American Gas - August 2012 - (Page 15)
Safety by Committee
How employee safety committees can help companies enhance their focus on safety.
Employee safety committees are a simple but effective way to engage employees and promote a company’s safety culture. They are also a great resource for companies that are working to find viable solutions to their safety challenges. In an industry like ours, where safety is woven into the fabric of all that we do, such committees can even serve as the backbone for a company’s overall safety program. To learn more about the value that safety committees are providing at three of AGA’s member utilities, I recently visited with Larry Stinson, director of Safety & Compliance for UGI Utilities; Ed Johnson, safety manager for Atmos Energy’s Mississippi Division; and Stephen Moore, principal safety analyst for Baltimore Gas & Electric.
AMERICAN GAS: Tell us about your company’s
updates to other UOC committees and down to our field safety team leaders who work in offices throughout the company.
STEPHEN MOORE: At BG&E, we have six site
safety committee and how it interacts with the rest of the organization.
ED JOHNSON: At Atmos Energy, we operate through three enterprise-wide councils. These councils have matrix-management structures, which overlay our formal line organization. One of the three, our Utility Operations Council, sets operational policies, practices, and procedures for our operating divisions. Within the UOC, our safety committee studies safety issues and recommends safety decisions for the full council to approve. Our crossfunctional structure brings out the best ideas, promotes full cooperation, and builds commitment throughout the enterprise. The committee, for instance, has representatives from technical training, human resources, risk management, field operations, and six divisional safety managers. The company’s director of safety, security, and compliance, who serves on the UOC and reports to the corporate vice president of pipeline safety, sponsors the committee. As a result, the committee has critical links to upper management as well as to the entire organization. A key responsibility of the UOC’s safety committee is to convey safety information and
safety committees, four enterprise-wide safety teams, and one executive safety council. The site teams resolve safety issues at their locations. Frontline employees are members on the site teams and often lead the teams. The enterprisewide safety teams work on implementing and sustaining safety programs and processes at the company level. The EWT’s include contractor safety, safety observation, work procedure, and incident investigation. The executive safety council approves new safety policies and changes in existing ones. It also looks for company trends on the serious events and ways to prevent recurrence. It’s the overall governance for the other safety teams. This council has representation from various division vice presidents, as well as our company president.
LARRY STINSON: At UGI, we have six regional
ANDREW LU is the staff executive to the Safety & Occupational Health Committee at the American Gas Association. firstname.lastname@example.org
safety committees. The committees are comprised of field and office personnel, local management, and a representative from the safety department. Each of the committees is responsible for identifying and working to resolve safety issues within its region. Each of our committees is certified by the State of Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. In order to gain certification, many requirements must be met, such as an annual committee training, monthly meetings, formal agendas, minutes of all meetings, and attendance documentation.
AMERICAN GAS: What problems or issues is your
safety committee trying to address?
MOORE: Our safety committees routinely resolve
near-misses that occur in their areas. They also look at safety observation data and come up with action plans to lower any at-risk behaviors.
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2012 AMERICAN GAS
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Gas - August 2012
American Gas - August 2012
In the Know
Taming the Talent Pipeline
Places to Be
Facts on Gas
American Gas - August 2012