Tailgate Safety Topics

Tailgate Safety Topics
Tailgate meetings are a critical communication component of any strong utility safety program. Incident Prevention supplies the utility industry with topics for these important meetings. Each article can be printed out for use in the field or emailed to your crews.
Can't find the Tailgate Topic you're looking fo...r? Just send us an email and we'll have our team of expert utility safety authors get to work on your particular subject!
Free Subscription
More
John Boyle

Communication: The Key to Great Safety

You’re a crew leader or even a supervisor and you really know your stuff, yet your crews aren’t quite following your direction. Something is amiss, but you can’t figure it out. Or maybe you’re a journeyman lineman, but your apprentice continues to not follow your direction. It’s becoming a problem for both of you that you’re not sure how to fix. In both cases, maybe it’s due to poor communication. We all can speak a language – some of us can speak many languages – but are we really communicating? Are you being heard? Most importantly, are you being understood? Communication and safety go hand in hand and without good communication skills, you may actually find yourself talking “at” people, not really communicating. The following Tailgate covers tips and techniques that can be used by anyone who really wants to make a difference in how they interact with and influence their crew members.

Continue reading
  34688 Hits
  0 Comments
Tim D. Self, CUSP

Safety Leadership in a Written Pre-Job Briefing

OSHA 1910.269(c) states that an employer must ensure that a pre-job briefing is conducted and that it covers the following details of the job: 

• Hazards
• Work procedures
• Special precautions
• Energy source controls
• Personal protective equipment requirements

Continue reading
  24782 Hits
  0 Comments
Chuck Woodings, CUSP

Basic Qualifications of Employees

The Tailgate for this month goes back to the very basics of electrical safety – what OSHA considers the four requirements to be considered a qualified employee. This article is based on my 18 years of experience developing and teaching OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269 classes.

Continue reading
  12300 Hits
  0 Comments
Will Schnyer, CUSP

Felling of Trees Near Power Lines

Here at Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), our line crews are responsible for the operation and maintenance of approximately 17,000 miles of power lines within a 15-state region of the central and western U.S. Within that region are geographic areas where vegetation hazards can pose a threat to the reliability of some of our power lines. To identify these hazards, WAPA utilizes both routine aerial and ground patrols to collect and monitor vegetation data. The criteria we use to establish vegetation minimum clearance distances is based on the OSHA 29 CFR 1910.333 minimum approach distance for nonelectrical workers, rounded up to the nearest foot, plus 5 feet to account for conductor and tree movement due to wind and ice loading, or increased conductor sag as a result of thermal loading. In addition, another 5 feet is added to allow for an average tree growth of 12 inches per year and a retreatment interval of no fewer than five years.

Continue reading
  12998 Hits
  0 Comments
John Boyle

Basic Electric Safety

For anyone who works at a construction site or around electrical equipment, knowing the basic dangers is an absolute must. The following Tailgate is a brief overview of the physics and hazards associated with electricity.

Continue reading
  16041 Hits
  0 Comments
John Boyle

No-Voltage Testing

This month’s Tailgate Topic covers the important task of no-voltage testing, sometimes referred to as absence of voltage testing or no-potential testing. No lineworker is ever excluded from the requirements of testing conductors to verify the absence of voltage when required, although methods and practices on how this is accomplished will vary among companies. The following is a basic overview of how to test both exposed conductors and cable. The steps provided here are demonstrative in nature and not intended to replace your local rules and procedures.

Continue reading
  17143 Hits
  0 Comments
John Boyle

Substation Safety

This month’s Tailgate covers substation safety. Substations have a set of unique rules that are strictly enforced by the governing utility or municipality, known as the designated authority. This article is only a guide that outlines the basic requirements for personnel entering and working in a substation.

Continue reading
  31088 Hits
  0 Comments
John Boyle

A Second Look at Safety Glasses

Safety glasses weren’t always considered part of everyday utility construction equipment. It was during the mid-1980s when companies really started embracing the use of safety glasses as mandatory personal protective equipment (PPE). Today you cannot step foot on a utility construction site without proper PPE, including safety glasses. Much has been accomplished in eyewear design, fit and comfort over the past 25 years, and many eye injuries have been avoided as a result of these significant changes. The purpose of this Tailgate is to cover some of the basics of safety glasses, as well as address some of the concerns about wearing them.

Continue reading
  19950 Hits
  0 Comments
John Boyle

Equipment: Back to Basics

In this month’s Tailgate we get back to basics and review some of the fundamental principles of crew safety when handling tools and equipment.

Principle 1: Prior to usage, inspect and test all tools and equipment in accordance with your company’s approved procedures.
Inspection and testing are cornerstones of worker safety. Inspect tools, equipment, ropes, knots and rigging as required by your company’s procedure or, if no such procedure exists, on a routine basis. Be sure to pay special attention to calibration dates, testing dates and manufacturer expiration dates. 

