“An expensive problem ...”

Bird droppings a serious health threat to substation workers – and even the public at large in populated areas. We address some of those challenges in an earlier post, but there are other consequences. Substation operators dealing with bird droppings could also take a huge financial hit: 

  • CLEANUP COSTS  Removing accumulated bird droppings is expensive. Utility Products notes that utility companies pay high costs to “constantly clean and repair the damage caused by build-ups of bird feces. It is often necessary to take systems off line for cleaning and repair.”
  • A THREAT TO RELIABILITY   Bird feces can be corrosive to building materials and equipment. Dried, accumulated bird droppings can also become conductive “streamers” after periods of rain or mist.
  • FINES AND GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT   OSHA, the USDA, local health boards, or other governmental organizations could cite and fine a facility, or shut it down, because of bird infestation or bird waste. 
  • ON-THE-JOB INJURY OR ILLNESS   As noted in our prior post, the illnesses caused by bird waste can be severe, leading to lost man-hours, high healthcare costs, Workers Comp claims, and difficulty hiring and retaining employees. 
  • LIABILITY AND LAWSUITS   If even one employee contracts an illness related to bird waste, the substation operator could face the cost — and negative publicity — of a lawsuit. In Florida, for example, a plaintiff sued a school district for $1.2 million when he contracted cryptococcus.

Because the clean-up process itself creates a hazard to employees and system reliability, the best course is to seek solutions that prevent birds from entering or nesting in any part of the substation. To see all our research, download the e-Book, “Bird Waste and Substations.”

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