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Tag: Featured

Getting to the Heart of At-Risk Behaviors with Facilitative Learning

In a recent workshop with a client in southeast Louisiana, a breakout session reached a tipping point. The rhythmic flow of dialogue among the seven supervisors in the group found an unscripted but purposeful path of its own. The task given to the group involved identifying at-risk behaviors or shortcuts likely to occur in their work environment. Participants were also asked to discuss motives for the identified behaviors and strategies for shifting perspectives regarding them. The intent of the three-part exercise, which was deliberately constructed to achieve the resulting outcome, was to...

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FR/AR Apparel Use: Are Your Workers Properly Trained?

Many workers in the utilities space bravely put their personal safety at risk every day on the job. Facing potential hazards such as arc flashes, flash fires and unpredictable elements of nature, these workers’ personal protective equipment – particularly their garments – is their last line of defense. However, proper apparel use can sometimes be overlooked or deprioritized, putting workers at greater risk of injury. Whether you’re responsible for a few employees or 1,000, getting your team properly trained in the appropriate use of flame-resistant and arc-rated (FR/AR) apparel helps to...

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ESG: Health and Safety Obstacle or Opportunity?

Over the past few years, much has been written and discussed about the role of environmental, social and governance, commonly referred to as ESG. Investors and customers are increasingly applying these nonfinancial factors as part of their analysis process to identify material risks and growth opportunities in the companies they decide to invest in. According to research from the Weinreb Group, in publicly held U.S. companies, the position described as chief sustainability officer has grown from 29 such officers in 2011 to 183 in 2023 (see https://weinrebgroup.com/2023-cso-report-press-release/)....

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Pattern Disruption: Don’t Start with ‘Why’

In the northern latitudes, Mother Nature is deeply vested in a cycle of pattern disruption. The four seasons change the ecosystems and habitats. As the seasons shift in New York, the lake that I live on moves from a warm thermocline with colder layers on the bottom and warmer water on top to the opposite. In the coldest months, the top of the lake freezes entirely. The ground freezes, too, while the monarch butterflies leave and many of the birds fly south. But even those pattern disruptions – the four seasons – become a rhythm, an expected ritual during which we trade lawnmowers for snowblowers...

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Safety and Innovation Lead the Way at San Diego Gas & Electric

“Safety and innovation are one and the same.” That was among the opening remarks delivered by San Diego Gas & Electric personnel during the recent Safety Innovation Tour held at the utility’s Skills Training Center in the Serra Mesa neighborhood of the city. And certainly, SDG&E continues to focus on thinking and moving forward in ways that will help to bolster the safety of both their workers and the public. That was apparent throughout the tour – a highlight of the most recent iP Utility Safety Conference & Expo (https://utilitysafetyconference.com) – during which nearly 100 conference...

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‘It’s a Wonderful Life’: Acknowledging and Safeguarding Our Blessings

In the classic 1946 film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Jimmy Stewart plays the role of George Bailey. Due to a series of unfortunate events, George makes a desperate attempt to right the things that have turned his world upside down. He even says that maybe things would be better if he had never been born. George then gets to witness what the world would be like if he had never been born. He sees many events that would have taken place differently because he was not there. In the end, George can see all the good his life has brought to others. He sees what a wonderful life he’s had. Fast-forward...

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‘Avocado Hand’ and Scaling the Safety Message

Avocado toast has become all the rage at restaurants and on social media posts over the past several years. I eat it; it is delectable. You make it by toasting some bread, adding some ripe avocado and maybe some salt, and then maybe some tomatoes or sprouts. Easy, right? Now, I want you to think of making this dish, but consider it from a safety angle. Avocado toast can be a hazardous dish to prepare. You must toast bread, which is a potential fire hazard, and you have to cut open an avocado. Unfortunately, people sometimes do this by holding the avocado in their hand, which can result in line-of-fire...

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The Health and Safety Plan: A Project Management Tool

A health and safety plan, or HASP, can be a valuable project management tool. It is a working document intended to help prevent workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths, as well as equipment and facility damage, by detailing the tasks involved in a project, identifying the project’s specific hazards and describing all mitigation procedures to be implemented. In this article, we will review some of the most important sections to be included in a HASP: hazard identification and controls; the general project work plan; emergency response; incident reporting; communications; regulatory compliance;...

