Safety Management Archive



Increasing Worker Confidence and Competence

When allowed to be immersed in their desired craft, our workers become proficient, experienced and competent. Adept lineworkers, for example, will interact with thousands of poles and pieces of hardware in their careers. They have a deep understanding of strain, depth, condition and loading after only moments of viewing a pole they are about to […]

Using PPE to Bolster Safety Resilience

| Scott Francis |
Task-based and daily wear PPE programs help protect a company’s workers and improve resilience. Alexander Pope famously wrote that “to err is human,” yet as safety professionals, we often feel that we can prevent incidents if we eliminate all risk. It’s a concept that has permeated nearly every facet of the safety sphere: account for […]

Safety Advancements in the Line-Clearance Industry

Progress over the last decade has made the industry a safer place for line-clearance workers. When I started working for an investor-owned utility in 1974, I was fresh out of high school and had little knowledge of safe work practices and policies. I was truly fortunate to collaborate with people at the utility who cared […]

ANSI A92.2: 2022 Changes and Training Requirements

Here’s what owners and operators should know about upcoming updates to the standard.  Updates are coming to the ANSI A92.2 standard, titled “American National Standard for Vehicle-Mounted Elevating and Rotating Aerial Devices.” Your most common piece of powered equipment soon will have new or revised requirements for design, manufacturing, testing, training and operation. These new […]

Security in the Field: A Largely Unnoticed Need

It’s time for worker security to receive the same attention as worker safety.

Electrical Arc Flash and Shock Hazards for Fall Protection Using ASTM F887

Electrical Arc Flash and Shock Hazards for Fall Protection Using ASTM F887 The standard helps to ensure equipment safety in multihazard environments.

Managing Risk Through Cognitive Impairment Testing

Utility safety professionals have the duty to ensure a safe workplace for all employees. If that due diligence pays off, the result is consistently having few or no injuries on OSHA 300 forms year after year. But no matter how well a safety program functions, incidents never completely stop occurring.
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Are Your Lessons Learned Making Your Workers Safer?

Reports of the incident travel like lightning through the company. There are no real details yet, just a statement that at 10 a.m. today, an employee of The Big City Project was seriously injured on the job. The event soon becomes the subject of coffee break conversations. “We’ve had a lot of serious incidents lately” […]
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Lagging Indicators, Leading Indicators … Let’s Start Over

What do indicators really mean? Occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals continue to debate this issue. Can indicators really measure performance of an OSH program? On one side are lagging indicators, which include common markers such as total recordable incident rate (TRIR); days away, restricted and transfer rate; and experience modification rate.
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Overcome ‘Burnt Toast Syndrome’ to Improve Safety and Training Results

I have a beautiful and caring better half. She is always there for me. One of the things she does for me is make breakfast. Now, I am an old country boy, so any old breakfast won’t do. I want meat, eggs, potatoes and toast, and she is happy to prepare them for me.
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The Biological Basis of Complacency

The adverse effects of complacency in the workplace have long been an ongoing source of concern in the safety community. What is not agreed upon is the reason for this problem. In my own experience, I have noticed that safety professionals use the term “complacency” in different ways to refer to different kinds of events.
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My Shocking Awakening: Lessons Learned From a High-Voltage Contact

Why is this happening? It hurts! Don’t let go! These are some of the thoughts that ran through my mind on a day in late 2015 when an induction contact surged through and around my body for roughly 30 seconds.
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Leading Change Through Faith, Hope and Tough Love: Part II

As we discovered in the first part of this two-part series (see https://incident-prevention.com/blog/leading-change-through-faith-hope-and-tough-love-part-i), people are fallible, sometimes lessons aren’t learned, and improvements aren’t always made. This can leave leaders and team members feeling frustrated or apathetic because they don’t know how to right the ship. The simple truth is that your team should be able […]
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Leading Change Through Faith, Hope and Tough Love: Part I

The operations director stood before his direct reports, boiling over with anger. “Here we are again!” he said. “Still plagued with the same production, quality and safety issues – problems that we’ve cussed, discussed and created improvement plans for over and over again. I don’t know what’s wrong with you and your people, but we’re […]
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Line and Substation Insulator Refresher

Years ago, a rare event happened in the service area of the company I was working for at the time. Sea fog had rolled in and blanketed most of the system along the coastline where the generation was located. It contaminated the insulators and tripped major circuits everywhere. All of the substation and line crews […]
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Safe Transportation of Leaking Transformers

“Back in the day, we put leaking pots in a trash bag, and we were good to go!” For hundreds of Incident Prevention readers, that remark isn’t totally unheard of. And in reality, it’s not far off from what some do when leaking transformers are transported or stored prior to reclamation or disposal. However, that […]
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The Hierarchy of Incidents and Learning: Part II

The contractor’s executive team sat across the table from the client’s construction leadership. It was the client’s director who spoke first. “Let’s ensure everyone is on the same page,” he said. “Over the past six months, you’ve had numerous quality, production and schedule issues, an environmental noncompliance, two injuries and a utility contact that caused […]
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The Hierarchy of Incidents and Learning: Part I

You just want to do the job right and go home unharmed today, but things don’t always go as planned, incidents happen, and the lessons your team learns don’t always change the way you’ll do the job tomorrow. This can leave you feeling frustrated and helpless to improve the things that keep your team from […]
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Arc Flash Considerations for Utility and Construction Activities: Part II

This article concludes a two-part discussion of protection strategies against arc flash and shock hazards. Here you will read about two topics: (1) arc flash and shock hazard labeling for industrial, commercial and generation facility electrical exposures, and (2) methods used to determine the level of PPE required. The previous article (see https://incident-prevention.com/blog/arc-flash-considerations-for-utility-and-construction-activities) mentioned that […]
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The Field Observation: A Proactive Safety Methodology

Electrical utilities are among the most hazardous industries in which to work. And since the early days of power distribution, utilities have investigated and analyzed fatalities and other incidents in an effort to prevent recurrences. One proven way to help verify and measure the effectiveness of an organization’s safety efforts is to conduct field personnel […]
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