Spotlight on Hose Safety Institute Advisory Council Member: Ken Wyatt, Senior Compliance Manager for TVA’s Equipment Support Services (ESS) Group
Ken Wyatt is Senior Manager of Compliance, Methods and Processes for the Equipment Support Services (ESS) group of the nation’s largest public power provider, Tennessee Valley Authority. He oversees business planning and procedure development and also directs TVA’s crane inspections, heavy equipment certifications, environmental and safety protocol and employee training. Wyatt is a member of NAHAD's Hose Safety Institute Advisory Council and will attend the 2013 NAHAD Convention in Washington, DC, April 20-24.
NAHAD: Tell me about your background and how you got into equipment maintenance and compliance.
Ken Wyatt: I’ve worked in the heavy equipment industry for over 30 years. I attended a technical college and after I graduated, I started as a technician for Caterpillar where I specialized in hydraulic and electrical troubleshooting. I've been withTVA about 21 years now and I've held numerous positions, primarily within the Equipment Support Services group, or ESS. We internally supply fleet and utility construction equipment to all TVA departments and contractors, kind of like a rental company within the company, but running like a separate business. We manage and maintain a fleet of nearly 4,000 pieces of equipment within TVA.
NAHAD: Tell me about your work. What is your role in ensuring employee safety at TVA?
Wyatt: I manage work process and procedure development to assure best practices and compliance with regulatory requirements. I also manage what we call our CAP program, our Corrective Actions Program, where we identify and mitigate working exposures to safety or environmental hazards. Another aspect of the job is managing a group of crane inspectors and training professionals that keep our cranes and our people within compliance.
We do all required annual inspections for cranes, aerial lifts and forklifts internally, and we certify all of our operators through our own internal program, which uses OSHA and ANSI requirements. We’ve had the program in place for about 10 years, critiquing it every year and adjusting it when requirements change.
NAHAD: What projects or challenges have you been focusing on recently?
Wyatt: TVA just completed a large steam generator replacement and refueling outage at our Sequoia Nuclear Plant where four of the large steam generators were replaced. Each of those weighs over 345 tons. They have to remove the dome from the nuclear unit and pull them out through the top, so we needed really large equipment or that. Projects like these are on really short timelines and equipment availability is very important. It was a big project for us, but we finished it on schedule, nearly a week ahead.
NAHAD:TVA was named "Utility of the Year" by the American Wind Energy Association in November (adding 1,100 megawatts of wind energy capacity from seven wind power sites in 2012). What areTVA’s plans for the future of its renewable energy portfolio?
Wyatt:TVA is seeking to expand its generation portfolio to include additional sources of renewable energy. Our Integrated Resource Plan aims to reduce our environmental footprint through demand reduction and by increasing clean energy resources in its generation mix.TVA’s renewable and clean energy capacity is now more than 5,000 megawatts, including the hydroelectric production at its dams, wind contracts,TVA’s Generation Partners and Renewable Standard Offer initiatives, and otherTVA-owned wind, solar and biomass generation.
We also generate energy from landfill methane, where we burn off the methane from some of the old landfills at some of our old fossil plants. So it’s a pretty diverse mix, and we don’t really see any types of renewables increasing largely above the others.
NAHAD: How did you get involved with NAHAD and why did you become a Hose Safety Institute Advisory Council member?
Wyatt: We do our own hose assembly work, and we work closely with our fitting and hose suppliers who recommended us to the council. I see the Institute Advisory Council as the perfect forum to have input on processes related to assembly, since being the process and procedure person withTVA, I’m the one who writes and critiques these policies. It also gives us some input into new technologies, long-term reliability, as well as the ability to network and learn from other end users.
NAHAD: How has your background helped you to contribute to the goals of the Council?
Wyatt: I have a really diverse background in construction and fleet equipment maintenance. Just working forTVA, we have a really broad fleet, from forklifts to very large cranes. One of our cranes is 1,000 tons. So our diverse fleet gives us a lot of end-user information for the Council.
Working for TVA also gives me a different perspective than many other organizations. It is a wholly-owned federal agency, yet we are totally self-financing and receive no appropriated funds. So we’re governed by many federal regulations and are held to high standards in safety, performance and environmental compliance, but we also have to meet all those goals while living within our financial means.
NAHAD: How do the NAHAD Hose Assembly Guidelines provide value within the manufacturing and distribution industry? How do they provide value for TVA?
Wyatt: In today’s climate the expectations are much higher to maintain environmentally-friendly work sites. We have a really vast network of natural resources in our area, and TVA's original mission has been to manage those resources while bringing prosperity to the Tennessee Valley. This is a mission that we still believe in, and we see ourselves as stewards of our many natural resources. Following the Hose Assembly Guidelines assures that our hoses and fittings are safe and reliable, while protecting our workers, our customers and our environmental resources.
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