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Using Flame-Resistant and Arc-Rated Clothing to Mitigate Cold Stress

Workers in the electric utility industry face various hazards, and in cooler climates, this includes potential cold stress. Cold stress occurs when the skin’s temperature drops, lowering internal body temperature and inhibiting the body’s ability to warm itself. If unchecked, exposure to cold can lead to several medical conditions, including trench foot, chilblains, frostbite and hypothermia. Flame-resistant (FR) and arc-rated (AR) garments can be worn by workers to help protect them from both cold stress and potential burn injuries due to arc flashes and flash fires. Employers must ensure workers...

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Nurturing Strong Leadership: An Approach to Professional Development in Skilled Trades

Strong leadership is essential for the success and well-being of a company. Effective leaders play a vital role in setting the course, motivating employees, fostering a positive work culture and making critical decisions that steer the organization toward its goals. In our industry, leaders face significant challenges due to substantial growth, an aging workforce and concerns about the impact of both on operations. The need for professional development is a crucial item for workers in the skilled trades who will assume leadership roles. This development is necessary to help the next generation...

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Employee-in-Charge Requirements

When was the last time your organization discussed or highlighted the importance of the employee in charge (EIC)? The EIC has the responsibility to ensure job site success, so it is one of the most important job functions within your company. And because electric power workers perform jobs with extremely high-risk hazards that require successful planning and execution, organizations must assess whether they have equipped employees with the knowledge, skills, tools, responsibility and accountability required to successfully implement EIC duties. The electric power industry continues to experience...

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Direct Current Hazards and Protection Strategies

Protection from direct current (DC) arcs is the latest trend in electrical safety. The growth of commercial and personal electric vehicles (EVs), photovoltaics (PVs), battery backups and grid storage systems makes refreshers necessary. This article introduces some of the DC fundamentals so that end users can build on these concepts to optimize existing electrical safety programs. It will explain the various DC sources, hazards, applicable safety standards and protection strategies. Direct Current Sources DC is produced from PVs or solar panels, batteries and smart power electronic devices known...

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New 2023 Products to Watch

Photo Credit: Youngstown Glove Youngstown FR Fleece Ground Glove (Booth S3159) Youngstown’s FR Fleece Ground Glove is a durable and dexterous winter glove designed for cool and cold weather use. It is not designed for freezing temperatures but for the more common cold experienced throughout most of the U.S. in the winter months. By targeting cold but not freezing temperatures, we were able to design this glove in a way that maintains excellent dexterity. The glove is a double layer of leather sewn into an ergonomic, 3D glove pattern. The base layer is a water-resistant goat grain, and...

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The Art of Safety – Unnormalizing Deviation

Given the predictable nature of hazards, how and why do incidents occur? Think about this: If I know the winning numbers ahead of a lottery drawing, it’s simple for me to be 100% successful at winning the lottery money. So, if we know how hazards are going to act and how they cause harm, why aren’t we 100% successful at safety? It’s because we don’t fully grasp and utilize the Art of Safety, or how and why you must understand, lead, develop and protect people. That’s why I wrote the book “Frontline Incident Prevention – The Hurdle: Innovative and Practical Insights on the Art of Safety” and...

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Harnessing AI: Crafting the Future of Safety Professionals

In an ever-evolving world, technological advancements have the potential to transform industries and revolutionize the way we approach safety. Among the many emerging applications of artificial intelligence (AI), one particular use case stands out: the ability to listen to and analyze tens of thousands of daily tailboard conversations to determine their effectiveness in achieving desired outcomes. Consider this example: A prominent utility company in the Southeast conducts thousands of tailboard meetings every day, recording these vital planning discussions through a simple video application....

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Tip of the Spear: A Tactical Approach to Safety Leadership

Leadership is defined as the action of leading a group or organization; it’s a verb. It’s also a skill that is extremely fluid. Leadership style can change depending on the person and the situation, but all effective leaders have some common qualities. When I developed the list below, I initially came up with 68 possible qualities, and while I know each of them has some merit, I eventually narrowed down the list to these 16 qualities that I believe are nonnegotiable. 1. Ability to effectively communicate 2. Ability to influence 3. Ability to inspire 4. Respect and trust (gives and earns) 5....

