Paper360 - November/December 2012 - (Page 31)

SAFETY TAPPISafe Takes a Page from Other Industries Safety compliance training has its roots in other industries, most notably petrochemical GLENN OSTLE IN TOUCH E nsuring the safety of everyone who visits a pulp and paper mill requires a common and shared understanding of basic safety practices. Through TAPPISafe, a new safety training program being tested by a number of North American mills, the pulp and paper industry hopes to adopt safe behaviors through enhanced education (see Paper360°, May/June issue, p. 18). While a new and innovative idea for the pulp and paper industry, the safety compliance training concept has its roots in other industries. In the petrochemical industry, Basic Orientation Plus (BOP) programs, created by the Association of Reciprocal Safety Councils, have been addressing the need for uniform and consistent training of contract employees for 20 years. A similar program is now being implemented for the power industry. Known as PowerSafe, the program offers integrated, comprehensive safety orientation and verification for utility contractors. To date, thousands of workers have received safety training through the program. In 2008, when Bob Fitzgerald joined Southern Company’s Engineering and Construction Services (E&CS) organization as project safety and health manager, his work group was just starting to implement PowerSafe. “In the petrochem industry, standardized training is the norm,” said Fitzgerald. “Owners in that industry have adopted BOP and, as a result, employees receive a BOP card that is recognized throughout their industry.” The PowerSafe curriculum at Southern Company E&CS projects consists of PowerSafe Generation, an online Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) awarenesslevel safety training course administered by the Alliance Safety Council, and Southern Company Generation Specific, an online course that introduces contract employees to Southern Company’s safety culture. Southern Company E&CS projects require PowerSafe Generation training for the contractor workforce. Those who pass the training receive verification that is valid for one year. Th rough its comprehensive safety program, Southern Company demonstrates that safety is a core value and serves as the foundation for all workplace decisions. In addition to the general safety curriculum, Southern Company continues to administer site-specific training at each plant location. “This program helps the mobile craft workforce obtain recognized training and credentials through a standardized safety orientation, enhancing their ability to work at different plants,” said Fitzgerald. “It’s about more than just checking a box that you have met an OSHA training standard—it’s about creating a culture of safety.” PowerSafe can eliminate the unnecessary duplication of contractor training through a validated and auditable system. Prior to joining Southern Company, Fitzgerald worked for a large contractor for 18 years, gaining extensive experience in the pulp and paper industry. He has also served on the TAPPI safety committee. Based on his experiences, he believes this program could help improve contract employees’ safety. “Many mills already do a great job of promoting a safe work environment,” said Fitzgerald. “The key is to continue to educate owners and heighten safety awareness. This kind of consistent safety training across the board could help achieve the common goal of keeping people safe.” Glenn Ostle is Editorial Director/Associate Publisher of Paper360° magazine and can be reached at: To learn more about PowerSafe, go to 31 Paper360º NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Paper360 - November/December 2012

Over the Wire
Achieving Zero Landfill of Fiber
Creating a Monument to Safety
Keeping the Paper Flowing
Transforming an Industry
Supporting the Community
David Paterson Takes the Reins at Verso
New Tissue Fabric, Felt, and Roll Cover Technology
Protecting Your Mill Against Cyber Threats
Association News
TAPPISafe Takes a Page from Other Industries
Paper360° Online Exclusives

Paper360 - November/December 2012