Keeping our employees safe at work

 

At Nova Scotia Power, safety has always been the foundation of how we work every day to serve our 520,000 customers across the province. Whether we’re working on high voltage power lines, maintaining equipment at our power plants or responding to storms, the safety and health of our 1,700-strong team is always our top priority.

In this difficult and uncertain time, we’re grateful for our hardworking teams who must come in to work to keep electricity flowing across the province. We couldn’t do it without them.
 
That’s why we’ve been preparing since January and have made significant changes to how we work. We work closely with a licensed medical advisor to ensure we’re following all necessary health and safety protocols. We’ve implemented preventive measures across the business to keep our employees protected, and our communities safe. 
 

In addition to these steps, we share daily safety messages with leaders across the business and we continue to remind employees of hygiene measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Our pandemic response team meets every day to ensure we are doing everything we can to manage the safe operation of our business and keep our employees safe and healthy.

As an essential service, it’s our responsibility to keep the lights on for customers. Here’s how we’re keeping our employees safe while powering our communities every day.

Power Production

Our teams in our plants make electricity for our homes and businesses across the province.

Here’s several measures we’ve taken to keep the teams safe:

  • Our plants are closed to visitors, unless they are authorized contractors.
  • All contractors are pre-screened before they enter a work site.
  • We’ve limited access to our plant control rooms, and we’re dividing work groups to make it easier to practice physical distancing. This includes keeping our maintenance teams separate from our operations teams.
  • We’ve implemented rotating shifts and staggered breaks to maintain physical distancing.
  • We’ve created external receiving areas at each plant to quarantine packages.
  • Our facilities are deep cleaned and disinfected thoroughly. We’ve introduced new cleaning protocols for tools and equipment.

Transmission and Distribution

While our Power Production teams focus on making electricity, it’s the Transmission and Distribution (T&D) teams that ensure that power is safely delivered along our 32,000 km of power lines. Our teams in the field maintain our electrical equipment and infrastructure across the province to ensure reliable service to our customers.

Here’s several measures we’ve taken to keep our field operations teams safe:

  • Our depots and customer service centres are closed to visitors and contractors.
  • We’ve increased personal protective equipment and shared new safety guidelines, including steps to take in emergency situations.
  • Our power line technicians and substation employees are now dispatched from home. All work packages are sent electronically to our field crews on their phones.
  • Our depots and vehicles are cleaned and disinfected thoroughly, and we’ve brought in more cleaning supplies.
  • We’ve separated work groups and provided additional vehicles for crews so they can travel to work sites separately and safely.
  • We’re scoping work requests remotely and calling customers to ensure there is no one on the job sites when our field employees show up to complete scheduled work.
  • We’ve paused meter reading across the province during the state of emergency and reassigned our meter readers to other critical work.

Energy Control Centre

Our Energy Control Centre is where we manage our energy load. Our teams here monitor and control our electrical grid – deciding where our electricity comes from each day, and ensuring we have enough energy to meet customer demand.

Here’s several measures we’ve taken to keep the team safe:

  • Access to our primary and backup control centres is restricted to only system operators and critical support. All other employees are working remotely from home.
  • System operators on the same shift follow physical distancing guidelines and use separate areas of the kitchen and separate bathroom facilities.
  • Operations support teams working on-site do not enter the control centres and follow physical distancing guidelines.
  • Our control centres are cleaned and disinfected thoroughly, with a focus on high-touch surfaces.

Service Delivery

Customer Care Centre

When you pick up the phone to ask a question about your bill, or to report an outage, you’re likely chatting with someone from our Customer Care Centre. Our Customer Care teams are still taking your calls and answering your questions – only now they’re doing it from home.

  • We’ve suspended non-essential in-home and in-business services, including planned outages, where there is a risk that physical distancing cannot reasonably be maintained. 

For the latest information about how we’re responding to COVID-19 and supporting our customers, visit nspower.ca/covid-19.

 


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