Disaster Preparedness

Hazards that may affect Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution include:


  • Fires
  • Floods
  • Hurricanes
  • Earthquakes
  • Volcanic Eruptions
  • Explosions
  • Major engine failure
  • Manmade hazards such as damage to transmission lines by vehicular accidents

Effect of disaster on VINLEC's operations


VINLEC has generating plants at several locations throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines as follows:
DIESEL Plants
 
  • Mayreau
  • Canouan
  • Bequia
  • Union Island
  • Cane Hall
  • Lowmans Bay

 HYDROELECTRIC Plants


 
  • South Rivers
  • Cumberland
  • Richmond
Multiplant operation has its benefits: It  lowers the probability that any one disaster will render VINLEC incapable of generating any electricity at any one time.  However, it is possible that one major disaster can have such far reaching effects that most of VINLEC's operations can be affected directly or indirectly.  Therefore in the event of such a disaster the general public should be prepared for the length of time that electricity supply will be affected.

Hurricane Awareness Tips


Before the hurricane season begins:


  • Notify VINLEC immediately about any trees that you suspect can fall on electricity lines close to your house.  
  • Notify VINLEC about any pole that you believe is in danger of falling due to erosion of soil at its base, loose stay (supporting wire), rotting or vandalism.
  • Inform VINLEC immediately about any wire that appears loose or low-hanging.
  • Ensure that you have battery powered radios to be informed of restoration efforts following loss of electricity.
  • Ensure that you have sufficient canned food and dried food stored as a hurricane or tropical storm can result in prolonged outages which may result in your refrigerator/freezer being useless.
  • Ensure that all galvanized structures are secure.  Once loose and flying around, these can threaten both life and the transmission and distribution lines.
  • Move all extension cables and transformers from the ground to a higher level.
 

During a Hurricane:

 
  • Turn off your main breaker during the passage of a hurricane.   
  • Plug out all unnecessary appliances during the passage of a storm.  There is a high possibility of lightning strikes during hurricanes and tropical storms and these can result in damaged appliances plugged into the main supply even if they are switched off.
  • During the passage of a hurricane, VINLEC will continue to maintain power in its feeders allowing them to trip naturally due to line damage.  Depending on the severity of the hurricane, VINLEC will issue a notice to the public stating that it is going to shut down all stations.
 

SAFETY INSPECTIONS


Safety inspections include two areas:
    
  1. Hazard identification
  2. Risk Assessment

Know Your Terms
 
Hazard means anything that can cause harm.  Eg. flammable material,electricity, working at heights, wet floors.

Risk is the possibility that someone will be affected by a hazard.

How hazards may affect the workplace


The presence of significant hazard at work can lead to accidents, injury, illness, reduced employee productivity, damaged machinery, loss of business output, increased insurance cost and increased legal cost for liability claims.

What is risk assessment?


Risk assessment is a thorough examination of the workplace to determine if and how anything present can cause harm to people, affect machinery or operations; and to decide whether enough precaution is taken to prevent harm or if more can be done.

How to assess risk at the workplace

  1. Identify the hazard.
  2. Determine who can be harmed and ways in which they can be harmed.
  3. Evaluate the risk and whether adequate precaution is taken to prevent harm.
  4. Record findings.
  5. Review assessment.
Once findings are recorded, determine how to eliminate hazards and how to control risks for hazards that cannot be eliminated.
General safety inspections are made to determine hazards, assessment of risk for accidents, injuries or illness; and the evaluation of operational systems for plant machinery and equipment.
 
 
Ways to reduce/control risk at the workplace
  • Wear personal protective equipment
  • Provide fire fighting equipment
  • Prevent access to hazards
  • Post warning signs against hazards
  • Regular maintenance of equipment and machinery
  • Use of correct tools and equipment for the job
  • Regular inspection of work tools
  • Follow correct work procedures
  • At all times observe safety rules
 
Who can be affected?

  1. Employees
  2. Contractors
  3. Visitors
  4. The Public
What can be affected?

  1. Adjoining property
  2. The environment
  3. Machinery and equipment
During General Safety Inspection the following are checked:

  • General Layout
  • Drainage
  • Flow of material
  • Aisles
  • Traffic flow
  • Machine controls
  • Fumes
  • Illumination
  • Temperature
  • Floor Loads
  • Elevated platforms
  • Primeter security
  • Pits & excavations             
  • Areas under construction
  • Flammable liquids
  • Noise
  • Radiation
  • Fire Hazards and protection
  • Guarding
  • Wash rooms
  • Ladders
  • Stairs
  • Personal protective equipment
Specific plant safety inspections may include preventative maintenance inspections for the following:


  • Elevators
  • Engines
  • Fuel containment
  • Ladders
  • Scaffolds
  • Hoists and cranes
  • Chains and slings
  • Cranes runways
  • Exhaust system
  • Lift trucks e.g forklift
  • Boilers
  • Ovens and furnaces
  • Power presses
  • Grinders
  • Power conveyors