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Industry wide safety issue resolved by innovation challenge

Posted November 14, 2019

A brand new bespoke safety device is being rolled out across EDF Energy's meter teams, thanks to a Blue Lab innovation challenge.

When a meter operative has to work at a property they remove the cutout, a large type of fuse that protects the electricity supply within the building, and insert a shroud, a type of cover that allows them to work safely.

The industry standard shroud used by our teams, and by those in other companies, only fits around 80 to 90 per cent of cutouts, leaving a risk when working on some types of older meters.

Our innovation accelerator, Blue Lab, launched a challenge to give our own expert employees, those who face the difficulty daily, the chance to design a safe solution.

Three different concepts were short-listed from all of the entries received and these were pitched to the Executive Team of EDF Energy Customers, who selected this idea from Lead Metering Engineer Daniel Lewis.

Daniel’s design had to be made as a prototype, before being subjected to rigorous trials and safety testing, in a process overseen by Electrical Competency Assessor Laura Smith. However, the final approved shroud is now being rolled out to all meter operatives, and it is hoped it can be shared with other electricity companies.

Daniel said: “It’s great to see this made as a bespoke item. It’s a really good fit with the type of meter that has been causing a problem. I used to work in the Midlands and know this is an issue there too.”

Jim Poole, Director of Customer Operations, and part of the team who picked the winning idea, said: “We’re really proud to see this design finally come to fruition. We’re really pleased that Daniel has managed to design something that can solve an industry-wide problem.”