Spotlight on Richland Energy Services Employee Safety
Richland Energy Services (RES) employees work diligently to provide reliable, cost-effective electric power to customers. Much of the work is routine such as installing and reading meters, maintaining the equipment on the distribution system, designing a new distribution feeder, or helping customers save energy and improve energy efficiency at their homes and businesses. It takes a whole team of skilled, knowledgeable employees to make sure you have electricity each time you flip a switch.
Our employees participate in on-going training to keep their skills and knowledge in top form. Safety is the number one priority when our line crews and equipment operators are working. They want to protect the general public and system equipment and make sure they are safe. Some of the hazards they work with include traffic, poles that need to be replaced due to degradation, confined work spaces in underground vaults, and working high above the ground on cable energized with 7200 volts.
Crews use Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) including insulated rubber gloves, hardhats, eye protection, fire-retardant clothing, and other special equipment to protect themselves. Clear, concise and consistent communication is a part of every job and action, and any employee will stop a job to get clarification or point out and correct an unsafe situation. Crews use City and electric utility operating procedures, participate in the City-wide Central Safety Committee and monthly electrical safety meetings, and conduct regular hands-on training.
The line crews complete their pole top rescue training annually to refresh skills. The training uses a dummy to simulate removing an injured lineman from the top of a distribution pole. The crew members practice the proper way to react quickly in the case of an actual incident. Chris Zurcher, a RES Journeyman Lineman, discusses lineman safety and training in this Richland Spotlight video.
Electrical Equipment and Clearances
Doing any landscaping for your home or business? Make sure you adhere to the correct clearance guidelines around the City's electrical equipment when designing where to place plants, shrubs, fencing, and any other yard materials. Access this convenient diagram of common high voltage electrical equipment that can be found on your property and further instructions with schematics about Electrical Equipment Clearances.
Mylar Balloons and Power Lines Don't Mix
Mylar balloons are a fun, festive way to say “Happy Birthday,” “Get well soon,” and “Congratulations.” If not properly handled, they also cause power outages that impact homes and businesses. One Mylar balloon contacting a power line will cause a short circuit resulting in a hazardous condition and power outage that inconveniences customers and causes potential costly equipment repairs.
To reduce those types of incidents, use these safety tips with balloons:
• Keep metallic balloons away from power lines.
• Always attach a weight to metallic balloons when using them outside.
• Never release metallic or latex balloons outside.
• Never use metallic ribbon with balloons.
• Always deflate metallic balloons and dispose of them properly when you’re through with them.
Never attempt to retrieve a balloon, kite, or other objects from or near power lines. Instead, contact Richland Energy Services for help at (509) 942-7421 during office hours (7:00 AM – 3:30 PM) and (509) 943-4428 after hours.
Electrical utilities have been plagued with the theft of copper wire and other metals. Electrical system damage resulting from thieves not only costs thousands of dollars, it can also, cost lives. If the electrical system is damaged, it operates incorrectly and puts electric utility workers lives in danger.
If you suspect someone is stealing wire or vandalizing City of Richland property, please call 911. Your call could save someone’s life.