**If you need to contact a Safety Steward or a member of one of the Peer to Peer committees, please contact Rich Lane.
The Peer to Peer Safety Initiative puts IBEW Local 1245 members at the heart of the union’s safety program.
There are three Peer to Peer programs:
- Hold the Pull addresses safety issues in line work.
- Control the Pressure addresses safety issues in gas work.
- Keep the Clearance addresses safety issues in line clearance tree trimming.
The Peer to Peer programs are created and managed by workers themselves. The goal is to increase the safety of our members at the workplace, to address safety problems on a member-to-member basis, and to achieve greater safety awareness through information and education rather than the disciplinary process.
Each program has an Advisory Committee consisting of rank and file members who oversee the activities of the program. Each Advisory Committee has a pool of Safety Stewards. These are volunteers who understand safe work practices, follow them and encourage others to do the same. Unlike a traditional shop steward, safety stewards do not file grievances, are not required to join company safety committees or do accident investigations. Their role is to keep their peer Advisory Committee aware of safety conditions at their workplace and, if needed, to request the peer Advisory Committee to intervene when an unsafe situation exists.
The Peer-to-Peer Initiative exists outside of company safety programs. Company safety programs have their place, and have various ways to induce employees to work safe: training, reward, recognition and discipline. At times these tools may work, but none of these alone can create a safety culture based on taking personal responsibility for one’s self and for one’s fellow worker.
The peer to peer initiative is dedicated to creating a safety culture that motivates union members to find other means to promote their own personal safety through mutual support and protection on the job.
Sometimes a member needs information or someone to talk to without fear of consequences. The Safety Steward is a willing ear. The Safety Steward is also someone who may approach a member with a non-judgmental statement like, Can I suggest a safer way to do that?” or Do you mind if we talk over something?” Like the title peer initiative” suggests, the Safety Steward may need to use peer pressure with his/her fellow workers to bring about change. A Safety Steward does not expect to reform the world overnight but will try to make a change in safety culture one member at a time.