankfully they can connect with other women in the trades through Women of Powerline Technicians. Women of PLT is a volunteer based organization that hosts networking events, field trips, 24/7 online accessible peer group, no cost mentoring, career postings and more. They are able to provide these activities thanks to the generous support of Oakville Hydro.

“Lana (Norton, Women of PLT’s founder) is a coworker of mine and she’s been great for providing me with information regarding different events for women in the trade,” says Rivet. “Being a member has helped me be in contact with other women in a similar trade.”

For her part, Wood is also becoming a mentor with the group. “There’s a girl who just started, and I’ve been helping her with tips, and even giving her some old textbooks.”

Proving that anything is possible

What would these apprentices say to other young people, especially young women, about going for their trade?

“Anything is possible if you put your mind to it,” says Rivet. “It’s also important to never give up even if things don’t work out the way you’d like them to the first time around.”

This article was first published on Powering Communities, an online initiative of the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario (ECAO) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The ECAO and IBEW are a formidable team of employers and electricians who are recognized industry leaders in delivering safe, stable and high
quality electrical/telecommunications construction and maintenance services.

Find out more: www.poweringcommunities.ca

 Cablofil® Wire Mesh Cable Tray - The Conduit Alternative 

Legrand CablofilAs the safest, easiest-to-install alternative to labor-intensive conduit, wire mesh cable management tray has been the most widely adopted wiring support method for 40 years. Electrical contractors continue to rely on tried-and-tested, code-compliant cable tray for all of their installations, including those in some of the world’s harshest environments.

5 ways Cablofil beats conduit: 1. Fewer parts 2. All you need is a bolt cutter 3. Adopts to any installation 4. One person can usually install a whole system 5. Sweeps and bends can be formed on site. 

 

 

Watch the video HERE..

 

Changing Scene

  • Prev
Jacques Fiset, the new president of the EFC Quebec section, told us in a recent interview that his ...
Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the twin lighting shows - the  ...
A Friday night, the end of summer, the weather is mild, and 2,500 people — customers, ...
Eaton focuses on developing personable connections in every aspect. In September, our team will be ...
During the recently held IMARK Canada 2019 meeting in Niagara Falls, executives from 14 of the ...
Valard has been selected by Wataynikaneyap Power LPto provide engineering, procurement ...
The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum-Forum Canadien sur l’Apprentissage (CAF-FCA) has announced ...
Electricity Human Resources Canada has announced this year's keynote speakers for Agents of Change ...
Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (KZA)/Gull Bay First Nation (GBFN) and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) ...
The BCEA's Woman's Network THRIVE Summit is taking place on October 4th at the Executive Inn ...

Green PlugndriveThe Government of Quebec, Ingka Group (IKEA), City of Madison and several other industry and organization innovators have pledged to join CALSTART’s Global Commercial Vehicle Drive to Zero (Drive to Zero) program. 

“By joining the Drive to Zero pledge, Québec is committing to share its transportation electrification knowledge and expertise and coordinate its efforts with those of all partners to make zero-emission technology commercially viable by 2025 in the heavy vehicle sector...

 

Read More

 

 

 

Signify“Another year of record heat waves, fires in the Amazon and Siberia, and the ice caps at their smallest for centuries. The time for debate is over – now it’s time to take urgent action,” said Eric Rondolat, CEO of Signify, who spoke during the opening ceremony of Climate Week New York City.

According to Rondolat, governments worldwide need to help realize a carbon neutral world by 2050 at the latest with companies committing to a more aggressive target of 2030. When it comes to what he described as the “low-hanging fruit of energy saving actions,” Rondolat calls for the following commitments:

Read More

 

 

Codes and Regulations Brought to You by the CSA Group

  • Prev
The Code is a comprehensive document. Sometimes it can seem quite daunting to quickly find the ...
The Code is a comprehensive document. Sometimes it can seem quite daunting to quickly find the ...
In this article: Tables — Part B. This section of the Code contains 99 tables of essential ...
In this article: Section 58 — Passenger Ropeways and Similar Equipment. Rule 58-000 ...
  Unauthorized CSA Group certification marks have been found on wiring by Triumph Cable ...
In this article: Section 52 — Diagnostic imaging installations. The CE code is a ...
In this article: Section 46 — Emergency Power Supply, Unit Equipment, Exit Signs, and ...
  In this article: Section 44 — Theatre Installations. The CE Code is a ...
CSA has published C22.2 No. 60947-7-3, the harmonized standard for low-voltage switchgear and ...
  Electric welders. The CE Code is a comprehensive document. Sometimes it can seem ...

