Safety

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Canadian Utility

Near Miss Reporting System

The primary purpose of this archive of near-misses on the job is to serve as a safety awareness tool for our members, as well as others in the industry, to share experiences that could have resulted in a reportable/recordable injury or property damage, but due to either the experience and/or the luck of the individual(s), no harm or damage occurred.

A near-miss or close call is a “second chance” and it is up to the individual who got the second chance to pass the information along so that everybody benefits from it. The next person walking down the same path may not be as fortunate. A near-miss that goes unreported is a wasted experience that could possibly have saved a life someday.

The near-miss could be the result of equipment failure, hardware failure, or unintentionally not following established safety rules.

All near-miss reports will be posted to this web page as received, with only minor editing if required for clarity or to maintain anonymity. It is important to note that the use of company computers for anything other than company business could result in disciplinary action, so we strongly encourage the use of members’ personal computers when submitting anything to the Safety Committee.


The following archive of near-misses on the job has been compiled by date, with the most recent entries listed first.


Fuse Penetrates Workers Body - Brief Description of Incident: An overhead crew was dispatched to a no power call.  The crew conducted an onsite assessment and noticed a primary fuse was blown as of the result of open wire secondary being wrapped together.  After conducting

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Zero Harm Following Proper Procedures - Brief Description of Incident: A Station Operator closed a Breaker to energize a Panel to restore the panel to service Panel which fed a 600V switchboard.  When the panel was energized, it faulted causing an arc flash and fire. Zero

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Defective Spiking Tools - Brief Description of Incident: The chisel point broke off of a cable spiking tool on only the second or third attempted use of this tool.  As a result the chisel point didn’t penetrate the insulation but marked the cable giving

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Hook Failure - Brief Description of Incident: While loading poles onto a pole trailer the “S” hook butt end pulled through the “Flemish” eye and the pole fell approximately two feet on to the trailer.  The “S” hook remained hooked on the hardline

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Always Use Fall Arrest - Brief Description of Incident: On some occasions I have observed that some workers do not use fall arrest all the time while working aloft. This can cause temporary or irreparable injury to the worker if they were to fall. Injury

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Energized Meter Ring - Brief Description of Incident: A service was identified as ready to energize. Upon opening up the service entrance the crew found an aluminum meter ring tucked in behind buss bars sitting on top of insulated hot legs feeding customer side

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Pole Fallover - Brief Description of Incident: Crew was starting to salvage a multi pole wooden structure, starting at the top of the structure.  While removing the last timber, at an approximate height of 10”, the Apprentice who was belted in, yelled out

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Bucket Tip Over - Brief Description of Incident: A Lineman was operating a smaller aerial bucket truck to remove a broken tree limb off of a neutral.  The bucket was extended to its 28’ maximum off of the passenger side of the truck. He

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Primary Wire Across Road - Brief Description of Incident: Worker was dispatched to a customer no power call at 08:00 and located a broken cutout hanging from the primary cable.   A customer flagged worker down and reported that he had found a downed primary line

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Pole Top Split - Brief Description of Incident: While spreading primary phases, the top four feet of a pole split. The pole split enough to kick the quarter brace lag out of the temporary arm. Two phases to the north were spread to a

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Safe Stopping Distance - Brief Description of Incident: Worker was travelling on a gravel road between jobsites when he came up to a rail way crossing.  As he started to apply the brakes the vehicle started to slide on the loose gravel.  At this

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Probe Failure during Switching - Brief Description of Incident: A probe on an elbow that was parked “hot” failed when installed into a pad mounted transformer to pick up load on 6 transformers. A flash came out of the switch module to case ground and

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Hoist Failure due to Improper Bolts - Brief Description of Incident: A crew was lifting an underground switch off of their trailer with a digger derrick using 5/8″ bolts screwed into the switch case. While lifting the switch, the hoist locked out with the switch about 1″

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Energized Line Lands on Telephone Line - Brief Description of Incident: While a line crew was removing a hot line clamp connector on energized #6 solid copper wire, the wire broke, landing on the phone line. The center phase fuse blew and the wire down remained hot

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Look Before You Exit Your Vehicle - Brief Description of Incident: A worker was dispatched to a trouble call late in the evening.  He pulled up to the address and parked his vehicle on the side of the road with lights and flashers on. While reaching for

