“We’re looking out for each other” – 5 years without an LTI
Last year when it looked as if the New England North Substation team had the potential to make it 5 years without a Lost Time Injury (LTI), a spirit of friendly competition took hold across the eight locations that sit in the region.
Making it to 5 years would be a huge accomplishment, so the team continued to work safely and watch as green safety crosses continued to be posted throughout the year.
This September 28th the team reached their accomplishment, making it 5 years without an LTI across 115 employees. LTIs are injuries that lead to a loss in productive work time or absenteeism.
It wasn’t competition alone that led them to these results. In fact, that was only a small part of the drive that motivated the teams to work safely for over 1,825 days. “People up here are really looking out for each other,” said John Lang, a member of the New England North Substation Safety Action Team. “If you have a guy going up a 40 ft. ladder, you’re looking out for them and making sure you’ve got everything in place to keep them safe.”
Communication, team work and an environment where safety issues could be raised and discussed freely all contributed to their safety record. The substation Safety Action Team (SAT) (one of many that exist across National Grid) played a pivotal role in establishing this culture across the locations they represent, which include North Adams, Monson, Worcester, Leominster, Malden, Beverly, Methuen, and Lebanon (NH). The team is comprised of representatives from each location who act as liaisons between work crews and substation leadership to raise and address safety concerns on a bi-monthly basis.
“We’ve got a good group of people here; the right people in place,” said Shane Benoit who represents the Worcester substation team on the SAT. “We have no issue picking up the phone and calling one another if we have a question or concern.”
“A strong work ethic – that’s what makes the difference in New England North,” said Jon O’Leary from the North Adams yard.
Pex Hubs are also helping to improve safety communication across some of the teams and building stronger safety records. “I think they’ve been really helpful,” said Tommy Conry, from Leominster. “They give you a chance to bring up things that you wouldn’t normally get a chance to talk about on a daily basis.”
Stephen Katinas, Manager for NE North Substations, was very proud of all teams involved, “We’re a busy group that covers a large area – everything from the mountains in North Adams to more urban places like Malden – and no matter how big or small the platform we take every safety concern seriously,” he said.
“The guys on our teams may have tough skin on the outside,” said Joe Arria from Malden, “but inside they really care about safety and the safety of those on their team.”
Please join us in congratulating the New England North Substation team on this great accomplishment. Members of the SAT are:
- Shane Benoit – Worcester
- Alan Bixby – Monson
- Tom Conry – Leominster
- John Lang – Lebanon
- Joe Arria – Malden
- Jay Meehan – Metheun
- Eric Grodberg – Beverly
- John Oleary – North Adams
- Mark Blanchard- Lead Supervisor
- Phil Aliferis -Lead Supervisor
- Todd Allen- Lead Supervisor