Regardless of the safety statistic employed, over the last few decades, the number of accidents at electric utilities has decreased every year. Why? Because of a culture of safety, better understanding of costs, and improved manufacturing. So let’s celebrate safety, in May and every day. But, until we collectively reduce the overall death rate to zero, we still have to roll up our sleeves and admit we have a whole lotta work to do.Read More
May is National Electrical Safety Month. Take the time to inspect your home and work environment for any potential hazards or areas lacking protection. Find a range of safety resources and infographics — on workplace safety, childproofing your home, and saving someone in danger of electric shock drowning.Read More
Drones have the potential to cut utilities’ damage assessment time in half and restore power to customers much faster. Utility drones can help lower costs and protect public health, safety, and security. We urge the regulators in Washington, D.C. to establish policies that allow safe use of drones by public power utilities.Read More
In 2006, the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers asked that I throw my hat into the ring to become chair of the National Electrical Safety Code. I was flattered to be considered for this lofty position to chair both the main and executive committees of “The Code,” but I wondered how I could ever handle chairing this utility-focused, industry consensus code for two full five-year cycles. Ten years as chair seemed at the time to be more of a prison sentence than an opportunity. However, I jumped in willingly, because they believed in me.Read More
On May 12, OSHA released its final rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. This final rule becomes effective on August 10, 2016 — so start preparing now. Utilities may need to make changes to long-standing practices around post-accident drug testing and safety incentives. Only discipline employees when they break a “legitimate” workplace safety or health rule.Read More
While the holiday season is considered the most “wonderful time of the year,” it’s important to keep in mind that it’s also the most dangerous time of the year for home fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments respond to an annual average of 210 home fires that begin with Christmas trees and an additional 860 home fires per year that begin with holiday decorations.Read More
Safety benchmarks such as the OSHA incidence rate are not effective for long-term measurement. More than 50 percent of public power utilities are left with inadequate benchmarking numbers because they are too small. And large utilities are left with an inadequate number of utilities to benchmark against and may have a false sense of safety.Read More
Resiliency, or the ability to bounce back or recover from adversity, is a somewhat newer topic of conversation in the electricity world compared to reliability.
There is a gap between how utilities measure and control resiliency and how they communicate about it.
From the over 3,000 utilities in this country, how many would make our utility Hall of Fame? How would we even discern who deserves those H.O.F. initials behind their names?Read More
Working on electric lines has always been serious business, but in the early years of the 20th century, it could be downright scary. A lack of standards and safety protocols led to far too many injuries and fatalities.Read More