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Cable Broke on Puller - Brief Description of Incident: Using UG equipment, we were pulling in 3 phases of primary underground, termination to termination, no boxes in between. Pulled wire all the way through conduit and used digger boom to pull enough wire out of

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Pole Top Falls Over - Brief Description of Incident: A crew who showed up on a job location to replace a broken guy stub pole. While we were doing our tailboard we heard cracking and several people yelled “look out” and everybody ran away from

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Watch Your Step - Brief Description of Incident: I was exiting a bucket truck and my right foot got caught on the step and made me stumble. I almost fell with no control. It’s easy to make a bad step.
Hungry Dog Looking for a Meal? - Brief Description of Incident: While trimming a tree in a back yard the homeowner came out to ask a question and her German Shepard got out and circled one of the crew.  The worker kept calm and was able to

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Wildlife causes Rain - Brief Description of Incident: While trimming trees aloft a worker yelled down that it was starting to rain.  Other’s replied “how, there’s not a cloud in the sky.” I stopped to see what he was talking about when I noticed

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Defective Rubber Gloves - Brief Description of Incident: In checking a brand new pair of class 2 Rubber Gloves a worker noticed they had a small cut in them. The rubber goods had been shipped from the supplier to the company and then forwarded

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Transformer Explosion at Power Plant - Brief Description of Incident: Personnel at a Power Plant avoided a significant near miss.  At approximately midnight on a Sunday morning a main bank “C” phase transformer, which is in the area just east of the turbine building at an

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Improper Termination Causes Flashover - Brief Description of Incident: A troubleman while performing routine switching for load reasons was operating various overhead switches with permission of the control center. Arriving at a newly installed switch the troubleman proceeded to close the switch which unfortunately caused

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Boom Failure - Brief Description of Incident: Two lineman suffered severe injuries when the upper boom failed while they were aloft. The truck was a 65′ Teco boom that apparently separated just above the knuckle where the fiberglass meets the metal. Both were

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Finger Amputation - Brief Description of Incident An employee was working on a large station transformer. His work required him to perform several activities on top of the transformer, which was accessed by way of a fixed ladder. Upon finishing his work, the

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Vehicle Rollover - Brief Description of Incident: While proceeding into a left curve in the road, the employee saw a vehicle coming towards him in the approaching lane. He realized he was crowding the center line and corrected to allow the oncoming vehicle

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Dislocated Ring Finger and Laceration on Little Finger - Brief Description of Incident: Employee to lift the drill with right hand to inspect it closer supporting the drill at the chuck with his left hand. With finger still on the trigger the drill engaged and the chuck caught on

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Chainsaw laceration - Brief Description of Incident: An Employee was making the last cut to remove a tree branch that was against a conductor and stuck in some brush. He was back-cutting the branch when it came towards him leaving little time to

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Setting pole in ungrounded line - Brief Description of Incident: Crew set a pole a few feet away from an existing pole that was required to be replaced. No temporary protective grounds (TPG’s) were installed and methods to set poles in energized lines were also not

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Scissor lift Snagged Cable - Brief Description of Incident: While an employee was lowering a scissor lift a cable wire became lodged under the scissor lifts pivot point, causing the scissor lift to be pulled upwards and move off the level ground. The scissor lifts

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Electric drill twisting resulting in broken right hand - Brief Description of Incident: An employee was drilling a hole into a steel beam approximately 7 feet above the ground, while standing on an 8 foot step ladder. As the employee was drilling, the bit caught on the steel, twisting

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Limits of Approach - Brief Description of Incident: Scaffolding contractor erected scaffolding at a hotel within 14 inches of primary conductor. The scaffolding contractor noticed how close the scaffolding was and asked a local electrician if he was too close. The electrician noted that

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Contractor Near Miss – Work Zone Clearance - Brief Description of Incident: Sub-contractor arrived on site and did not contact utility construction representative on site. Sub-contractor proceeded to contact system control directly for a clearance on a work zone. Utility construction representative became aware of the situation, intervened

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Employee short circuits secondary wire causing flash burn - Brief Description of Incident: While disconnecting an overhead quad service the employee got his cutter between an energized hot Leg and neutral causing an arc flash to face and neck. Employee was wearing safety glasses and low voltage gloves. This

