Local 1245 Safety Committee
REPORT FROM MEETING OF JULY 24, 2008
The Local 1245 Safety and Health Committee met on July 24, 2008 in Vacaville at the union hall. 1245 Safety Committee members in attendance were Michael Gomes, Al White, and Ralph Armstrong. Members absent were Robert Burkle, Art Torres and Thomas Greer. The meeting got off to a late start due to traffic delays on I-80
It was announced that Darryl Rice will be taking the vacant spot on Safety Committee that was created when Keith Hopp announced that he would be stepping down last month. Darryl will be filling the position on the committee that is designated for a gas department employee.
First order of business was to review minutes from last months meeting. No changes were noted.
Topics discussed and action items assigned:
Outstanding Open Items
There are several Items left open from previous meetings that need to be discussed during the IBEW / PGE Health and Safety meeting. This meeting was scheduled in July but was cancelled and moved to August 22 because of scheduling issues. I have received from PGE written responses to some of this committee’s concerns but direct discussions with PGE over these topics need to be done. These will all be open items and carried over until the next meeting.
These topics include:
a) Confined Space Rescue procedures
b) Backhoe buckets used for lifting
c) Resource Coordinator safety concerns
d) Un-qualified electrical workers to install personal protective grounds
Near Miss Program
New Guidelines and a description of this program have been established and we are posted on the IBEW Local Union 1245 web site under the Safety Matters tab. We will continue to monitor and post these as they become available in this section of our report. Please remember to sanitize these reports prior to submitting them so as to not provide names, companies and employers to the report. These reports are intended to share someone else’s experience with a potential hazard in the workplace in an effort to prevent accidents elsewhere.
Three reported near misses are being added to the website data base. To view these, check the Near Miss page in the Safety Matters section of our website. On that page you will find an e-mail link you can use to send in your near miss so that others may learn from your experience.
Safety Committee Policy Document and Accident Reporting Requirements
The committee reviewed the Safety Committee Policy Document (Charter) to clarify the individual duties of the Local Union 1245 Safety Committee. This policy has been modified to better reflect what this committee’s make-up and duties are, and has been approved by the Business Manager for implementation. All added responsibilities will become effective immediately.
The Committee has also submitted a new reporting requirement to replace the current requirement that each Unit have a Unit Health and Safety Committee. This new requirement–which will replace the old one that is not being used because it is impractical–will require each unit to document any accidents, deaths and sicknesses on a separate form to the Safety Committee. Implementation of this should start in the next couple of months upon final approval. The current requirement can be found in the Business Managers Policies and is tied to the safety Committee Policy Document. This reporting requirement is set to be implemented at any time.
PG&E FR Clothing and Pending Implementation
At the time of this meeting there had been no movement on negotiations. However, at the time of the writing of this report the IBEW and PG&E had come to a Tentative Agreement (TA) which is still waiting for a final draft and pending signatures before implementation. A copy of the Agreement once signed will be included in future reports. An overview of this TA are:
Both parties are well aware that there will be some issues once this agreement is implemented, and have agreed that a one-year deal would be in the best interests of both parties. With the November date set for implementation, we are really looking at only 6-8 months. This will allow both sides to evaluate what is going right and what just doesn’t work and address those issues when we renegotiate next year. The big issue is the clothing allowance which PG&E has agreed to pay for the cover-alls for the full-time users separately and therefore will not require the employee to use their allotment for that item. The $750 that each full time user gets will be for all other items such as shirts, pants, jackets, etc.
It is important to note that any agreement reached on FR Clothing Policy based on the current OSHA regulation will be subject to re-negotiations by the union if the pending revision of 1910.269 standards, either in the standard itself or in interpretations of this standard, designates FR Clothing in that regulation as PPE (personal protective equipment).
Again the agreement is for one year at which time we will re-evaluate the clothing allowances and address those issues in the future agreements.
FR Clothing Allowances
Full Time Users
First Year of employment
$750.00 plus (1) pair of cover-alls to be provided by company.
Total = $841.90
First Year of employment
Cover-alls, with replacement as needed with supervisors approval. Supervisor’s guidelines for replacement will be based on manufacturer’s recommendations.
v Separate negotiations are on-going with the Gas Service Rep. employees.
v Gas M&C T&R Employees will be moved from the infrequent users to the 50/50 user category. This will allow for a wider selection of clothing options for those employees.
v Agree to garment color choices.
v Agree to working committee language.
v Company will add replacement language as previously discussed regarding supervisors approval.
v Company will add language that addresses non-FR outerwear usage such as Jackets, Bibs, vests, etc.
The Safety Committee realizes that there is a need to develop an avenue of communication regarding safety related issues for all signatory employers. We also realize that this is a long-term project and will take time to do successfully. We will report any progress on this as it becomes available.
Round Table Topics
There were several side topics discussed with no action required such as:
Reviewed request for assistance from a PGE unit to help get safety items corrected on one of their prior rental vehicles. This is an agenda item also for the IBEW/PGE Health and Safety Meeting scheduled for Aug. 22. This request was received by the Safety Committee through the Recording Secretary. The Safety Committee welcomes all requests for assistance with safety related items.
Due to the late start and small number of Committee members present the round table topics and new agenda items were kept to a minimum.
Next meeting will be on Aug. 27 in Vacaville.
Local 1245 Safety Committee
Ralph Armstrong, Chair
Posted: August 21, 2008