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.

Three Ways to Enhance Efficiency Through Power Plant Training

The aging workforce and power plants have several things in common. With a little bit of prep work and on-the-job training – an aging workforce can be just as competent, if not more so, than younger employees. Power plants can be productive in their wise old age too, but they also need a little help. Aging plants combat issues like cumbersome generators, inefficient boilers, outdated practices and labor shortages.

But, to get the benefits of using up-to-date equipment or revised protocol, you must have a workforce that’s aware of the changes and fully qualified to meet them. Despite some reluctance to invest in either aging Baby Boomers or young, new talent, online industrial training solutions is one of the easiest ways to keep all employees informed of new policies, machinery, and general skills.

Power plant training has three significant effects that work toward boosting efficiency for aging power stations.

 1. The Holy Grail of knowledge transfer.

As some senior employees move toward retirement, vacancies inevitably emerge where managers must replace workers who had a wealth of skills and experience. Among the myriad factors to consider when hiring new plant workers, management teams must decide the most efficient way to retain the knowledge of one employee and pass it along to the next.

Electrical power plant training is a cost-effective way to inform new employees who are both young and inexperienced, as well as older adults with years of plant experience who may not be familiar with recent advances in technology. Plant training enables this transfer of knowledge so skillsets remain sharp, and productivity doesn’t have to take a dip during transitional periods. Brushing up on industrial skills  is convenient and accessible through online industrial skills training.

2.Taking advantage of under-utilized employee groups.

Although the field as a whole isn’t expected to grow in scope or opportunity, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the demand for workers with both more classroom training and on-the-job experience is rising. You don’t need a college degree to develop an aptitude for the varieties of power plant work, but on-the-job experience can only be attained if someone gives you the chance to get your hands dirty. By supplementing an interest in engineering or physical sciences with electrical plant training, adults with a mere high school diploma can start out ahead.

Veterans and former military personnel, many of whom don’t have college degrees under their uniforms, are another under-utilized group that has much translatable experience. Considering these groups of potential employees gives you a larger pool to fish in, ultimately leading to a more efficient team.

 3. Reducing costs through online training.

In an economy that guzzles gas yet sputters in creating jobs, you see budget cuts as often as those tiny, fuel-efficient cars like the Nissan Versa or Toyota Yaris. But budget cuts lead to overworked staff and less productive days, right? Not necessarily – online training is an affordable way to improve your team or educate new employees. Plus, online industrial training solutions can reveal new developments in equipment and policy, or shed light on an existing problem.

Electrical plant training also gives employees the awareness to recognize adjustments that may enhance efficiency. It never hurts to be ahead of the curve, especially with extra savings in the company wallet.

Training to Improve Electrical Workers Safety, Confidence and Effectiveness

According to OSHA and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical accidents and the resulting fires cause millions of dollars in damages, countless injuries and life threatening workplace events every year. The tragedy is that many of these could have been avoided by simple maintenance repairs supported by a steady flow of electrical plant training. OSHA and NFPA’s National Electrical Code standards for electrical safety are constantly changing in response to new technology. In order to remain on the cutting edge of safety practices, it is essential to continually update electrical workers’ knowledge and skills. While employees who are new to the field will undoubtedly need to learn current safety standards, even veteran electricians have a need to stay current.

CiNet Industrial Training
Critical Information Networks training library is comprised of instructionally designed, blended-elearning training solutions, including video-based courses from internationally recognized and well-respected brands such as NUS, Williams Learning and Tel-A-Train. Comprehensive student workbooks enhance the training modules and are included with every course to maximize the total learning experience.

“Our Electrical Plant Training Series offers a practical solution with 43 Web-delivered electrical maintenance training courses, representing some of the most common preventive and corrective electrical maintenance practices performed on electrical equipment in an industrial environment. Topics covered range from AC and DC fundamental reviews to motor, generator and circuit breaker maintenance and many more”, stated President and CEO Steve Albright. “This is what we do best – purposeful education that goes beyond an enhancement for safety, it saves lives”.

CiNet offers flexible delivery options, featuring a customizable learning management system that keeps track of all trainee test scores, log times and site-information access and provides custom reporting options. Additionally, the award winning content can be integrated into the customer’s LMS. CiNet’s trusted AICC/SCORM compliant content and training platform ensures compatibility in any environment.

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