Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

Mar 26, 2017

SonesBy Keith Sones

When I first graduated as an occupational safety and health technologist in 1991, I was on a mission to save the world. Armed with my newfound knowledge, I recognized the flaws in the industrial complex and was bound and determined to change everything.

Day 1 on the job. One of my first assignments was to deliver a technically demanding safety training program. The issue of confined space entry was (and still is) critically important for employees to understand and to execute properly. For those readers who may not be familiar with the topic, work is often required to be performed in locations where the air may become toxic or oxygen deficient, and rescuing a worker in trouble is logistically challenging. Examples include vessels, the hold of a ship, manholes, underground pipe, and other similar hard to get to places.

The training process at that time included presenting a series of slides using my portable overhead projector. PowerPoint and other presentation tools had yet to be developed, so my take on it was to use black text on a clear background so it was easy to see. I even threw in a few pictures to liven things up a bit — I had indeed impressed myself.

It only took a few training sessions, during which I singlehandedly managed to lull an entire audience to sleep, to realize that however impressed I was with myself, those on the receiving end of this “training” didn’t share my enthusiasm. Dejected but determined to find a way to do things better, I put my thinking cap back on. What was it that I missed so significantly? What did a better mousetrap look like? How could I move past the point where the only reason employees showed up to a training course was for the free coffee and doughnuts?

And then — eureka! I had it! The light bulb went on as I thought about some of the training I’d received myself. The good instructors always went the extra distance to show me what to do and have me practice. Admittedly, I had enjoyed several in-session naps at the expense of less than skilled teachers who insisted that it was really important to tell me every bit of information I would ever need to know through the use of endless text books and blackboard space. Most of those classes were forgotten the next day. I could, however, easily remember how to tie my shoes (aged 4, when my mom showed me) or dissect a frog (thanks, Mr. Jones). I had to show people, not just tell them. I would build a confined space on wheels.

Working with industry professionals and construction experts, I drove forward to arrange a facility design and a training curriculum. When finished, the mobile unit had the ability to force oxygen out of the space while the students could safely test the air. Imagine being able to look at what appeared to be a perfectly good room full of air, then have the test equipment show you that would be unconscious within seconds. It was a pretty powerful lesson. (Note: even today, the majority of confined space deaths are those of would-be rescuers, running into a space that looks safe to rescue a downed colleague.)

It was at this point I became the student in a class lead by a professor named The Human Condition. Having access to a state of the art new training tool should have elated my fellow safety training practitioners. I fully expected there to be a line-up at my door of bright eyed trainers fighting each other to get to the keys so they could provide new and improved guidance to their employee groups.

And that just didn’t happen.

I found myself having to push people to even take a look at my new brainchild. “Cool idea, Keith, but I’ll use the old materials,” said some. Others decried the cost of moving such a unit to their location, while still more suggested, “Maybe I’ll give it a try next year.”

To say I was shocked is an understatement. Why was everyone so resistant? Come on now, I thought, this is soooooo much better than what we’ve done before.

What did I miss? Why didn’t they see the value? All I knew at that time was that I spent several nights laying awake, worrying that I’d done the wrong thing and my manager would be doubting the trust he’d put in me. I was sure I’d be fired.

The answers came to me through a seasoned mentor that had worked with me throughout the development of the shiny new (and now underutilized) training trailer. He was edging towards retirement and had observed a lot over his many years. “It’s a fantastic thing you’ve got here”, he told me, “and it will catch on once people see someone else test drive it in a few training sessions. Mostly, they want to see what the students, and most importantly their managers, have to say about it. What they are doing now is predictable. Boring classroom training might not work nearly as well, but everyone knows the process and can say they have checked the box on the annual training plan.”

OK, I gotta admit I hadn’t seen that one coming.

Over the next few years, reality lined up with my original theory and using the new unit became the default method of training throughout the company. I was pretty proud to see that evolution, and in retrospect, my naïve enthusiasm was probably well placed since I might not (actually, probably not) have even attempted such a venture if I’d been around the block a few more times.

Since that early experience, I’ve made a habit of looking for signs of this resistance, and it’s everywhere. The advantage I have now is a better understanding of why people fight what seems to be an obvious benefit to them, at least from the outside looking in. Most often, it’s a simple matter of being scared. Fearful that we might make a choice that works out poorly, and our family/friends/colleagues will judge us. You know, the whispers in the hallway of “He’s that guy, the one that tried to get us to use the new product. The one that failed in the initial tests. Thank goodness we didn’t listen to him.” Or, you might have a performance bonus geared around doing things the old way, so there is no way you’re going to change things up now. Many organizations tell us to take measured risks as a path to finding better ways of running the business, but personal experience may tell you that taking risks is a certain path to career doom.

