While the electric utility industry has experienced a major shift in the attitude about safety, accidents still happen. Many utilities have enacted policies, developed procedures, created training programs and invented safety equipment, but Avista Utilities took a more unique approach to safety by recreating serious accidents.
Mock incidents enable Avista Utilities to help its employees contemplate the possible implications and safety issues without the emotional pain or financial costs of an accident. The utility first staged the mock accidents at the Colville and Pullman Training Centers.
Three years after its first mock accident, Avista staged another incident, but this time, it focused on copper theft and occurred at the Jack Stewart Training Center. Like the first two mock incidents, this one was also done with the element of surprise and only a limited number of employees were aware that it was happening.
In this photo gallery, Mike Toutloff of Avista Utilities shares some of his company's photos, which were taken during the training exercise.