Safety Profiles – New York Electric Operations
Each month, we will profile New York Electric Operations employees who keep safety at the forefront of everything they do. Let’s meet this month’s profiles.
Bob Riter – New Hartford Service Center in central New York
Traveling operator Bob Riter has a 36-year career at National Grid. He works at the New Hartford Service Center, where he says safety is an integral part of the job. “We discuss the possible hazards that might be unique to certain projects, like working with older equipment, or in tight spaces. Having a plan and taking precautions always makes a difference,” he said.
When the winter weather cooperates, Bob takes up snowmobiling with Patti, his wife of eight years. Much like his work, Bob’s hobby requires a focus on planning and safety as well.
“We always have a plan and let someone know where we’re going,” he said. “Planning ahead, even when I’m riding my snowmobile and having fun, means I’m less likely to get hurt. I don’t want to waste any of the riding season being down with an injury that could’ve been avoided.”
Stow Service Center in western New York
(Photo: Stow Line Department employees, left to right: Brian Seibert, Patrick Grimm, Guy Peacock, Richard Kimbel, Bryan Rupczyk, Brad Smith, Steve Bowman, Robert Spoon, Paul Price, Matt Wilson, John Nickerson, Kevin Kelly, Bryan Spielman. Not pictured: Randy Graham, Tim Lancaster)
Talk to any employee about safety and they’ll likely all say the same thing: it takes the whole team to make it happen on a daily basis. The Line Department employees at the Stow barn are no different. It’s why the whole group of 15 was nominated this month.
“Our foremen lead by example. What they’re asking of their crews, they’re doing themselves as well,” said senior supervisor, Brian Seibert.
Stow is the westernmost location of the National Grid territory. It’s also a bit small, so everyone knows each other. They even get together with their families for Christmas parties and summer picnics. “We’re a close-knit group. These guys care about each other and that’s what makes this barn work. They look out for each other and they don’t take shortcuts,” Seibert said.