“To our group, a great safety record is a requirement”

By Terah Fox

New York Transmission Line Services (TLS) just celebrated three years without a Lost Time Incident (LTI). The sizeable group of 48 linemen and equipment operators spans the eastern, central and western regions of upstate New York. It falls under the Project Management/Complex Construction (PMCC) group.

“Our work is high-risk. Staying focused on that is critical for safe and effective performance,” said TLS Manager Fred Drischler. “We often work on energized transmission voltages using methods such as bare-hand line work, requiring our linemen to physically handle energized conductors and equipment. There is a high level of professionalism and attention needed to ensure that we work safely on a daily basis. Everyone is sincere about taking it seriously,” he said.

He also shared that support from former manager, Bill Murty, excellent training and top-rated equipment all contribute to the three-year track record.

Drischler noted that the rapidly-growing group continues to support good safety efforts through common practices such as weekly safety meetings, interactive pre-job briefs, crew resource management and Process Hazard Analysis for potentially dangerous work sites such as highways, railroads and river crossings.

The group recently hosted a safety luncheon to celebrate reaching the milestone and recognize the group for the hard work they do each day.

New England Substation Construction also has reason to celebrate

Employees of another PMCC group, New England Substation Construction, reached its own safety milestone. Roughly 100 employees and their supervisors will enjoy a luncheon to recognize two years with no LTIs later this month.

Warren Draper, internal substation construction manager, gives credit to the employees who he says make safety a priority every day, support from supervisors and the group’s safety advocate, implemented about four years ago.

He also cites company support as being particularly beneficial. “There’s no question that the company spends a lot of time, effort and resources on safety and I think our employees realize that,” he said. “For us, a great safety record isn’t just something we hope for. To our group, it’s a requirement.”

Draper also believes it’s not enough to simply talk about safety. “The information we provide is probably the same as most other groups. It’s really about being focused on everything you’re doing. We work smarter now, which leads to working safer.”

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