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Switching Incident Risk Mitigation Project

Switching Incident Risk Mitigation Project

SA Power Networks experienced a sudden increase in electrical switching incidents and there was an urgent need to quickly reinforce switching safety. SA Power Networks engaged Nova Systems for this task, based on Nova Systems’ experience in safety-critical flight operations in two maned fighter aircraft.

A Nova Systems consultant with over 1,500 hours in command of tactical jet fighter aircraft (and with knowledge of electricity supply networks,) began by witnessing actual network switching programs to study the communication interactions between the Operator and Checker. Nova Systems also reviewed the electrical switching incidents case history with the objective of determining if improved coordination and communications could have prevented the switching incident.

After combining the observations and reviews, a presentation was developed that provided insights on how the SA Power Networks crews might take some lessons from fast jet flight operations to improve upon their reliability when performing electrical switching. This presentation was provided to all SA Power Networks depots and contractor locations. One month into the project, and approximately halfway through the presentation roll-out, SA Power Networks completed an entire month of network operations without a single switching incident.

Taking communications techniques and teamwork practices from the high-risk environment of tactical jet aviation and applying it to the safety-critical work of electrical switching proved to be very helpful in identifying opportunities for improvement in SA Power Networks work practices. This approach was also very interesting to the qualified switching operators that received the presentations and resulted in each audience actively participating in the discussion.

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Key People

Bret Barton

Head Progressive Businesses

The Progressive Businesses division of Nova Group amalgamates our newer client sectors and locations with both establish...

The Progressive Businesses division of Nova Group amalgamates our newer client sectors and locations with both established engineering professional services and emerging global technologies.

Bret is responsible for the growth and governance of the businesses and programs which form the Progressive Business division.  These include the:

  • Nova Singapore Business (Commercial and Defence);
  • Nova New Zealand Business (Commercial and Defence);
  • Australian Transport Program (rail and infrastructure, autonomous vehicles, ports); and
  • Australian Energy and Resources Program (oil, gas, mining, power, water, utilities).

Bret is a member of Nova’s Executive Leadership Team and has been a Manager with Nova for 12 years. Bret served 20 years in the Canadian Air Force and supported major test programs for the United States and Australian Air Forces.

Bret is an Engineering Executive with the Institute of Engineers Australia.

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Tim Anderson

Program Manager - Energy & Resources

Tim is responsible for program management of the Energy & Resources Program in the power, water, oil and gas ...

Tim is responsible for program management of the Energy & Resources Program in the power, water, oil and gas and mining sectors. In these sectors, Tim leads our client relationships, client solutions delivery,  client-led innovation and sector strategies. Tim has 30 years experience, working with clients in energy, resources, utilities and engineering sectors.

 

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Nick Kemp

Chief Capability Officer

Reporting to the CEO, Nick is responsible for the leadership and management of Nova’s Capabilities comprising...

Reporting to the CEO, Nick is responsible for the leadership and management of Nova’s Capabilities comprising staff competencies, Intellectual Property, innovation and training. In this capacity, Nick works across the Australia and New Zealand business and is responsible for implementing Nova’s global capability framework.  Nick is an accomplished business leader with over 30 years’ experience across the defence, rail, utilities, medical device and civil aerospace sectors.

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