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Planning for Emergencies: How to Increase Survivability When Someone Gets Hurt

Most of us never plan for an accident to occur on the job site, and there is no way we can know how an individual or crew will respond to the trauma of seeing a teammate injured or killed. That’s something I learned when my crew watched me take the combined induction from two energized 500,000-volt circuits for roughly 30 seconds. The incident tested the crew’s emergency preparedness, and in my opinion, we could have done better. Yes, I survived. But the choices made after my high-voltage contact could have proven deadly had my injuries been more significant. Some Background On the morning of...

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The Art of Safety: Self-Reliance

Given the predictable nature of hazards, how and why do incidents occur? Think about this: If I know the winning numbers ahead of a lottery drawing, it’s simple for me to be 100% successful at winning the lottery money. So, if we know how hazards are going to act and how they cause harm, why aren’t we 100% successful at safety? It’s because we don’t fully grasp and utilize the Art of Safety, or how and why you must understand, lead, develop and protect people. That’s why I wrote the book “Frontline Incident Prevention – The Hurdle: Innovative and Practical Insights on the Art of Safety” and...

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Strengthening the Substation Fence

People have finally discovered one of the best unkept secrets in America: Our utility systems can be attacked, and it doesn’t take military tacticians to pull it off. Activists have recently renewed calls for more attacks that disrupt essential utility services and create chaos. Previously, terrorist groups focused on disabling the bulk power grid by attacking assets such as Pacific Gas & Electric’s Metcalf transmission substation. Now, their target list has grown to include distribution substations and the critical infrastructure of small and midsized utilities. This new strategy aims to...

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Overcoming the Illusion of Safety

There are striking similarities in how we respond to incidents, injuries and fatalities in our industry. Safety stand-downs are held. Utilities and contractors conduct incident investigations that are typically wrapped up with action items that need to be handled. But consider this: Is everything we do in the wake of an incident truly effective in preventing future incidents? Let’s take it one step further. Are all the things we’re doing on a daily basis helping to ensure employee safety, or do we sometimes simply check a box, satisfy a requirement and tell ourselves we’re making the job safer...

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Preventing Struck-By Incidents in Utility Construction

Anatomically modern humans emerged over 100,000 years ago. For the bulk of that time, the environment in which we lived didn’t change much or very quickly. Now, think about how much the world has changed in just the last 100 years. One interesting thing to consider is how modern human innovation has continued to overcome innate human deficiencies. We control the environment around us now more than ever, including the way we travel, the way we enjoy the arts, the way we grow our food, the way we care for our sick and injured, and – to bring this point home – the way we protect ourselves. Today,...

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The Quail Effect: An Indicator of Safety Culture

It is not uncommon for a flock of birds, such as quail, to scatter when people get too close to them. This sometimes happens on work sites, too, but instead of birds, it’s workers who scatter when they see safety personnel show up on their job site. A lot can be said about an organization’s safety culture by observing how employees in the field respond to the arrival of safety personnel. Think about it: Do your crews run for cover when they see Safety arrive at the job site? Do they suddenly go on break until Safety leaves? If so, this typically indicates a problem with the organization’s safety...

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Powered Ascenders in the Utility Space

Due to the nature of the job, lineworkers may be required to climb several hundred feet – perhaps multiple times per day – just to get to work. Studies show that reducing worker fatigue has a significant effect on lowering the number of on-the-job incidents. And recent advancements in battery technology plus fierce competition in the powered ascender space have made these devices more common in the workplace. But what exactly is a powered ascender, and how can it help reduce worker fatigue? The concept of powered rope-climbing assist devices has been around for decades. Commercially available...

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Eyes on the Wire: The Year of Actively Caring

Power Delivery leaders and supervisors at Georgia Power are working on initiatives to increase their time in the field and demonstrate active caring. However, as they work through managing meetings, to-do lists, deadlines and time constraints, finding time to be in the field can be difficult. As Power Delivery works to meet this challenge, Georgia Power has implemented an innovative idea and tapped into a reliable and obvious resource. “We looked at bringing in safety specialists but realized the best thing to do was to see if retirees who were familiar with the jobs and who knew what they needed...

