NS Power and IBEW sign National Safety Charter

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NS Power and IBEW sign National Safety Charter

July 6, 2010

Today, Nova Scotia Power President & CEO Rob Bennett and Mike MacDonald, Business Manager for Local 1928 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, signed the CEO Health and Safety Leadership Charter at an event held in Sydney, Cape Breton. This marks the first joint company and union signing in the history of the Charter, which is an initiative of the Conference Board of Canada.

“I am proud to sign this Charter with our partners at the IBEW,” said Mr. Bennett. “This joint signing symbolizes the fact that our safety performance is the result of working together with our employees to create a culture where safety is paramount across the entire organization. This commitment is shared by our employees and contractors.”

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility,” added Mr. MacDonald. “Every worker in the province of Nova Scotia has the right to a safe workplace, and the best way to achieve this is through a shared commitment between the company, the union and each and every employee.”

“Our friends and partners at Nova Scotia Power and the IBEW clearly understand the benefits of making their workplaces safer,” said Labour and Workforce Development minister Marilyn More. “We are heartened and encouraged by their success.

The CEO Health and Safety Leadership Charter is an initiative that was officially launched on April 4, 2005 at the Industrial Accident Prevention Association Health and Safety Canada 2005 Conference. It is administered by the Conference Board of Canada with the goal to support continuous improvement of healthy and safe workplaces. The Charter has received international acceptance and been signed by more than 250 organizations.

In recent months, Nova Scotia Power employees have celebrated a number of safety milestones:

  • The company's Customer Operations team achieved one million person-hours without a lost time injury. Customer Operations provides day-to-day service directly to customers, and many of them are the people Nova Scotians see working outside during storms. This team of more than 500 employees spans challenging jobs from Yarmouth to Sydney and includes control centre workers, planners, engineers, fleet operations, vegetation management and power line technicians stationed across Nova Scotia.
  • Employees at the Tufts Cove, Point Aconi and Point Tupper generating stations worked injury-free during 2009.
  • Employees who work on Nova Scotia Power's hydro systems across the province worked injury-free in 2009.
  • The team that operates Nova Scotia Power's combustion turbines passed their 34th year without a lost time injury.
  • Employees at the Lingan Generating Station became the first generating station to reach the million-hour mark in September 2008.
Also in keeping with the Charter’s goal of continuous improvement, NS Power unveiled a public awareness campaign to educate Nova Scotians about the dangers of working around electrical wires. Last year, there were 112 instances where Nova Scotians contacted power lines. Contacts range from vehicles running into power lines to industry workers and home/cottage owners who are cutting down trees. The awareness campaign will encourage Nova Scotians to stay 6 metres back from power lines, because any closer could result in serious injury or even death. The campaign will feature radio ads and outreach to Nova Scotia Power employees and organizations who can help educate people about the dangers of working around power lines.