Across Emera, our team members share an unwavering focus on safety. We are committed to being safe in the workplace and at our homes. We strive to achieve world- class safety standards and compliance. And, through involvement and education, we are highlighting the importance of safety to our customers and our communities.
First responder training in Maine
The Emera Maine team set up the First Responder Electrical Safety Program to help firefighters, police officers, EMTs, forest rangers and other emergency workers recognize electrical hazards. Since the program’s launch in 2013, our public safety team has presented to 60 separate departments and agencies, covering 790 personnel. The program continues to grow and has become part of the curriculum for Maine State Police recruit training. Soon, the program will expand to cover industries that regularly work in close proximity to power lines including contractors, forestry workers and road crews.
Natural gas system upgrades
Peoples Gas invests more than $130 million USD each year to grow our natural gas system and keep our existing system safe and reliable. As part of our investment in system upgrades, we’re spending $12.5 million USD annually on a 10-year program to replace our 161 kilometres of cast iron and 570 kilometres of bare steel mains, which is about 3.8 per cent of our system. Cast iron and bare steel pipes were widely installed throughout the country for distribution of natural gas until the 1970s. Current standards call for pipe made of polyethylene or coated steel, which resists corrosion. Since January 2013, we have replaced 338 kilometres of pipe.
Call before you dig
Our natural gas utilities in Florida and New Mexico actively support the national “Call 8-1-1” initiative. Natural gas safety is important to our customers and to communities near natural gas pipelines. Our efforts to communicate “call before you dig” are not just about safety. When a natural gas line is hit by a shovel or an excavator, service is interrupted and can take several hours to restore. A similar campaign is held each year by the Emera New Brunswick team, operators of our natural gas asset, the Brunswick Pipeline.
In 2016, the Tampa Electric team worked with local science teachers to develop and fund electrical safety education kits for all elementary schools across Hillsborough County. Employees met with teachers and curriculum experts to develop the kits, which will be used by fifth-grade science teachers in 150 schools. Valued at nearly USD$200 each, the kits provide fun activities, information about electricity, and safety cards. Similar safety education programs are offered across Emera’s utilities.