Latest Articles

  • Prev
Pick up a newspaper or scan your preferred electronic newsfeed and you’ll likely see a series ...
Britech Corp, one of Canada’s largest heating cable companies has signed a formal agreement ...
Electrical enclosures serve to protect electrical devices from adverse environmental influences, ...

 

Flir Application SpotlightWithout power, factory operations cannot continue. That’s why regular scheduled maintenance is important to ensure your electrical distribution system is in working order. A combination of a thermal imager and a clamp meter can help you detect hot spots and diagnose electrical issues at the point of failure before an outage occurs, quickly and safely.  Download the Application Spotlight today.

 

 

 

 

 

Read More  

 

3M WebinarRegister for 3M Canada’s upcoming webinar: How TTS™ Heat Trace Cables can help you on site.

3M Canada will be hosting a heat trace cables webinar, where you’ll learn about heat trace, heat trace applications (i.e.: pipe freeze protection, roof and gutter, and surface snow and ice melting), and the benefits of self-regulating heat trace cables—TTS™ Heat Trace Cables.

Self-regulating heat trace cables can adjust their output to the surrounding temperature down the cable length.

Read More

 

 

Tools for the Trade

  • Prev
  IDEAL Industries has introduced Combination Drill Taps to its tool lineup. Combining the ...
  Stripping and crimping device, 100 - 240 V input voltage, for insulated ferrules with a ...
Professional all-in-one cutter/stripper for coaxial and twisted pair cables     ...
  Klein Tools' Coax Explorrer 2 tests coaxial cable and maps up to 4 locations   ...
  Ideal Industries' T-14 wire stripper s are ideal for all professionals working within the ...
  The ATS850 conveyor eliminates all types of electro static discharge requirements. ...
  Lorik Tool & Automation has the experience and ability to manufacture a variety of ...
  Ideal Industries' 26 piece insulated Journeyman kit is ideal for new electricians or for ...
  Klein Tools Deluxe Fish Rod Set comes in 19 pieces that when assembled can fish wire and ...
  BendWorks Software was designed to help electrical contractors adopt this new process ...

Flir CM94FLIR Systems have announced the release of their new FLIR CM94 2000-amp AC/DC electrical utility clamp meter. Designed to tackle high current electrical measurements in demanding utility and industrial job sites, the CM94 features an oversized jaw to easily manage larger conductors and busbars. With CAT IV-1000-volt overvoltage protection, the CM94 works on relays, distribution panels, vaults, switchgears and switchboards, as well as on service conductors, feeders, and production power lines.

 

 

 

Read More

 

Product News

  • Prev
The SYLVANIA ValueLED UFO High Bay is a DLC Premium LED fixture that has a lightweight, impact ...
Power Integrations announced new high-power-density members of ...
Tray portrays a picture frame design. The intention was to evoke the idea of empty picture frames, ...
Magic Lite introduces the next generation of their hugely successful LED Brick ...
The adorne Collection has expanded their line of designer switches and outlets to now come in the ...
Remee Wire & Cable, a leading manufacturer of electronic wire and cable, announces its new line ...
Remee Wire & Cable, a leading manufacturer of electronic wire and cable, announces new ...
The new CU81xx uninterruptible power supply (UPS) series is designed for universal use in the ...
The GRV-TEX-26F6 cable provides neat, protected wiring from the terminal connector of a groov ...
Eaton announced its latest release of the XLR-51 supercapacitor module.     ...

 

LYTSwitch DriversPower Integrations announced new high-power-density members of its LYTSwitch™-6 family of safety-isolated LED-driver ICs for smart-lighting applications. The new ICs with PowiGaN™ technology enable designs that deliver up to 110 W with 94% conversion efficiency using a simple, flexible flyback topology.

The high efficiency of the new LYTSwitch-6 ICs eliminates the need for heatsinks – greatly reducing ballast size, weight and cooling airflow requirements. The 750 V PowiGaN primary switches provide very low RDS(ON) and reduced switching losses. 

 

Read More

 

 

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2019 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil