The Davey Tree Company organized a 2.5-day “human performance” training session on March 6-8, aimed at increasing safety awareness for Davey supervision, general foremen and several Davey employees enrolled in the IBEW 1245 Keep the Clearance peer safety program, including John Simms, Steve Speak, Ken Cook, Jaime Garcia, Brian Branten, Jose Paredes, Mike Clough, Federico Luna and James Hanlon. IBEW Local 1245 Business Representatives Carl Lamers and I also participated in the training, which took place at IBEW 1245’s Weakley Hall. Altogether, 34 students studied the basic tenants of safety as it applies to human behavior in relation to jobsite conditions, worker behaviors, organizational processes and human error, all of which can lead to accidents and injuries.
Davey Tree Superintendent Larry Abernathy, who organized the training, addressed the group on the first day and told them the overall purpose of the training was to ask attendees to “think out of the box” about safety.
“I don’t care if you pass the class,” Abernathy stressed to the group, referring to the fact that the course is certified and sanctioned by the University of Idaho. “I want you to find the gems in this training — like I did — and help us to change safety for the better.”
The course instructors, Shane and Peggy Bush, brought a wealth of experience and expertise to the classroom. Shane Bush is a retired safety manager and accident investigator for several utilities across the United States, and he now travels the world teaching human performance training.
The training was fact-filled, interesting and engaging. The two instructors presented information based on human performance training established by the Department of Energy for the nuclear energy industry. Each phase of the class included a case study, in which the class participants interviewed Bush, who was acting as a person involved in a catastrophic incident, to determine contributing factors (both human and company behaviors) that contributed to the event. After some of the case studies concluded, Bush revealed that he was speaking as a person who was actually killed in the accident.
At the conclusion of the training session, the participants had performed four case studies and learned many of the “do’s” and “don’ts” of accident investigation, including the process for staying neutral in an investigation, effective interview techniques and how to identify error precursors that contribute to accidents and injuries.
— Rich Lane, IBEW 1245 Business Representative