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Using Power Tools in the Bucket

Lineworkers rely on a variety of tools when working from the bucket of an aerial device. Safe work practices require that these tools not create additional exposure to electrocution. Hand tools – such as bolt cutters, knives, pliers and wire strippers – are often made of metal. So, when employees are working in aerial devices, employers typically require hand tools to be insulated with layers of nonconductive material, such as plastic or nylon. Power tools (e.g., drills, impact wrenches, circle saws, chainsaws, crimpers, cutters) are also used in the bucket. Historically, hydraulically powered...

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7 Secrets of Root Cause Analysis

This article offers practical root cause analysis tips that are secrets – if you define “secrets” by how many people need to learn them. We don’t keep these tips under wraps, but it may sometimes seem that way.Why? Because we find so many people who don’t understand what we see as obvious. So, in an effort to help organizations improve their analyses, we thought we’d break down what we see as the seven most important secrets. Read on to discover each one.

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Matted Surfaces: Safety Considerations and Controls

It’s a busy time in our industry. We have challenges associated with normal operations and maintenance of the grid. We’re also faced with new and increasing work involving distributed generation, vehicle charging infrastructure and major transmission projects. Both existing and emerging work require access to the respective work areas, and with this comes the associated hazards of off-road access work. As an industry, we talk about the electrical hazards of our work all the time, and we should. But we don’t spend a lot of time talking about access work hazards before and after the electrical...

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Industry Trends and Solutions to Improve Worker Readiness

The moral and legal obligations to provide workers with a safe workplace are just two of the reasons companies should want to keep their employees safe. However, another big motivator for businesses is how extraordinarily disruptive and costly workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses are for their operations. For example, Liberty Mutual estimated that U.S. employers paid over $1 billion per week in workers’ compensation for disabling workplace injuries in 2018 (see www.osha.gov/businesscase). The actual price of work-related injuries and deaths is much more than just workers’...

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3 Sustainability Considerations When Evaluating FR/AR Apparel

Flame-resistant (FR) and arc-rated (AR) apparel are garments specifically designed to protect the wearer from the hazards of flame and heat, including arc flash and flash fire. This type of personal protective equipment (PPE) is most commonly worn by workers in high-risk industries such as electric utilities, welding, and oil and gas. Donning of FR/AR apparel is one of the most essential practices in place for protecting workers from the flame and heat hazards they may encounter on the job. However, this type of clothing also has a significant impact on the environment. As legislation and consumer...

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Increasing Safety Through Underground Integrity Management

The utility sector is at a higher risk of serious injuries and fatalities (SIFs) when compared to construction, manufacturing and mining, according to a 2018 study by DEKRA Organizational Safety & Reliability (see www.dekra.us/en/higher-serious-injuries-and-fatalities-sif-exposure-rate-in-utilities-sector-than-other-industries/). The study found that 30% of the SIFs in the utility industry are the result of motor vehicle incidents and another 28% are attributed to line-of-fire or struck-by incidents. Those are sobering statistics, but they help frame what’s possible in the realm of prevention...

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6-Step Method for Safety Harness Inspections

Your PPE can protect you if it’s in good working order and used properly, and this is especially true of fall protection gear. All gear should be inspected before use because a deficiency can be dangerous. Damaged or defective equipment should be immediately removed from service, as should equipment that’s been used in a fall. Anything that compromises the ability of the gear to protect someone from a future fall is a potential risk. Harnesses and safety lanyards cannot be repaired; any damage to them means the entire unit is too dangerous to use. During inspections, the components of a fall...

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A Targeted Approach to Safety Gap Analysis

Does a gap exist between lagging indicator performance and the reliability of industry companies’ safety systems? The bad news is that our work in the industry has led us to believe the short answer to that question is yes. The good news is that our work in the industry has led us to develop an approach that makes gap analysis an effective tool to improve safety system reliability for companies within the utility construction industry. Our Approach Our approach to gap analysis began when working with a large utility company to help contractors struggling with safety performance. These...

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Influencing Crew Safety

Influence sways our beliefs and our direction in life. We are swayed by the news, public opinion, social media, our family and friends, and by some things we don’t even know are influencing us. In the utility industry, this begs the question: How do we as leaders go about influencing those around us in ways that will help to make us safer? What types of influence might resonate with the workforce? Influential Actions Our approach to influencing any crew or situation matters. Let’s say there is a pressing tactical matter on a job or a change in scope that needs to be discussed. Since that issue...

