On Friday, April 12, at approximately 8:45 p.m., there was a serious motor vehicle incident involving one of our EDSO Restoration & Control employees. A Troubleman out of the Napa Service Center received minor injuries when his truck (traveling east on Sage Canyon Road in St. Helena) left the roadway for an unknown reason and struck a tree. This was a single vehicle incident with no 3rd party involvement. The employee was driving alone and en route to a customer outage response when his passenger side tire(s) left the road. In an attempt to bring the vehicle back on the roadway, the employee lost control causing the vehicle to strike a tree on the opposite (west-bound) side of the roadway.
The employee was transported via ambulance to the Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa where he was treated and released at 11:45 pm on April 12.
Although the incident analysis is still in progress, below are the preliminary facts:
- The incident is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol (CHP)
- Weather conditions were clear and the road was dry.
- The PG&E vehicle was a 2011 Ford F-550 4×4 trouble truck.
- T-man was responding to an outage in a rural area when his vehicle left the roadway, over-corrected and struck a tree.
- T-man was transported via ambulance to the hospital where he was treated and released to light duty.
- This incident is currently under investigation.
Peer Initiative Safety Summit
The Hold the Pull, Keep the Clearance and Control the Pressure advisory committees are in the final planning stages for the May 1-2 safety summit. All committees met on the first two weeks of March and have been in communication with their respective safety stewards. Invitation letters were sent out March 11 and the response has been good with new safety steward appointments increasing. There has been an overwhelming response to attend these meeting and it is currently at full capacity.
Safety Summit Details
“Communication- The Key to a Safer Workplace”
Personal Address by Business Manager Tom Dalzell
Roles and Responsibilities of an IBEW Safety Steward
Anything you want to know about being a safety steward is in this workshop
Ron Martin, Contra Costa County Safety Training Coordinator
Subject: “Communication Strategies”
Learn communication skills from a workplace violence/conflict expert
Getting to Know the Safety Secure Website
Not sure what the secure website has to offer— get on board and see for yourself
Developing Skills to be and Effective Safety Steward
Think it’s you against the world out there— you are not alone- find out how others have become successful safety stewards.
Peer Group Breakouts
Got a problem, issue or question within your peer group, here’s where you talk with those in your industry
$300 Safety Raffle
We’re giving away $50 cash at each break three times a day for two days
PG&E Serious Preventable MVI Communication
The following two messages were sent by PG&E to its employees:
PG&E is making changes to their Motor Vehicle Incident (MVI) review and performance measure processes. Historically, MVIs at PG&E (and in the industry) have been reviewed and measured under one lens, regardless of the severity of the incident. Based on feedback from our employees, our leaders and benchmarking analysis, we are shifting our focus and resources from all MVIs to Serious, Preventable MVIs (SPMVIs) – those incidents that put our employees and the public at greatest risk.
Starting this year, MVIs will be classified as follows: 1) Serious or Minor, 2) Preventable or Non-preventable, and 3) Location (Public Street, Private Property/Job Site). These classifications will allow us to focus increased resources on SPMVIs and develop effective prevention strategies for incidents that put the public and our employees at greatest risk.
Our employees have told us that we spend far too much time investigating incidents where no one is hurt or the vehicle damage is minor, instead of paying more attention to high-risk incidents. That feedback is right on the mark and I’m excited to share this new focus with you, PG&E leadership and employees. In the coming days, we will be sharing information across the company about our new SPMVI focus. I have attached for your preview the information I plan to share with PG&E’s Extended Leadership Team. We’ll continue communicating the changes so that everyone has a clear understanding of what we’re doing and why.
I appreciate your continued support and commitment to public and employee safety.
I am excited about the progress we’re making to improve public and employee safety. We still have a lot to do and I know that in order to eliminate serious incidents, we must shift our culture and ensure our policies, processes, and procedures are aligned with our safety principles. Our traditional Motor Vehicle Incident (MVI) metric is one example where employees across the company have told us we need to change our approach, and I am pleased to share that we intend to place more emphasis in 2013 on reducing serious, preventable motor vehicle incidents (SPMVIs).
Historically, MVIs have been measured through one lens at PG&E, regardless of the significance of the incident. This is consistent with our prior approach to tracking OSHA Recordable Injuries and the change made in 2012 to focus on reducing more serious incidents, as measured by Lost Work Day cases. In other words, vehicle dings and minor backing incidents have been reviewed with the same rigor as, say, a rollover or collision. While we need to reduce all such incidents, for 2013 we intend to focus our attention and resources on those MVIs that are more serious and preventable.
All motor vehicle incidents will now be classified according to severity, preventability and location. MVIs that are both serious and preventable, regardless of location, will be counted as part of the new SPMVI metric. Effective January 2013, MVIs will be classified according to the following:
1. Serious or Minor – An incident is considered serious if one or more of the following criteria is met:
- Injuries are treated away from the scene of the incident (any party involved)
- A vehicle is towed (any party involved)
- A PG&E driver is issued a citation
- A PG&E driver fails a drug or alcohol test
- PG&E vehicle damage exceeds $1,000
2. Preventable or Non-Preventable – This is essentially a name change only from the current classification of chargeable vs. non-chargeable. A “Preventable” incident is one where the PG&E driver could have, but failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the incident. The MVI Review Team will be making assessments using the preventability guidelines up front, before the incident is reported in our safety statistics, which should greatly reduce the number of incidents that need to go through the formal process to appeal classification decisions.
3. Location of where an incident occurred (public, private property/job site) – Private property consists of parking lots, job sites, driveways, PG&E-owned property, and private roads. Public streets are defined as all other open roadways.
