It’s no accident that this team has this safety record!
Ten years ago you may have owned your first flip-phone, gone to Blockbuster video to check-out DVDs, or still used your AOL email account. Think about where you were ten years ago – it’s been that long since the New England PTO team recorded an LTI!
PTO stands for Protection & Telecomm Operations; this is the group within Electric Operations that tests and maintains communications and control circuit systems at our substations and telecom sites. The Protection side of the team commissions new substations, ensuring the integrity of all protection and control circuits, and regularly tests the relay system to ensure that everything is working as it should. The Telecoms side of the team maintains all communications equipment on the substations, including fiber optic and microwave systems.
To put 10 years without an LTI into the numbers – that’s no incidents across 7 offices and 85 employees, including over 3 million driving miles and 1.6 million hours worked. It’s a team that is constantly working in high voltage substation environments, often in rural locations and mountain tops on highly technical, specialized equipment where numerous safety hazards exist.
“Just like I told the team this morning, 10 years without an LTI was no accident,” said Supervisor Stephen Fontaine. “Each person here contributed to this record through their own choices and actions to be safe.”
The team, which is dispersed throughout locations in NH, MA and RI, hosted regional lunches in February to celebrate the huge accomplishment. There is a tremendous sense of camaraderie among team members, which you could see at the safety luncheons. Some have worked together for decades and feel a sense of friendship and support for one another.
Norm Masse, senior relay technician, spoke about the strong safety culture within the team. “It’s the first thing you think of,” said Norm, who has 30 years of experience with National Grid and our legacy companies.
Meanwhile, Joe Paquette, senior relay technician, spoke about the team’s peer check system. Given the inherent dangers and complexities in testing, mistakes are not an option. Peers cross-check one another’s work to provide an added layer of safety precautions.
“You double check everything. There is no job too small that you don’t double check,” said Chris Araujo, PTO manager. “Our employees are dedicated and are here for an important purpose, and they take that very seriously.” He attributes the team’s success to a collective focus on: Hard work, dedication, strong safety culture, training and peer support.
This was reiterated by Massachusetts North Shore supervisor Rania Abou-Kassam. “The company instills a culture of safety, that has had a lot to do with it,” she said.
Dan Bunszell (VP New England Electric), Marcy Reed (National Grid MA President), and Tim Horan (National Grid RI President) all attended luncheons in their jurisdictions.
“Ten years without an LTI is a significant accomplishment,” said Tim Horan at the PTO celebratory luncheon for the RI team. “Your commitment to working safely every day is very much appreciated.”
“We’re really proud of this group,” said Marcy Reed. “These celebrations are well-deserved and I hope the team’s safety record continues for many more years.”