Peer To Peer Safety Campaigns
“Hold the Pull” HTP Lineman Peer 2 Peer
The “Hold the Pull” Advisory Committee was established and had their first meeting on November 17th to discuss and plan future efforts and agenda items for this program. There is an effort to recruit younger members to complete the committee make up under way and this committee will have regular quarterly meetings to keep this peer 2 peer effort moving forward. The committee has been to Stockton to address safety issues and is planning a return trip to meet with the Stockton and Manteca yards on Dec. 8.
“Control the Pressure” CTP Gas Peer 2 Peer
The CTP committee gave their first presentation at NVE on Nov. 28 and was well received, we are working on a schedule to start presentations around the PG&E system, it is expected that these presentations will begin the first week of January and will follow the same format as the HTP presentations. As soon as a schedule is agreed upon it will be forwarded to all staff to communicate to the various areas.
Trees Peer 2 Peer Meeting
On Dec. 15 we are scheduling our first Line Clearance Tree Trimming Safety Summit to try to address the serious accidents and fatalities this industry has faced. There will be more to come on this in the near future.
PG&E Low Voltage Rubber Glove Policy Update
Below is the communication from PG&E Safety regarding the latest update to their Low Voltage Insulated Gloves and Tools Procedure. There are several things here to note in this procedure which will hopefully clarify issues one of which was brought up by our Peer 2 Peer gas safety group.
This procedure clarifies the requirement of where the low voltage gloves are purchased from and required markings on these gloves to meet the CalOSHA standards testing requirements. The other thing worth noting is the requirement to wear low voltage gloves with protectors when changing out a 120/240 volt residential meter. This applies to all employees and should resolve the question raised by the Gas Service Representatives who did not have the ability to obtain these gloves even though their job requires them to change out residential meters. Again the highlights to the change are below:
In 2009 SEHS updated and issued its Low Voltage Insulated Gloves and Tools Procedure (SEHS 230) to facilitate compliance with the Cal/OSHA Low Voltage Safety Orders. To ensure proactive worker safety as well as regulatory compliance with Cal/OSHA, the Low Voltage Safety Orders requires all electrical insulating gloves, including Class 00 low voltage gloves, be electrically tested every six months.
It has come to the attention of Safety Engineering and Health Services (SEHS) that some locations have ordered Class 00 gloves from vendors outside of the Company’s Insulation Test Lab (ITL) in Emeryville. If work groups order Class 00 gloves directly from vendors the gloves are not placed on a scheduled change out for dielectrical testing at the ITL as required by Cal/OSHA regulation. All rubber gloves must be ordered from and tested at the ITL.
The Cal/OSHA Low Voltage Electrical Safety Orders require compliance with the American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) F-496-02a. This ASTM standard requires that rubber gloves cannot remain in service for more than six months without being electrically retested. Previously, PG&E used both Class 0 and Class 2 gloves that were electrically tested every six months and Class 00 that were not tested. The Company now issues only Class 00 and Class 2, both of which must be electrically tested every six months and issued through the Insulation Test Lab (ITL) in Emeryville.
SEHS worked with affected stakeholders and determined the number of glove types should be reduced from three to two in order to lessen any uncertainty in regards to the use and requirement of insulating gloves. Class 0 gloves were replaced with Class 00 gloves because of their adequate electrical rating for low voltage and because of their superior flexibility and dexterity for the user.
Other important items to note within the updated procedure include:
- The Class 00 gloves may be used for voltages up to 500 volts AC (nominal) and 750 volts DC.
- Approved insulated tools may be used without rubber gloves when working on voltages below 250 volts. Above 250 volts rubber gloves must be used even if using approved insulated tools.
- The installation and removal of electric residential meters (120/240 volt) shall only be accomplished while using Class 00 Rubber Gloves with the leather keepers as indicated in Procedure 230.
NOTE: Employees performing the above task shall wear, at a minimum, approved safety glasses. As a best practice an FR rated face shield can be worn.
- All test equipment (meters and test leads used to touch and/or measure voltage or to troubleshoot equipment) must be rated per IEC61010, ANSI S82.02.01, CSA22.2-1010.1 as Category III-1000V (requiring Class 00 Rubber Gloves and Leather Keepers), or Category IV-600V (which require leather gloves at a minimum or appropriate FR hand protection) with certification from UL or CSA.