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Advancing Workforce Skills Using Simulation-Based Training

Like nearly all industries that require skilled workers, the electrical utility industry currently faces the challenge of having enough trained and qualified workers to meet demand and changing market conditions. According to a 2020 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (see www.usenergyjobs.org), all energy sectors reported hiring difficulties: “Lack of experience, training, or technical skills were again cited as the top reasons for hiring difficulty by employers across all five surveyed sectors. The need for technical training and certifications was also frequently cited, implying the need for...

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Understanding Wind Speed Limitations on Utility Equipment

The question about what’s permitted for operating aerial devices and digger derricks in high winds is one that comes up frequently with users. Utility crews often must deal with working in wind. Trouble trucks responding during storm recovery, transmission operations to place visibility balls on lines and working above rooflines in urban locations are just a few examples. Plus, some areas of the country experience high winds regularly or seasonally. While OSHA restricts use of material-handling aerial devices and digger derricks in winds greater than 30 mph, the reality is that both OSHA – in...

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The 8 Habits of a Highly Effective Safety Culture

I began writing my new book – “The 8 Habits of a Highly Effective Safety Culture” – in 2004 while working as a civilian contractor for Kellogg Brown & Root in Iraq. I was the area HSE manager for a large portion of the Logistical Civilian Augmentation Program #3 Project. Our contract required us to hire a certain percentage of local national employees (Iraqis) to help build bases for the U.S. military and coalition forces. This was to help the local economy and to teach the Iraqi people new skills that they could use once we were gone. In theory, this was a great idea; in reality, however,...

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Closing the Cracks with the FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

Slipping through the cracks has become much more difficult for drivers with the 2020 implementation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.  The following scenario paints a picture of how easy it once was for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders who violated the FMCSA drug and alcohol testing regulations to move from job to job and continue to threaten public safety on U.S. roadways. Later in this article, we will explore requirements and responsibilities related to the clearinghouse.  The Scenario In March 2019, John Doe, a CDL holder...

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Beyond Behavior-Based Safety: Why Traditional Safety Practices are No Longer Enough

Traditional safety management practices are built on the assumption that human behavior is rational and occurs primarily through conscious decision-making. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are, in fact, irrational by nature, creatures of habit and deeply influenced by past experiences. To create the next step change in the practice of occupational safety, we must revisit existing paradigms defining it, revise them to better align with research emerging from advancements in neuroscience, and adapt to practice realigned strategies of an affective nature. Irrational by Nature In 2016,...

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Using a Learning Management System to Augment Lineworker Training

“You can’t learn how to climb a pole by looking at a computer screen.”  That’s a sentence that has been repeatedly used in our industry to discredit web-based learning. And it’s true; in any skilled trade, neither distance learning nor classroom work alone can replace the skills and confidence gained from practicing tasks and building up muscle memory in the field. But does that mean there’s no place for distance learning? Absolutely not. When properly used to augment a field skills training program, online training can speed the development of skills, make your training program more efficient...

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The Case for Enhanced First-Aid Training for Lineworkers

Imagine you are working in a remote wilderness area on difficult terrain. The job involves setting poles, running wires, trimming trees, operating heavy machinery and working at elevation in track bucket trucks or hooks on a pole. The potential for serious injury is present, and extrication will be difficult if an injury occurs.  This scenario begs the question, are basic first-aid and CPR training enough for a situation like this? Should enhanced first-aid training be considered for remote utility work? Could training some of our lineworkers in advanced first aid help them more effectively...

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Does Positive Feedback Improve Safety?

Our client is an international utility company with more than 10,000 employees that provides electric and natural gas to 20 million U.S. customers. Their vision is to achieve a generative safety culture in which both employees and leaders are actively engaged. Characteristics of a generative safety culture include proactively resolving issues, focusing on leading indicators, and welcoming bad news as an opportunity for improvement, not for implementing discipline. The company is well on their way to that destination, and it’s due in no small part to their employees’ dedication to their jobs,...

