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Why Documenting At-risk Behaviors is Critical

Posted by Walter Dodge, Regional Vice President on Jan 15, 2018 11:01:41 AM

Speak Up for Utility Line Clearance Safety

Last summer, in Region 1, we began a deep-dive on the trending reports and leading indicators that we collect on our Safety Feedback forms. One of the things that we identified immediately was that some leaders were very good at identifying and documenting at-risk behaviors, and working with their craft workers to mitigate hazards, while others were not as strong in this area.

As we researched further, we found that the leaders who weren’t adequately documenting hazards were, in fact, finding them. The difference was that they didn’t fully understand the need to document what they found and discussed with their crews—and why it is important. They misunderstood the difference in reporting close calls as hazards as opposed to evoking our mandatory disciplinary policy.

Company-wide, we need to always have a comprehensive understanding of what hazards our crew members face most often. That’s one key benefit of collecting comprehensive data. We then need to ensure we provide our crews with associated best practices to mitigate those hazards and safely accomplish the tasks-at-hand.

The key takeaway is that we need to ensure full understanding is penetrating through the ranks—not only that our policies and expectations surrounding vegetation management work practices are clearly communicated but also that everyone understands why they’re important so they can trust those policies and expectations will keep them safe.

I encourage everyone to talk to your people and be certain the real message in our expectations is understood. Take the time to find out what you and your leadership team doesn’t know or understand. Together, we can keep one another safe.

Topics: total safety culture, at-risk behaviors, safety feedback forms, policies and procedures

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