September 27 at Weakley Hall
The Keep the Clearance safety committee has been going to unit meetings all summer to spread the word about the union’s new peer-to-peer safety program for line clearance tree trimmers. On Sept. 27 the committee members will get a chance to put their safety concept into practice when they meet with 35 safety steward volunteers at Weakley Hall to talk about safety and prepare to implement the new program.
The committee members are all tree trimmers and they know the dangers of the job. Production quotas, passing dangerous trees from crew to crew and taking short cuts are just some of the problems that tree crews may face.
The Keep the Clearance message is fashioned after two other IBEW Local 1245 peer-to-peer programs: the lineman Hold the Pull and gas worker Control the Pressure. The basic message is the same in all three: “watch out for your safety and the safety of your union brother.”
“It’s very important that we do a safe job,” committee member and Davey Tree foreman Pete Ely says. “The importance of peer-to-peer is relevant for all tree workers. It is our effort to make a dangerous craft safer at the peer level, worker to worker, crew to crew.”
It is safe to say that the peer-to-peer concept has been met with some curiosity by both union members and the companies they work for. Members have reported that tree company management has been asking questions about this new safety initiative and what it is expected to do. Whatever the curiosity, the peer concept and message is aimed at a safer workplace and that’s a win-win for companies and the union.
“I really like what the Keep the Clearance Committee has done to prepare for the steward training,” says Business Representative Richard Lane. “The committee has taken their task to heart and I think the result will be a strong safety program that can move effectively into the future.”