Continue reading
  11364 Hits
  0 Comments
Will Schnyer, CUSP

Live-Line Tool Use and Care

After attending a Monday morning safety meeting, a lineman is assigned the task of driving to a remote county road to measure the conductor height of an energized 115-kV transmission line. A rural farmhouse in the vicinity is scheduled to be moved and subsequently would pass directly underneath the transmission conductors. The lineman’s foreman wants to know if the top of the house will encroach on the minimum approach distance to live parts as it passes underneath the conductors. 

Continue reading
  23631 Hits
  0 Comments
Tim D. Self, CUSP

Taking Stock of Your Fall Protection Compliance

Resonating throughout the industry today is an increasing concern regarding fall protection compliance – a key component of any powerline safety compliance program. Fall protection compliance has four essential elements: training, proper use and maintenance, inspection and documentation. Drawing from manufacturers’ specifications and OSHA standards, this Tailgate is a comprehensive resource to assist your organization in building a fall protection program that meets required compliance safety standards.   

Continue reading
  15180 Hits
  0 Comments
John Boyle

Drop Zone Management: Expanding Our View of Line of Fire

This month’s Tailgate takes a closer look at a line-of-fire issue, specifically the drop hazard created when working aloft. Unfortunately, year after year utility workers are injured when objects are inadvertently dropped from heights, creating a significant threat for those on the ground. As we continue to refine the practices in our profession, the methods traditionally used for working aloft need to be examined and possibly modified. This will bring more control and safety to those on the ground who are near the overhead work being performed.

Continue reading
  20201 Hits
  0 Comments
John Boyle and John Wisniewski

High-Pressure Hydraulic Injection Injuries

Hydraulic and diesel fuel systems operate at very high pressures, often 3,000 psi and above. If a loose connection or a defect in a hose should occur, a fine, high-velocity stream of fluid will result. Even for systems pressurized to as little as 100 psi, this fluid stream can penetrate human skin as if it were a hypodermic needle.

Continue reading
  37251 Hits
  0 Comments
John Boyle

Vehicle Operation Winter Readiness

Much of the country is currently in the throes of winter, dealing with snowy and icy conditions. It can be a dangerous time to be on the road, but the following Tailgate provides information to help you safely combat the perils of winter vehicle operation.

Continue reading
  11624 Hits
  0 Comments
John Boyle

Rubber Insulating Line Hose

Rubber insulating line hose (RILH) is a portable safety device designed to cover exposed energized power lines and protect workers from incidental contact. Insulating line hose comes in various configurations and shapes. Its purpose is to completely cover line or equipment to which it is applied.

Continue reading
  17989 Hits
  0 Comments
John Boyle

Hand Protection

In the electric, gas and telecommunication construction trades, hands rank at the top of the list of body parts most frequently injured. The following Tailgate provides an overview of work gloves and other considerations to ensure your hands remain injury-free from routine daily tasks.

Continue reading
  18897 Hits
  0 Comments
John Boyle

Compressed Gas Cylinder Safety

Compressed gas has become very commonplace in the utility industry. Flammable gases are used for cutting, burning and welding. Propane is used to heat mastic for piping or to melt lead for splices. Compressed gas fuels are used for fork trucks while refrigerant gases are used by fleet personnel. As a result, most utility workers are exposed to gas cylinders as part of their daily operations.

Continue reading
  19720 Hits
  0 Comments
John Boyle

Preventing Employee Exposure to Pesticides

Employees may occasionally encounter crops and substations that have recently been sprayed with pesticides. This Tailgate describes what to look for and the safe work practices to use to minimize pesticide exposure.

Continue reading
  11184 Hits
  0 Comments
John Boyle

Line of Fire

“Line of fire” is a military term that describes the path of a discharged missile or firearm. It’s the path an object will travel. In utility work there are many objects that have potential to create line of fire exposure.

Continue reading
  63764 Hits
  0 Comments
John Boyle

Error-Free Performance: Part II

This month we continue with the remaining tools that will help you with error-free performance. First, a quick recap:
• Human error is normal, but can be provoked by practices found in the workplace and by traps in organizational processes, procedures and culture.
• When applied in the moment, a series of techniques called “tools” will catch errors or help avoid error traps.
• A tool can be used alone or multiple tools can be used depending on the complexity of the task.
• The challenge is developing the habit to routinely use tools. They are used every day by emergency room personnel, 911 center operators, pilots and air traffic controllers, nuclear plant personnel and employees of other businesses where errors create unwanted consequences. These tools are used around the world because they work.

Continue reading
  13158 Hits
  0 Comments

KNOWLEDGE, INSIGHT & STRATEGY FOR UTILITY SAFETY & OPS PROFESSIONALS

Incident Prevention is produced by Utility Business Media, Inc.

360 Memorial Drive, Suite 10, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 | 815.459.1796 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
© 2004 - 2018 Incident Prevention. All Rights Reserved.