Utility Safety Leadership Development

Parrish Taylor

Learning Leadership: Leadership Skill Set 1: Self-Awareness

One of the greatest educational journeys you can take in life is to study yourself, other people and business, in that order. Too many people today have the journey backward. Knowing yourself is a fundamental objective when learning and understanding leadership. Throughout this article, we will build a case for why effective leadership of others starts with leading yourself.

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Parrish Taylor

Learning Leadership: The Leadership Paradigm Shift

Learning Leadership: The Leadership Paradigm Shift

When you are the one held most responsible, you must learn to manage efficient workflow, processes and outcomes. You do not manage people – you lead them, either effectively or ineffectively. In today’s competitive marketplace, you will be judged and evaluated on how you do both.

If your ambitions are to move up the ladder to take a leadership position, or if you have found yourself already there, you must understand how to manage processes and lead people and discipline yourself to do just that. It is the combination of managing and leading that creates long-term results and the ability to adapt to a changing market.

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Ted Granger, CSSBB, CUSP

How Six Sigma Can Improve Your Safety Performance

Six Sigma is the evolution of statistical quality improvement processes that have been used extensively to improve manufacturing and other process-related industries. How good is Six Sigma? It is a statistical measure of variability or standard deviation. The Six Sigma process calculates to 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Needless to say, that is near perfect execution of a process. Although not often used in the safety arena to full potential, Six Sigma tools can help produce significant and sustainable improvements in safety performance, injury reduction and associated pain.

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Danny Raines, CUSP

Voice of Experience: Safety Excellence Equals Operational Excellence

I have been asked to present the opening keynote address at the fall iP Safety Conference & Expo, which will take place September 25-27 in Vancouver, Wash., just a few minutes outside Portland, Ore. It will be an honor to stand before conference attendees to share a safety message that will set the tone for the three-day conference. I plan to discuss safety excellence – how employees who work and operate with excellence at all times promote an excellent safety environment, one free from serious injuries and fatalities.

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Andrew G. Green and Pam Tompkins, CSP, CUSP

Oh, No! Changes in the Workplace

Oh, No! Changes in the Workplace

Change is rapidly becoming a common denominator for many utility safety programs for a variety of reasons. New equipment and automation bring changes to traditional work practices. Generational differences are changing the demographics of the workforce. Safety programs no longer focus just on OSHA compliance and lagging indicators. Certifications, such as the Certified Utility Safety Professional credential, are focusing on leadership, human performance, standards, hazard identification, operations and incident prevention techniques to achieve safety excellence.

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Tim D. Self, CUSP

That’s What I Meant to Say: Safety Leadership in Communication

That’s What I Meant to Say: Safety Leadership in Communication

Individually, the disciplines of safety, leadership and communication each encompass a broad range of specialized experience. Yet, if we look at the relationship between the three disciplines, we can create a general understanding of how safety and leadership are directly impacted by communication in a specific work environment.

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Chuck Woodings, CUSP

Apprenticeship Training

Apprenticeship Training

Apprentice training has been around as long as man has worked. I retired after a nearly 50-year career that began with an apprenticeship, and I currently act as a safety and training director, working with power line and electrical apprentices. My personal training was all on the job with almost no bookwork. A lineman I worked with gave me his copy of the “Lineman’s Handbook” and told me to read it. This book was perhaps the first version of a distance learning program. Fortunately, our crew leader was a very conscientious man and the linemen were exceptionally good. Several years later, with the mentoring of that crew, I became a journeyman.

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Michael S. Haro, Ph.D., CBSS

Behavior Safety Training for Safety Committee Members

Behavior Safety Training for Safety Committee Members

Industries concerned about bottom-line expenses tend to place behavior safety training low on the priority list. However, consider the direct costs your company paid for incidents, accidents, injuries, lost time, lost productivity, and damage to equipment or facilities during the past year. This article will outline a training program that can create significant safety advances as well as immeasurable returns on safe work practices.

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Mike Caro, CUSP

Integrity and Respect: Two of Our Most Important Tools

Integrity and Respect: Two of Our Most Important Tools

Few things are more difficult to establish or easier to lose than integrity. As safety professionals, if our workers, bosses and peers see us as people of integrity, we can ask things of them with a very real expectation that they will buy in, comply, participate and change. The level to which they will do these things is always a matter of degree, but trust built over time gives us options we otherwise do not have. Because integrity is such a key component of our success, it is worthwhile to spend some time considering how to build it, how to maintain it and what can destroy it. Many of these ideas are of particular importance to someone who is new to an organization or work group, but the applicability is in no way restricted to just these persons.

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David McPeak, CUSP, CET, CHST, CSP, CSSM

The Value of Safety Certification

The Value of Safety Certification

Certified. Qualified. Competent. What do these words mean and how are they interrelated? A customer of a utility contractor recently rejected an application from a safety professional who wanted to work on their project, stating he was unqualified. The safety professional had CSP certification and more than 20 years of relevant experience. He is obviously certified, and his experience arguably makes him competent, raising the question: Is it possible to be certified, competent and unqualified? During the same week, this contractor bid on another job that required a CSP on staff. So what, exactly, is the value of safety certification? The answer to that question obviously depends on who you ask, but what are the arguments?

