“Snows, hail and storms forced O&M teams to work in conditions similar to the lunar landscape, with completely snow-covered terrains, limited visibility, biting wind and frost that affected tools, machinery and people.”
At the Canadian plant of St. Lawrence, in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the O&M team had to dig out snow to guarantee access to the fencing, free the switches and substations, to then work on them manually. At the Castle Rock Ridge wind farm, also in Canada, temperatures dropped to – 60° F (-51°C) and the snow blocked access to the site and turbines.
In Extreme Cases: Efficiency and Safety
Canadian O&M teams have responded to these extreme conditions by relying above all on specific procedures to guarantee safety, efficiency and efficacy.
All team members must be aware of weather conditions and forecasts and stay up to date on road closures and relevant decisions by public authorities. Furthermore, low temperature limits have been established, when all work must be stopped and workers must seek shelter from the elements.
Every member on the O&M teams is required to respect rules of behaviour and PPE - personal protection equipment -, such as not having exposed skin to avoid skin burns from the cold, in addition to having special survival kits in vehicles (lights, water, blankets...), special clothing (boots, overalls, coats hat, gloves, goggles...) and chemical hand-warmer packets.