Safety: What it really takes.
Time and again, accidents are caused by the same lack of understanding, the same dismissal of risk, and the fear that one might look inexperienced if he reports a non-existent threat. In truth, an inexperienced team member might not see the threat before it’s too late. Reporting any threat could save lives. But that takes a culture of safety awareness and safe practices.
What is a “Culture of Safety?”
A strong safety culture is crucial to any utility company, job site management, or team of linemen on the line. Not only should they be aware of likely risks and problems, but the lines of communication should be open at all times. When the idea is planted that workers have the power to protect themselves and their colleagues, safety concerns become something to be dealt with openly. With this freedom to speak up comes a reduced rate of risk, injury and death.
Make time for the “Tailgate.”
Frequent tailgate meetings are crucial to upholding safe practices on the job. Think they’re a waste of time? These moments before undertaking a new job are important, reminding the team of site-specific dangers, changes in regulations and asking questions to ensure no one has missed a less-obvious risk. While regular tailgate meetings should be standard, additional meetings become vital during heavy storm seasons and times of increased updating and restructuring of the power grid.
Safety: From the top down.
More experienced linemen and foremen must be vigilant in order to continue protecting one another in an already highly dangerous job. A collaborative effort taught by example from the top down helps to reinforce safety. One man cannot make safety a reality for the team, and neither can one linemen. Instead, every worker at every level needs to be a part of the safety effort.