Team comes together to reflect and remember
Before a moment of silence at a barbeque that recognized the commissioning of a new substation in Everett, Massachusetts, VP of New England Electric Operations Dan Bunszell asked the crowd of roughly 100 employees to reflect on what working safely meant to them.
For some, it was a chance to think about their daily routine, their families and their personal health. For others, it was a chance to reflect on how far we’ve come as an organization in building a culture of safety.
The barbeque was held to both recognize the successful cutover of the Everett substation, and to acknowledge the decommissioning of the Glendale substation, where nearly 15 years ago a colleague lost his life in a tragic incident which also left two other employees severely injured.
Learning from that incident, which shocked and saddened the National Grid community, employees came together to elevate safety to the forefront of our business operations. We conducted an extensive safety audit that resulted in the adoption of many of the safety practices that we’re familiar with today. We also installed new safety equipment and protocols at our substations and began a companywide effort to embed conversations about safety at every level, which Safety Moments and Safety Leadership Days serve to do.
Members of the team applauded advancements at the new Everett substation that are designed to protect employees and mitigate the potential for incidents. The new substation is one of the first of its kind to include an Arc Flash Relay Detector, which is state-of-the-art fiber optic cable that instantaneously trips breakers if a fault occurs to prevent an arc flash (a dangerous flashover of electric current that can occur if the current leaves its path and travels through the air from one conductor to another).
The installation and design of the new substation was a team effort that included hard work across multiple teams. The project involved converting overhead load from both the Glendale substation and an existing Everett 4 kV yard into the new substation. When the final cutover occurred earlier this month, it reflected a culmination of efforts from across the New England operations group.
Here are some photos from the event, which served as an important opportunity for the team to remember their friend, reflect on changes that have made our workplace safer, and to mark the installation of a brand new substation that will serve the region for years to come.