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Mitigating Heat and Cold Stress with FR/AR Clothing

Within the utility industry, employers have long looked to flame-resistant (FR) and arc-rated (AR) garments to help protect workers from injury due to flash fire and arc flash. Because these garments are designed using specially engineered, self-extinguishing fabrics and are certified to rigorous testing standards, they can help prevent or lessen the severity of injury. Utilizing FR/AR garments as part of a comprehensive personal protective equipment program is also one of the ways employers can meet OSHA’s mandate to provide workers with employment and a place of employment that are free from...

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Best Practices for Bucket Truck Rescue

Bucket trucks are among the most frequently used pieces of equipment in a utility’s fleet. Because of the common use of the trucks, it becomes easy for operators to become complacent in their equipment, inspection, operation and rescue plan – often defaulting to the last job safety analysis with limited consideration for the task at hand and the work environment. In a frequent scenario, one of Colorado’s electric utility contractors was issued an urgent service ticket. The lineman assigned to the job had years of experience and assumed this task would be much like the hundreds of closed service...

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Designing a Safe and Reliable Electrical Maintenance Program

The critical importance of power to every aspect of our world cannot be overexaggerated. It must be generated and distributed effectively to end users, and any disruption in that process means loss of operations, money and, in extreme cases, life. Therefore, the reliability of power creation and distribution must be continually safeguarded and improved. This doesn’t happen by chance or through reactionary maintenance tasks; rather, it must be focused on from the early design stages and continue through the life of the assets tasked with these functions. Adopting a “Monitor, Inspect and Manage”...

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Using PPE to Bolster Safety Resilience

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 the risks, eliminate their presence and prevent injuries. Even still, incidents and injuries do happen, sometimes with catastrophic consequences. This has brought about a shift in the safety mindset, moving toward a more resilient outlook.

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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 about my safety and made sure I developed safe work habits that I still espouse today.

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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 requirements go into effect in August of this year. First, let’s cover some of the most notable changes, and then we’ll look at some often misunderstood training requirements.

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Grounding Conductor Confusion: What’s the Best One to Use?

Consider new testing data before making a final determination. Proper grounding is both a life-and-death matter and an operational imperative. But many questions remain about grounding. Some of the most frequently asked include: Why do some designers, utilities and contractors use one type of grounding conductor while others use a different type? If copper and aluminum carry power through transmission and distribution lines, then why not use them everywhere, including for grounding? What is the best grounding conductor? The grounding conductor selection process should include both of the...

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Security in the Field: A Largely Unnoticed Need

It’s time for worker security to receive the same attention as worker safety. Society today is no longer predisposed to viewing utility employees in a friendly manner, and aggression toward them is growing. For some time, the steady rise in aggression toward utility workers has flown under the radar. Whether employee or contractor, job site violence is a real threat. Of the multitude of issues fueling this aggression, one of the most significant is shifting public opinions of utilities themselves. For a growing segment of the population, public utilities are nuisances to be confronted, not benefactors...

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Actionable Safety: Modeling Change for Line Crews

Demonstrating simple strategies for teams to practice can begin to effect behavioral changes that improve safety. When leaders model a specific safety behavior or tactic, we can achieve multiple positive outcomes, including initiating change in our organizations. It is critical, however, that we physically model the behavior with our actions – we must walk the walk, not just talk the talk. When we truly lead by example, we can expect our team leaders to model our behavior as well. With that said, in this article, I’m going to present you with some simple, actionable safety strategies you can...

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From My Bookshelf to Yours: ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’

Understanding, developing and applying these habits enable us to better respond to stimuli, making us more effective people. I am excited to tell you that Utility Business Media Inc. recently published “Frontline Leadership: The Hurdle,” a book that I wrote. During the research and writing process, I read a lot of books and want to share some highlights from a few of my favorites. This article will focus on “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” the bestselling book authored by Stephen R. Covey. I hope that you find the article useful, and I hope it inspires you to read both Covey’s book...

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Just Like the Real Thing: Training the Next Generation of Lineworkers


The Missouri Valley JATC offers comprehensive training at its new state-of-the-art facility. “Many people say that a lot of [lineworker] rules are written in blood, and there is literal truth to that. Safety is our value. We don’t have any competing priorities over safety. It’s not number one. It’s on a list of one.” That’s a quote from Tim Vassios, a lead instructor at the Missouri Valley Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC). Both Vassios and his organization – with the support of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractors Association...

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