So, what to do when that light bulb in your head flashes up a new idea? Think about it, investigate it, ask others, and if the objective evidence says it’s worth pursuing, do it. The results are worth the hard work and angst that come along with pushing your idea through the forests of worry and peer malaise. Not only will you have made your place of work safer, more efficient or more profitable, the accomplishment feels good. It really does.

And since I learned that lesson early, I’m quite eager to tell you about a way you can save significant money on projects and get them done faster. I know, I know, sounds too good to be true. But that’s for next time.

Keith Sones is Vice President, National Business Development, The Valard Group of Companies.

 

Changing Scene

  • Prev
The year was 2002: Jean Chrétien was Prime Minister, Avril Lavigne topped the charts, the ...
The company’s wholesale locations will be branded Robinson Supply, and the lighting and bath ...
The 500+ km transmission line from Edmonton to Fort McMurray includes two substations and involved ...
Poweska is currently BC Hydro’s Executive Vice President, Operations, with responsibility for ...
During E.B. Horsman & Son’s (EBH) Annual General Meeting on March 5, 2019, ABB Canada was ...
The Electrical Safety Association plans to implement a risk-based approach for electrical wiring by ...
Organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the Hong Kong International Lighting Fair ...
MCEE’s New Product Competition highlights the commitment to efficiency, conservation and ...
Desdowd Inc. has been chosen to serve as Thermon’s manufacturer's agent for the province of ...
Gerrie Electric Wholesale Limited’s website has a fresh new look but continues to offer the ...

Electrician Forum Brought to you by Schneider Electric

As industry experts you know the products you use everyday better than anyone and should have input on what information you receive about products and what could improve them.

Therefore, we want your insight on the biggest challenges or issues you face when installing loadcentres, breakers (CAFI, GFI's…) and other surge protection devices. We ask that you do not provide product specific details but rather your general issues and concerns or any questions that have come to mind while working with these product types. Provide us with your valued expert insight into the issues you have faced so manufacturers can better inform you about the installation and use of these products. Lets generate some discussion that will help guide the Industry.

Make your comments  HERE

 

CSAClimate change and its associated impacts will play a central role in Canada's electricity future. In fact, the Conference Board of Canada estimates that approximately $347.5 billion will need to be invested in electricity infrastructure to maintain the system reliability we have today. Making smart investments now can improve the system and help to avoid more severe climate related costs in the future.

“The critical infrastructure we rely on to power our daily lives must remain resilient to more damaging and frequent extreme weather events,” says Mary Cianchetti, President of Standards at CSA Group. “Standards play a critical role in making that happen.

Read more about climate change solutions...

 

 

 

BCEA Victoria Trade Show

The BC Electrical Association in conjunction with the Victoria distributors and manufacturers committee on Vancouver Island will be holding a tradeshow and golf tournament on May 2, 2019 at the Westin Bear Mountain Resort.

This will be a table top trade show. Distributors have agreed not to hold their own tradeshow three months on either side of this date to ensure a successful event.

 

 



Read more about the BCEA Victoria Trade Show...

 

 

Codes and Regulations Brought to You by the CSA Group

  • Prev
The Code is a comprehensive document. Sometimes it can seem quite daunting to quickly find the ...
The Code is a comprehensive document. Sometimes it can seem quite daunting to quickly find the ...
In this article: Tables — Part B. This section of the Code contains 99 tables of essential ...
In this article: Section 58 — Passenger Ropeways and Similar Equipment. Rule 58-000 ...
  Unauthorized CSA Group certification marks have been found on wiring by Triumph Cable ...
In this article: Section 52 — Diagnostic imaging installations. The CE code is a ...
In this article: Section 46 — Emergency Power Supply, Unit Equipment, Exit Signs, and ...
  In this article: Section 44 — Theatre Installations. The CE Code is a ...
CSA has published C22.2 No. 60947-7-3, the harmonized standard for low-voltage switchgear and ...
  Electric welders. The CE Code is a comprehensive document. Sometimes it can seem ...

 

EE LightingBy Blake Marchand

Energy Efficient Lighting is a LED lighting manufacturer with nearly 30 years of industry experience. One that was founded on principles of environmental sustainability and responsibility to future generations. Based out of Markham, Ontario, Energy Efficient Lighting are established veterans within the LED lighting industry. And with the prominence of LED lighting being a fairly recent industry trend, it is a claim that a select few can make. They offer complete lighting solutions for commercial and industrial applications. Their product lines include conventional lighting fixtures, LED retrofit kits, complete LED luminaires, LED systems, drivers and electronic ballasts.

