On April 20, 36 members of the Control the Pressure peer safety program met to complete their annual training at the annual CTP Safety Stewards Summit. After a moment of silence for our 29 fallen union brothers who lost their lives at work, the group moved right into sharing stories, progress reports and testimonials related to their safety efforts on the job. The members discussed how the peer counseling process works, the skills needed to relate to fellow peer members in unsafe situations, and the importance of taking the initiative with members in a variety of situations.
The Safety Stewards then broke into specific workgroups — GC, GSR, Equipment Operators, Locate and Mark and Field Worker — to discuss safety-related problems they see in their job classifications. The breakouts gave the Stewards an opportunity to get to know the CTP committee members and identify problem areas that can be brought to the overall group, or the Company.
The Summit featured two compelling guest speakers. The first guest speaker was Brent Turner with the Peer Volunteer Program (PVP), which is a drug and alcohol outreach program developed by PG&E employees and IBEW members. Turner travels to safety kick-offs telling his personal story of addiction and recovery and the toll taken on his personal life and how to find help among peers.
The second guest was Peter Kenny, Assistant Director for GC Gas at PG&E. Peter shared a personal story of how, as a young welder, he spoke up through the Union to change an unhealthy condition at his shop. His action was not immediately popular with his work group, but in the end, he helped improved the environmental health for his fellow workers.
Peter asked the group for any feedback and some top issues from the members. Some areas mentioned were a more efficient employee notification system in light of the killing of the PG&E employee in Fresno; manpower issues for GC; and problems related to non-traditional supervision staffing and knowledge of the work. Peter got positive feedback from the Stewards on his efforts to improve safety for the GC group. Peter assured the group he would look into the issues raised and get back to CTP with answers.
At the Summit, IBEW 1245 Communications Director Rebecca Band and Business Representatives Casey Kelley and Rich Lane unveiled the recently revamped secure website, designed to improve communication among the safety stewards. The summit also included a presentation on the PG&E Corrective Action Program (CAP), and Stewards had the opportunity to discuss the program’s effectiveness and purpose, and a request was made of safety stewards to report all CAPS to the CTP committee.
— Rich Lane, IBEW 1245 Business Representative