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Ronald J. Schenk, CUSP

Effective Customer Relationships for Crew Leaders

Effective Customer Relationships for Crew Leaders

In iP’s earlier installments of the Supervisory Series (April 2011, June 2011, August 2011, October 2011 and December 2011), we discussed the importance of career development for lineworkers targeted for supervisory responsibilities. We also discussed the supervisory skills required to be effective as a crew leader or foreman, including a full article on human behavior and communication skills. Installments 4 and 5 dealt with crew best practices and safety management, respectively.

In this installment, we will discuss the foreman’s role in customer relationships.

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Ronald J. Schenk, CUSP

T&D Safety Management for Crew Leaders

T&D Safety Management for Crew Leaders

In iP’s earlier installments of the Supervisory Series (April 2011, June 2011, August 2011 and October 2011), we discussed the importance of career development for lineworkers targeted for supervisory responsibilities. We also considered the supervisory skills required to be effective as a crew leader or foreman, including a full article on human behavior and communication skills. In the last issue we dealt with the concept of crew best practices.

In this installment, we will focus more on crew practices, specifically those concerning crew safety management.

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Tyrone Tonkinson, Ph.D., P.E.

CUSP Basics: Introduction to Human Performance Principles

CUSP Basics: Introduction to Human Performance Principles

Have you been involved in an accident investigation? It's very sad when we find out after the fact that some very simple actions or decisions led to a tragic outcome. Wouldn't we be better off if we could anticipate incidents and prevent them? In 1990, human performance emerged as a new area of study that uses our knowledge of human nature to prevent events. This article provides some of the principles to start your journey on the road to prevention. These principles are also the basis for the human performance section of the Certified Utility Safety Professional (CUSP) program. To find out more about the program, visit www.usoln.org.

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Ronald J. Schenk, CUSP

T&D Best Practices for Crew Leaders

In iP’s earlier installments of the Supervisory Series (April 2011, June 2011 and August 2011), we discussed the importance of career development for lineworkers targeted for supervisory responsibilities. We also discussed the supervisory skills required to be effective as a crew leader or foreman, including a full article on human behavior and communication skills.

In this installment, we will discuss a concept of fieldwork known as best practices. As you will see, it is not enough that the foreman be effective as a personnel supervisor. It is just as important to understand the work practices the industry has accepted as critical in maintaining safety for crew members.

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Michelle Brown

Safety Circuitry: The Power in the Brain

“What was he thinking?!” This frustrated question of supervisors, managers and safety professionals speaks directly to the future of safety in utilities. What are workers thinking when performing unsafe acts or walking past hazards, if indeed they are thinking at all?

For companies to realize their goal of zero incidents, an understanding of thought, attention, motivation and decision-making is a must. They must now enter the realm inhabited by psychologists for decades, the world of the human brain.

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Parrish Taylor

Cultivating a Mature Workforce

Cultivating a Mature Workforce

Your workforce is one of your project’s greatest assets. From the top down, the maturity of this asset has a dramatic impact on your safety culture and ultimately your bottom line.

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Ronald J. Schenk, CUSP

Human Behavior and Communication Skills for Crew Leaders

Human Behavior and Communication Skills for Crew Leaders

In iP’s earlier installments of the Supervisory Series (April 2011 and June 2011), we discussed the importance of career development for lineworkers targeted for supervisory responsibilities, as well as the supervisory skills required to be effective as a crew leader or foreman. In this installment, we will discuss one additional set of supervisory skills that are possibly the most critical for the new supervisor: human behavior and communication.

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Ronald J. Schenk, CUSP

Supervisory Skills for Crew Leaders

Supervisory Skills for Crew Leaders

In iP’s first installment of the Supervisory Series (April 2011), we discussed how many organizations react when they are in sudden need of a crew foreman. Most have no career development plans for their lineworkers and have not taken the time to adequately prepare qualified crew members to move into a supervisory position. A quick decision is made out of desperation to promote the best employee we can find at the moment. Unfortunately, with good intentions, we often set up our best employees to fail this way because they have not been properly prepared for their new responsibilities.  

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Ronald J. Schenk, CUSP

Crew Foreman Needed: Who Do We Pick?

Crew Foreman Needed: Who Do We Pick?

It happens all too often. We need a foreman as soon as possible. The crew leader position is vacant for any number of reasons – often suddenly – and we need someone now.

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Shawn Galloway

Innovate or Follow: The Argument Against A Best Practice

Innovate or Follow: The Argument Against A Best Practice

Careless adoption of a best practice may result in placing dangerous blinders on individuals within the organization, ceasing the search for vital fresh approaches. Someone, somewhere, pioneered the approach you are considering. Is your goal to innovate, or follow?

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