Read more about Energy Efficient Lighting...

Tools for the Trade

  • Prev
  IDEAL Industries has introduced Combination Drill Taps to its tool lineup. Combining the ...
  Stripping and crimping device, 100 - 240 V input voltage, for insulated ferrules with a ...
Professional all-in-one cutter/stripper for coaxial and twisted pair cables     ...
  Klein Tools' Coax Explorrer 2 tests coaxial cable and maps up to 4 locations   ...
  Ideal Industries' T-14 wire stripper s are ideal for all professionals working within the ...
  The ATS850 conveyor eliminates all types of electro static discharge requirements. ...
  Lorik Tool & Automation has the experience and ability to manufacture a variety of ...
  Ideal Industries' 26 piece insulated Journeyman kit is ideal for new electricians or for ...
  Klein Tools Deluxe Fish Rod Set comes in 19 pieces that when assembled can fish wire and ...
  BendWorks Software was designed to help electrical contractors adopt this new process ...

Product News

  • Prev
All Advanced ComforTech GEL harnesses feature FallTech's exclusive polymer gel endoskeleton for ...
CBS ArcSafe, a leading manufacturer of remote racking and switching solutions for low- and ...
The Utility Insulated tool kit features 13 of the essential tools the Lineman needs.   ...
When it comes to demanding jobs in the field, linemen turn to gear they can rely on to perform ...
9.5" NE Style Lineman's Pliers, 8.0" Long Nose Pliers & 8.0" Diagonal Cutters.   ...
As a Safety Manager, you’re already fully aware that workers need to correctly distinguish ...
Fluke Networks unveiled the FI-3000 FiberInspector Pro, the industry’s most ...
Klein Tools, for professionals since 1857, introduced a new AC/DC Digital Clamp Meter, ...
Insulated Cushion Grip Slotted/Phillips/Square & Long Nose Pliers 7 Piece Set.   ...
Proxxi is a wearable voltage sensor that detects energized equipment and notifies the user of ...

3-Phase Electrical Ltd.By Blake Marchand

Winnipeg-based 3-Phase Electrical prides themselves on the high calibre of work they produce and their attention to detail, always ensuring that all work is performed to the highest possible standards. Their success is attributed to understanding their customers’ needs and continuously exceeding customer expectations.


Their expertise is facilitated by a solid foundation of careful planning and diligent scheduling, both of which are key elements to delivering projects successfully.

Read more about 3-Phase Electrical Ltd....

 

 

HeatingBy Stéphane Lettre

Today the whole planet is talking about climate, reducing the ecological footprint, and energy efficiency. Various governments are making commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and people are becoming more aware of the impact of choices they make on a daily basis. Another phenomenon that is accelerating in parallel is the search for lower costs among households with increasing levels of debt and companies seeking to remain competitive and profitable.



Read more about Thermostats...

 

 

 

Peers & Profiles

  • Prev
Energy Efficient Lighting is a LED lighting manufacturer with nearly 30 years of industry ...
Matt Stanson is a master electrician with over 30 years of experience. He now leads a team of ...
After eight months, 263 events, 17 broken clocks, and thousands of competitors, Ideal ...
The National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO) is an industry-funded, not-for-profit organization ...
After eight months, 263 events, 17 broken clocks, and thousands of competitors, Ideal ...
Born and raised in western India, Rupali’s passion for mathematics and science began at a ...
After eight months, 263 events, 17 broken clocks, and thousands of competitors, Ideal ...
Allison Wood and Dominique Rivet are two apprentices who had a wealth of career options available ...
  In a recent sit-down Electrical Industry Canada was able to learn a little ...
David Johns is a unique and dedicated individual both at home and in the workplace. At home he is a ...

Copper $US Dollar price per pound


 

EHRCIn a recent interview with the The National Post, Electricity Human Resources Canada CEO Michelle Branigan said the need for workers in Canada’s electricity industry is “extremely critical.”

The industry directly employs almost 107,000 people, but less than 1 in 20 is aged 25 or under, only 1 in 4 is a woman, and just over 1 in 10 is from a visbile minority.

These statistics are from EHRC’s Workforce in Motion, a labour market intelligence research initiative for the years 2017-2022. The research report is a planning and informing tool for a wide range of electricity sector stakeholders and provides critical information to the sector for both short and long term resource planning.

Read More

 

 

Kerrwil Publications

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2019 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil