Handling high-voltage work alongside an expert
Jyrki Toljander, Site Manager at TMV Service Oy, ensures that working with life-threatening forces is safe by providing careful training.
“We are building a substation in Alajärvi on behalf of Fingrid, the company responsible for the electricity transmission in the high-voltage transmission system in Finland. High voltages are present on a site like this, so a thorough induction is an essential part of safety at work and my job description.
I always check beforehand that the installer who will be working on the job has completed the required modules of the grid training courses organised by Fingrid. The training includes safety rules, safe working practices and safety at substations.
At the site, we start by going through the site area induction.
In addition, the employee must have an Occupational Safety, Electrical Safety and First Aid Cards. Without them, you can’t even enter the site.
At the site, we start by going through the site area induction: where there is voltage, what personal protection instructions to follow, and where the waste containers, toilets, fire-fighting equipment and first aid supplies are. Only then do we move on to the actual site.
We also check the installer’s own tools and machinery and, if necessary, replenish them. Then we go through the actual job on-site with pictures.
On a site like this, communication is really important.
Even if the worker is a professional electrician but lacks experience in substation work, they are always placed alongside a more experienced installer and away from the voltage, so that they have time to internalise and discuss the work. I encourage the newcomer to ask for advice on even the smallest things. On a site like this, communication is really important.
When the work starts, I check with the senior installer to see how the newcomer has learned and adapted, and I also follow the person’s work. During breaks, I ask how things are going and how they feel at work.
Enthusiasm tells me that the learning process has been successful.
The importance of the worker’s own attitude is important, i.e. internalising that they are working with life-threatening voltages. Safety rules must be adhered to, and recklessness has no place in substation work.
A curious and active attitude is an important part of learning. Enthusiasm tells me that the learning process has been successful.”