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APRIL – MAY 2024 Archive


Five Core Capacities for Sustainable Safety Excellence

Does your organization have the capacity to achieve sustainable excellence in safety performance and culture? For excellence to become a reality in any important area of operations, especially safety, there are five vital capacities that organizations must develop, monitor and synergize to adapt and thrive in a fast-paced and ever-changing world: system, leadership, engagement, cultural […]

Solar Backfeed Safety on Distribution and Secondary Circuits

| Jerone Mabe |
Editor’s Note: This timely article specifically addresses the contemporary issue of green-energy backfeed endangering power-line workers. Unlike engine-powered backup generators, green energy makes no telltale noise to alert workers to its presence and possible hazards. Incident Prevention encourages all employers to assess the risks related to backup energy sources and adopt effective storm-work hazard analysis, […]
Richardson April May 2024 article

An Experiment in Crew Member Engagement

I don’t talk about myself a lot – I listen. I developed this skill after taking on a leadership position with a utility contractor in an industry I knew nothing about. My work history prior to this role included management in pretty much every industry except utilities. In each of my previous jobs, I strived […]
Skid steer Keeling article

Skid-Steer Loaders: Hazard Awareness and Recommended Safety Practices

In 2009, OSHA published a safety and health information bulletin in part because of the seriousness of injuries that have occurred with skid-steer loaders (see Similarly, NIOSH published an alert in December 2010 in response to the hazards and serious injuries that have occurred with these machines (see In their published documents, the […]

Receiving Feedback

Most leadership development programs talk about the vital skill of giving feedback, as they should. I hope you’ve been trained on coaching and feedback and that you practice and enhance those skills frequently. But what about receiving feedback? That is another skill that can be learned, practiced and improved. And it’s a skill I don’t […]

April – May 2024 Q&A

| Jim Vaughn, CUSP |
Q: We recently participated in a safety seminar during which OSHA’s digger derrick/crane exemption was discussed. We have used the exemption with digger derricks to raise baskets of travelers to pole-tops for wire-pulling installation. Are we in compliance if we are not using a certified crane operator for this work? A: Our interpretation of the […]
Ruling Spans - Conductor Sag

Ruling Spans and Proper Conductor Sag

The cold winter weather of recent months has prompted many conversations about proper sagging and tension on transmission and distribution conductors. Improper sagging and excessively high tension on conductors – past their rated breaking strength – have caused unscheduled system outages, but such outages can be avoided by using the correct loading factors. The system […]

Switching and Tagging

Discipline is one of the many things that have served our industry well. Decades before OSHA was established by the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, our industry already had disciplined procedures for switching, controlling and tagging circuits. When OSHA began to establish rules for the power-line industry, they recognized the superior discipline […]