Peer safety initiative for line clearance tree trimmers
By Rich Lane
On November 26 the Keep the Clearance (KTC) peer initiative completed a series of 16 informational meetings with Davey Tree employees. The focus of these meetings was to roll out the IBEW 1245 Close Call/Near Miss program developed jointly with Davey Tree.
Davey Tree requested that the Keep the Clearance committee be the recipient of all close call reports so that employees would be more comfortable with reporting near miss incidents that happen on the job. The KTC committee is responsible for reviewing the reports, expunging any identifying remarks, placing the reports on the IBEW website under “Safety Matters,” and sending the reports on to Davey Tree to be used as safety meeting subjects.
To date there have been five reports, the most remarkable being a trimmer who reported a co-worker being stopped from cutting himself out of a tree.
Four new members were added to the KTC committee to replace members who have left. Jose Paredes, Antonio Jaramillo, Tanny Hurtado and Carlos Rodriguez were recruited and installed at the Nov. 7 meeting. Prior to their appointment there were no committee representatives from the Southern jurisdiction. Vacated Northern and Eastern positions were also filled. Currently there are 10 peer committee members and 27 safety stewards.
One of the functions of all of the peer safety initiatives is to intervene at the request of safety stewards, business representatives, and sometimes management when employees encounter problems that are safety related.
This happens only with the agreement of the employee and in most cases behind the scenes.
When contact is made with an employee, time off is usually arranged without management knowing the purpose of the leave and a meeting takes place with the business representative, committee member or peer steward and the employee. A plan is made to address the problem and in most cases a peer steward or committee member is assigned to stay in contact with the employee and monitor the situation.
All persons involved are instructed not to share information or circumstances in order to assure the confidentiality of the process.