- The Director must establish or revise work methods for the organization clearly outlining the requirement for the use of approved ASTM Class 00 gloves or tools.
- Class 00 gloves must be used with the company supplied leather protectors in place unless the Director approves and authorizes the use of these gloves without the required protectors. Leather protectors are to provide mechanical protection only for the rubber insulating gloves. Leather protectors shall not be used for electrical protection.
- Class 00 gloves used without leather protectors MUST be electrically re-tested before reuse with leather protectors.
- The 00 gloves must be inspected and air tested before use each day. The water test before use is no longer required for Class 00 gloves.
Expectation: Employees may continue to use the Class 00 gloves in their possession only if stamped with a valid expiration date by the Insulation Test Lab (ITL). Gloves that do not exhibit an ITL valid expiration date shall not be used.
PG&E, Rain Gear
This winter PG&E will be again performing wear trials on approx. 500 sets of new rain gear. The big difference in this stuff and the other rain gear is it is something that has been put on the market by a vendor driven by the rest of the industry and not PG&E alone. This new rain gear looks like it will perform like it should and will hopefully take care of the issues that the old stuff experienced. It is made of Gor-tex and is FR. The wear trials will take place in areas that experience the worse conditions in the system. It appears the only other option for those not participating in the wear trials will be the old rain gear that doesn’t leak but the complaints were that it wasn’t breathable and would cause the workers to perspire.
PG&E, Leather Gloves for Cold Weather
The winter Lineworker gloves will be in stock and coded hopefully by December. There will be a long and short gauntlet type available. The gloves are water resistant and meet a Canadian Federal Standard on water penetration and thermal insulated with 100 grams of Thinsulate.
The company should be communicating to the field that the long gauntlet glove is always required when climbing and working off of the pole.
DCPP CalOSHA Citations
DCPP was recently issued 2 CalOSHA citations as a result of employee complaints which led to an inspection of the facility. The complaints all revolved around emergency eyewash and temporary shower facilities. During the inspection the CalOSHA inspector spotted a grinding wheel at one of the shops that had the guards removed which led to one of the 2 citations. The citations were:
- General Violation, 8 CCR 5162(c) Emergency Eyewash/Shower not arranged so can be used at the same time by one person
- Serious Violation, 8 CCR 3578(g) Missing/maladjusted guards on bench grinder in intake machine shop
First Annual Pacific Coast Safety Fest
Local Union 1245 has been asked to participate in the first annual Pacific Coast Safety Fest to take place in Dublin Ca. at Camp Parks. This will be weeklong free safety training event that will begin on Feb. 27, 2012 and run through March 2. We are looking at sponsoring a trainer to put on a 4 hour training session on the NFPA 70e standard for Fire Resistant clothing as well as possibly put together a training session for public safety and first responders who arrive at the scene of a utility type incident.
This event has been held annually in other areas and has been a huge success. It is sponsored by several groups such as OSHA, CalOSHA, US Department of Labors Mine Safety and Health Administration and many more. Local 1245 will be considered a Founding Sponsor for this event and will be given a place to set up a booth for this week long event. It is a tremendous opportunity for our local union to be actively involved with these organizations in making this a success and possibly provide some valuable training to our community. There will be more to come on this as the details become finalized. PG&E and SMUD have also joined in on this and are active participants like Local 1245 is the planning and partnering to make this event successful.
Forms and guidelines for accident reporting are on the website. Units should use them as part of their unit meeting and submit them to the Local 1245 Safety Committee whether or not there are accidents. This should be a standard reporting practice at every unit meeting every month. This is our best resource to share the information with the rest of the membership. We are continuing to see an increase in the number of these forms being turned in and want to thank everyone who is doing this.
All accidents reported this month on the green form as well as accidents reported at the safety committee meetings are listed below:
- No accidents to report
The Safety Committee is encouraging everyone to report all near misses to the committee through our IBEW1245 Safety Matters web page. Anyone with a near miss should sanitize the report to omit names and companies as the intent of reporting a near miss is to provide others with information about potential hazards that members find in the field in order to promote awareness to others of those hazards.
- No Near Misses to report this month.