In recent years, several other IBEW locals have begun emulating IBEW Local 1245’s innovative and effective Hold the Pull, Keep the Clearance and Control the Pressure peer safety programs. Members of these peer safety committees have travelled to Arizona, Oregon and Washington to hold presentations and provide guidance. Most recently, Local 1547 in Alaska invited Peer Safety Coordinator John Kent and Hold the Pull committee chair Casey Kelly to do the same for their local.
Kelly talked about the trip to Alaska at the recent Advisory Council meeting, and explained how Local 1547 was inspired to start their own peer safety program modeled after Local 1245’s, but had a hard time getting it off the ground.
“After he came to one of our safety summits, [Julius Matthews from Local 1547] went back and got his own program going, but he was kind of struggling, like we did in the first couple years of our program,” Kelly told the Advisory Council. “So he asked us to come up there… we went to five utilities in six days, and spoke with a couple hundred linemen. Hopefully it will help. We’re just trying to pass that message along, and get people to stay alive.”
“The peer safety program … is the gospel of Henry Miller, founder of the IBEW,” said Business Manager Tom Dalzell. “[The union] wasn’t founded because of wages, and it wasn’t about benefits because there were no benefits in the 1800’s. It was about safety. This is the mission of our founder, and now our word is being heard.”