Safety and Training are High on Agenda for ET&D Partnership

More ET&D Training Helps Reduce Power Line Injuries

The Electrical Transmission and Distribution Strategic Partnership focuses on enhanced safety training. For member partners, the benefits are stacking up.

Real steps are being taken to enhance the safety of power line workers who perform one of the most dangerous yet essential jobs in the country. The Electrical Transmission and Distribution Strategic Partnership, a rallying of trade associations, unions, and contractors, dedicated a week in May to nothing but safety initiatives. The event falls neatly in line with the partnership’s history of safety-focused efforts.

Since its 2004 conception between ET&D employers and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the positive results have been plentiful. Among member partners, their joint efforts yielded fewer fatalities, lower injury and illness rates, and more transmission and distribution training.

In the span of two years, more than 13,300 workers received electrical transmission and distribution training in an industry-specific OSHA 10-hour outreach program. Around the same time, almost 6,000 managers and supervisors added to their qualifications with a Supervisory Leadership Skills training course. Power line safety is a top priority, and quality workplace environments and leadership reduce some level of hazard.

Power line safety should be a steady priority, especially as gas and electric companies are making serious investments to meet growing energy needs. Between two utility companies, the Louisville Gas and Electric Company and the Kentucky Utilities Company, more than 4,000 generation, transmission, and electric and gas distribution projects occurred in the past two years. New projects, like a proposed natural gas line in the same area, require more workers. And new hires often need transmission line training or enhanced safety training to truly fit the bill.

Other eastern regions are investing in similar projects. The Local Infrastructure and Transmission Enhancement (LITE) initiative in New Jersey has completed 24 individual projects since 2011, and it’s still going strong. More than $8 million worth of LITE projects are slated for completion by the end of the year. It seems customers are seeing the benefits of improved transmission lines and upgraded equipment as power line workers see the benefits of targeted safety efforts and ET&D training.

Due to a rise in productivity from fewer workplace accidents and better-trained workers, the benefits are seeping into customer service. Skilled workers with fewer safety concerns will do a better job and create more satisfied customers.

Sounds like the ET&D Strategic Partnership has the right idea.

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