Gibbstown, NJ (PRWEB) November 28, 2013
Recognizing the need for a standardized, reciprocal safety training orientation for utility company owners and utility company contractors in the Northeast region, the Delaware Valley Safety Council, in partnership with Alliance Safety Council of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is bringing the PowerSafe safety orientation to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic area. Currently, no such standardized, reciprocal program exists for the region’s power industry.
Often, during extreme events like heavy snowstorms or hurricanes, power outages can occur for sustained periods for large numbers of power consumers. Affected power companies then quickly move to import utility workers from contractor companies located in other unaffected areas to supplement the normal workforce in order to accelerate return of service. Of course, the level of safety training can vary greatly across this workforce. It becomes a problem when well-trained workers commingle with inadequately trained workers. And, with a lack of standardized, reciprocal training, there currently is not a readily verifiable database to validate training levels.
As an example of the need for this type of safety training for the area’s utility workers, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently issued citations to a large regional firm in connection with the fatal electrocution of an employee. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, two repeat violations and one serious violation were affirmed, with a large cash penalty, and the proviso that the company will, in the future, provide enhanced electrical safety training and other safeguards to its field technicians who install suspension strand on utility poles that carry power lines.
Similar concerns for contractor safety management were faced by the petrochemical industry with the enactment of Process Safety Management (PSM) regulations in 1991. Refinery managers at that time elected to create a reciprocal, contractor safety orientation and have it administered by an independent, non-profit safety association.
By partnering with a non-profit, overhead was immediately reduced. Streamlined processes and economies of scale cut costs further. The petrochemical industry has thus benefitted since by having access to trans regional workers, all trained to the same verifiable level of safety awareness. PowerSafe now provides an opportunity for the power industry to benefit in like fashion.
PowerSafe was created in 2004 when a large utility company in the Southeast region of the country, recognizing the value that safety orientation plays in an incident-free work environment, subsequently partnered with industry contractors and the non-profit Alliance Safety Council to produce a robust, standardized safety orientation and verification program. One of the key components of the PowerSafe strategy was to develop and deliver this standardized safety orientation while maintaining a searchable centralized training database.
PowerSafe provides value to owner companies and contractors alike:
For further information contact:
Director of Customer Relations
Delaware Valley Safety Council