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Delivery Truck Operator without PPE - Brief Description of Incident: Delivery truck operator exited his cab and proceeded to remove straps from load without respecting clearly posted PPE sign and requirements.
Worker Sore Back Due to Rough Road - Brief Description of Incident: Employee was travelling on Lake Road, and the road was in unsatisfactory condition – full of large ruts and potholes. Workers proceeded carefully but the truck bottomed out the transfer case several times. This resulted in

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A near miss was recorded from a line crew while lifting a 750 lb. 50kva transformer - The crew was in the process of pulling the transformer from the pole using a steel Wilson gin. All of the work was being done by a journeyman climber on the pole. The crew had covered the 12kV primary above

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A crew working maintenance on a 12kV UG radial line made phase to ground contact on a transformer case - A journeyman lineman in the process of doing a voltage test was pulling a capacitive test cap on an energized dead break elbow when the elbow became dislodged from the transformer bushing and fell onto the case of the transformer.

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Maintenance on a UG 3 Transformer Radial Run - While working on a scheduled outage a crew was performing maintenance on a UG 3 transformer radial run. The crew had first planned to de-energize the whole radial circuit but changed their minds and decided to keep the first transformer

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Primary Splice Failure - Contract crew was energizing a new run of primary cable in a man hole. When the foreman put the switch in the closed position to take rotation at the 3 pot bank he noticed he had no voltage. He then

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Energized Transmission Grounding Incident - It was reported to committee that a crew mistakenly applied personal protective grounds to an energized 69kV transmission line. According to the report the crew had tested the line de-energized with a Hastings voltage tester and applied the grounds causing

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Electrical Contact - A crew was installing a new 40 ft pole, and in-line anchor replacing a 30ft pole to accommodate the addition of a system neutral. While installing the new anchor, the helix broke off when it contacted something hard in the

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Metal Piece in Chipper - Crew was removing a oak tree and while they were chipping there was a big cracking sound in the chipper. The crew turned off the chipper and looked inside and they found a piece of metal in the chipper. The

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Runaway Truck - One day a crew was working on a steep hill and they wanted to leave the chipper disconnected from the truck so they could go work over the hill. The foreman told the climber to disconnect the chipper and the

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Hit in Face With Pole Pruner - Employee hit his nose with pole pruner. Trimmer was trying to reach a high limb with his pole pruner. The limb was too thick to cut with one hand on the pull rope and so he pulled the rope with

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Fall from Ladder - Worker was installing a triplex service to a new home. The Powerline Journeyman (PLJ) set up the ladder on the gable end of the house, next to the mast, because the roof was snow packed and slippery at the eaves

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Contact with Electricity - An Underground crew was replacing two aging 4/0 – 5KV underground feeders at a utility owned station. The Crew went through their normal practice of going over a Job Plan and having a “tailboard conference”, with the crew and the

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Cell Phone for Flashlight - There were contractor crews working during a storm that did not have flash lights for their hardhats. Instead of flashlights at night they were using cell phones that had flashlights to shine on the work. The climber held a cell

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Working Without Signs or Cones - Saw a crew working without signs or cones on the jobsite. The crew used the excuse that they were trying to keep production up. Not a good excuse.
Unsafe Tools and Equipment - We went to work on power company property and while we were doing the work we were stopped by a company safety inspector. Our equipment was checked and we were shut down because our equipment was not up to par.

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Equipment Failure - On Feb. 24, 2014 an Outside Line contractor using a contract helicopter performing external human load work had an inadvertent hook release while a lineman was being transported on the long line, dropping him into the back-up secondary device (Belly

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Unsafe operation of Equipment - A contract crew was working on a helicopter set pole. The pilot, with a contract helicopter company, came in rapidly with the pole swinging violently. The crew said that they tried repeatedly to wave the pilot off, but he kept

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Wrong Transformers Supplied - Below is another case where the wrong voltage transformer was called for and delivered. 7200/12000Y volt transformers instead of 12000 delta were called for on the job instruction and delivered. I say another case as this happened last year and

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Cargo Hook Failure - A contract crew using long line operations had a cargo hook on the helicopter they were using have an un-commanded release while transporting human load via long-line operations resulting in the contract lineman dropping into the secondary system (Belly Strap)

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Anchor failure - The crew was setting a new pole. When pulling on the guy wire to transfer it to the new pole, the anchor broke and pulled out of the ground. The anchor had apparently penciled and grown weak over time. When

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