Worksite Safety Archive



A Historical Review of Workplace Safety in the U.S.

While OSHA may sometimes make it difficult for businesses to do business, their rules are necessary for the safety of the American workforce.

OSHA Electric Power Standards – Simplified | Part 6

De-energizing Lines and Equipment for the Protection of Employees It’s critical for workers to understand the process of de-energizing lines and equipment to hold them clear.

Establishing a Comprehensive Ergonomics Program During a Pandemic

| Lisa Harris |
Austin Energy and Healthworks Ergonomics were able to pivot and keep up the program’s momentum after COVID-19 hit the U.S.

Information Transfer: What’s Needed to Protect Affected Workers?

As with all the other articles in this series, when it comes to information transfer, it is important to start with the hazard. Individuals who work on or near electric power lines and equipment face a multitude of potential high-risk electrical hazards. Employers have the responsibility to identify and control known hazards to ensure worker […]
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Building an ATV/UTV Training Program for Utilities and Contractors

Utility task vehicles (UTVs) and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are quickly becoming the preferred motorized equipment for lineworkers to use to access difficult terrain for necessary inspection and repair of infrastructure. And although they are exceptionally capable, these vehicles – identifiable by their large off-road tires, relatively small size and light weight – pose certain challenges […]
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FR/AR Clothing Considerations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In 29 CFR 1910.132, OSHA clearly states that personal protective equipment and appropriate training are required for individuals working in utilities, electrical petroleum, oil and gas exploration, and other industries where there is a danger of being injured by arc flash or flash fire.
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Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives.

Members of the OSHA Georgia Struck-By Alliance and the Associated General Contractors of Georgia Inc. (AGC Georgia) will join thousands of employers and workers during this year’s National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW), which takes place April 26-30. This year’s theme is “Drive Safe. Work Safe. Save Lives. Everyone plays a role in work zone […]

Minimum Approach Distances: What’s Required?

Let’s kick off this article with a definition of what “MAD” means in the utility sector – and it does not mean that we’re upset with you. The word is actually an acronym that stands for minimum approach distance, which is the calculated safe working distance that provides worker protection when working on or in […]
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Fire Extinguisher Use and Safety for Utility Workers

| Steve Nash |
Officer George Brentar, a 22-year veteran of the Euclid, Ohio, police force, died October 10, 2007, when his car skidded into a pole and caught fire on an entrance ramp to Interstate 90. Officer Brentar had spotted a speeding motorist and was attempting to catch up to the vehicle when his car hydroplaned. The right […]
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Arc Rating Standards for Personal Protective Equipment

Employees who interact with electrical equipment and electrical installations may be exposed to electrical shock and arc flash hazards. A previous two-part article titled “Arc Flash Considerations for Utility and Construction Activities” (see https://incident-prevention.com/blog/arc-flash-considerations-for-utility-and-construction-activities and https://incident-prevention.com/blog/arc-flash-considerations-for-utility-and-construction-activities-part-ii) discussed the electrical hazard identification and risk assessment. If the employer has taken steps to reduce the risk of […]

Why are Job Briefings and Risk Assessments Important?

When you hear the term “job briefing,” what comes to mind? Perhaps a meeting, a form to fill out or maybe even a complete waste of time? How we perceive job briefings has a huge impact on how we complete them. Per OSHA, job briefings are required to be completed before each job; however, for […]
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What are OSHA’s Training Requirements?

In our first article in this series (see https://incident-prevention.com/blog/when-osha-electric-power-safety-standards-apply), we discussed how to apply OSHA’s electric power standards. This article will review OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269 and 1926 Subpart V training requirements relating to qualified and unqualified employees. To determine training requirements, you must first ask the question, are my employees exposed to electric power […]
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Are You Using Your Five Senses to Stay Safe?

All of us have experienced mishaps in our daily lives, both at home and at work. An accident typically is defined as an unwanted incident occurring unexpectedly and unintentionally, usually resulting in damage or injury. In our work lives, proper training develops our mindset as well as our knowledge. Increasing our knowledge allows us to […]
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I’ve Got Your Back: Lessons in Socio-Biomimicry

| Alden B. Davis |
Creating a safety mindset and a culture of caring can be facilitated using the process of socio-biomimicry. Simply put, biomimicry is a way to solve engineering and other problems by looking to nature. The term was popularized in 1997 by Janine M. Benyus in her book, “Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature.” Nature can also be […]
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Safety Success During an Insulating Boom Flashover

| Jace Kerby |
Salt River Project, or SRP, is a power utility located and operated in the greater Phoenix area. Created as part of the federal Reclamation Act of 1902, it was originally established to help secure a reliable water source to the desert valley. Today, SRP not only provides reliable water – it also supplies reliable power […]
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Best Practices for Using Your Aerial Device Jib to Handle Transformers

When it comes to lifting transformers, aerial devices equipped with jibs are one of the handiest tools available to lineworkers. Compared to old methods for transformer replacement – which required workers to climb the pole and use a pulley to manually lift the transformer – using a jib is safer, easier and more productive. Most […]
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Mother Nature vs. FR/AR Clothing

The company I work for receives a lot of questions about flame-resistant (FR) and arc-rated (AR) clothing, including inquiries about what should be worn on extremely hot summer days and very cold winter days. We’re always happy to answer those questions because it’s our business and – in the electric utility industry – donning FR/AR […]
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Working in Switchgear Cubicles Just Got Safer

| Eric M. Fell |
All of us who work with electricity know how hazardous it can be. During a stint with my previous employer, a co-worker and good friend was electrocuted and killed when he made contact with energized switchgear components. Another co-worker at the company also was seriously injured. Safety is always a part of our job; it’s […]
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Take Your Time and Follow the Rules – Or Pay the Price

The last time we met Bob the foreman and his crew, they saved the day when a vehicle hit a utility pole on a busy roadway in Safety County, New York (see https://incident-prevention.com/blog/safety-concerns-when-setting-wooden-utility-poles). These days, Bob and his crew are still in action, working for Sunshine Electric Co. At Sunshine, following company safety rules and […]
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Are You Taxing the Variables?

Planning is a critical part of our work in the electric utility industry. Inevitably there will be unknowns in each plan we put together; the more variables there are, the less control you have over your intended outcomes. So, it’s worth spending the time to identify and address those unknowns. In the remainder of this […]
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