How many of these incidents have we had?
The Serious Preventable Motor Vehicle Incident (SPMVI) rate and incident count will now be reported alongside the Preventable Motor Vehicle Incident (PMVI) rate and incident count. While we will continue to track and conduct basic investigations on “minor” incidents, we will not set targets associated with PMVIs.
A quick look at our historical performance (old measure vs. new measure) shown below indicates the number of SPMVIs is a smaller but still important subset of our total motor vehicle incident count.
IBEW Local 1245 Health and Safety Committee Minutes
April 18, 2013
Members Absent: Dane Moore, Joe Joaquim
Al White Report- Committee discussed PG&E troubleshooter graveyard shifts and safety issues behind working alone at night. Some of the issues pertain to traffic control while working alone and being alone in areas where crime and drug use is common. Management is asserting that coverage is needed at night for emergencies and troubleshooters are also being assigned small tasks to stay busy. Customer complaints have been logged related to noise and disturbances in neighborhoods. A link to the Cal and Fed DOT standards for the Uniform Manual for Traffic Control was provided for review. Lane closures and traffic control are usually not a one man operation which may be an issue for a troubleman working alone.
Motor Vehicle Incident
On April 12, at approximately 8:45 p.m. a troubleshooter from the Napa service center was responding to small customer outage went off the road, overcorrected, traveled across the road and hit a tree. The tree hit directly behind the driver’s side of the cab at a tool bin. The troubleman suffered a dislocated shoulder which was reset and he was released from the hospital that night. The service vehicle was a hybrid that has a different weight distribution than a normal vehicle. New tires had been installed but driver mentioned vehicle not responding well on the road. This was documented by the vehicle shop. The accident is being investigated by both the company and the CHP. The CHP investigation may be concluded and findings issued within 30 days.
There was a discussion not related to the particulars of the above accident about distracted driving that can be an issue with troubleshooters who have to drive and look up while on patrol. Patrolling in fog or other inclement weather can add an element of hazard on the road to the troubleshooter and other drivers because concentration has to be paid to both driving and locating the trouble. Some utilities have a policy that upon request by the troubleshooter allow for a second person to be in the vehicle when visibility is impaired due to weather.
All members of the Health and Safety committee will be attending the May 1-2 peer safety summit.
Dan Boschee Report- Frontier Communication has reorganized their evacuation plan for a new building where personnel have recently been moved. Company had concluded revamping their emergency action plan to bring it up to date and adopt additional security measures related to building access by non authorized employees.
Frontier has been discussing background checks with the Elk Grove Unified school district who has requested that checks be done on utility employees prior to entering school property. The union is currently talking with Frontier about the matter and its implications to union members.
Tree Trimmer Report
Juan Cervantes Report– Two employees were terminated for breaking minimum approach distance and burning down primary lines. In both cases the lines were brought down by contact with the aerial lift boom. All trimmers are qualified for line clearance and are aware of minimum approach distance. In both cases trucks were set up parallel with the lines when contact was made. In both cases the primary voltages involved were 12. 47 kV and the lines involved belonged to PG&E and the Turlock Irrigation District. Discussed minimum approach distances which are the same when lines are de-energized but ungrounded or energized.
Issue was brought up at a unit meeting that old equipment was not being replaced at Trees Inc. properties. Climbing ropes have seen heavy use and should be replaced but the company was slow to change them out. The company has agreed to start buying new ropes. Ropes are made of nylon and have to have a maximum strength of 5000lbs by law(GISO 3422). Ropes are usually replaced after inspection by the company but there is no physical test applied to determine a rope’s strength.
Discussed unhealthy backyard conditions with trash, dog feces and other hazards. Crews contact owners who do not control animals or unhealthy conditions. Crews are talking with management about refusing to enter unhealthy areas. No crews have refused to enter unhealthy areas yet and management seems to understand the problem.
Mike Gomes Report– Having problems with wire keeper on Fargo brand copper hot line clamps breaking. Problem was related to #6 soft drawn taps that when over tightened tap ring presses against clamp body and breaks the ring. The clamp tap is rated for #6 solid to 3/0 jumpers. Tap breaks can cause the jumper to detach from the clamp or burn under load. Problem was addressed by buying a smaller clamp that is more suited to #6 copper connections and utilizing larger clamps for larger wire.
A company crew doing underground directional bores has found that conduit pulled in under tension when relaxed after a pull separates the conduit. This prevents the crew from blowing in jet line. The problem was addressed by installing longer pipe couplings but separated conduit still remains for prior installations.
Art Torres Report– Company filed an automatic written for preventable vehicle accident for substation employee who hit planter and damaged vehicle undercarriage.
Employees have received credit card for $1200 for FR clothing allowance $300 for boots and credit card for gas. To date there is no policy detailing any restrictions on boots. Clothing has to be full FR 8 cal minimum. The company is discussing guidelines when employees should be wearing FR clothing. A policy may be developed in the future in which the company instructs employees when they need to wear FR clothing.
Management /Labor safety committee distribution/construction has expanded to other management union groups. Company is planning to make substation breakers remote racking. Some breakers will have to be re-engineered and other units changed out. Substation switching procedures are being developed related to an incident in which a breaker being racked out inadvertently closed. There was no damage or injuries. The unit was a GE Powervack ML-18.
Complaints about class A license hearing test booth not sound proof enough. Labor management group is studying the claim. Company is embarking on new physical fitness program. The Special Awareness Committee is reviewing a number of low speed vehicle accidents in yard, of which the majority are backing incidents. The company is in the process of moving to the new yard and has experienced some growing pains related to employee/company parking. Company has developed parking under solar collectors shading vehicles.