IBEW was founded in 1891, and one of the main reasons for initially organizing was to promote a safer work environment workplace practices electrical workers. We at IBEW 1049 are committed to upholding and ensuring a safe workplace for our members. Safety is a strong tradition here at Local 1049 and we have officially appointed union safety advocates. The mission of the safety advocates is to address the day-to-day safety concerns of the membership in the field. If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact the advocate that represents your department. We meet monthly so your feedback is vital. Work safe brothers and sisters and remember your family is waiting for you at home every night, so don’t cut corners!

A Message from the Long Island Safety Advocates:
Our mission as Safety Advocates is to promote safety to our union members.  We are dedicated as a team to help our members in performing job tasks in a safe manner.  A resource for someone to go to when work methods, equipment, safety rules are in question.  A large part of our job duties include visiting our members on job sites.  LI Safety Advocates also meet once a month with each other, discussing ways to improve our safety.  We again meet once a month with all National Grid Safety Advocates to discuss safety issues throughout National Grid.  Present members we have serving as Safety Advocates are: Mike Halupa – representing Substation Protection and Telecom.  Mike has just been selected as Chairman on our National Grid Safety Advocate Committee.  Steve Borrelli and Steve Grabow – representing our Electric Generation Department.  Chuck Doyle and Al Blum - representing Overhead, Underground and Service Section.  Our first of many topics we would like to discuss is on pre-job briefings.

Planning and discussing the work to be done seems like such a trivial practice that we should not even need to discuss it.  Yet this best practice is often the most overlooked or neglected part of the job.  In the field, we may hear this called the tailboard meeting or safety briefing, but it is all the same thing: a process in which all crew members participate by discussing the job to be done, the hazards that may be encountered, how to mitigate those hazards, what tools and equipment will be used, and who will be responsible for each part of the job.  This is also a good time to include an emergency action plan – exactly what will be done if an emergency occurs.

OSHA regulation 10910.269(c) further explains the components of an effective job briefing.  An additional reference can be found in the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC, ANSI C2-Part 4).

Though not required to be documented by OSHA, best practices include not only documenting the briefing, but having each crew member sign the document as evidence that they participated.  How often should a job briefing be done?  It depends on the work being done that day.  If, for example, the crew will be replacing streetlight bulbs all day, one briefing in the morning will probably suffice – with a review of traffic conditions at each site.  If the crew is changing out an energized transformer this morning at one site and then replacing a pole at another site this afternoon, a briefing should be done at each site.

In most incident investigations, no evidence is found that a briefing was held or, if it was, the form was “just penciled in” and woefully inadequate.  Pre-job briefings should be a routine part of each crew’s safety practices, documented and taken seriously by the crew’s foreman.

Workplace Eye Safety

Safety and Health Resources

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards

Center for Disease Control

Department of Health and Human Services

American Red Cross

American Heart Association

Center  for Construction Research and Training (CPWR)

Electronic Library of Construction Occupational  Safety & Health (ELCOSH)

Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICP)

National Safety Council (NSC)

AFL-CIO Safety and Health at Work

American National Standards Association (ANSI)

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

National Electric Safety Code

Electrical & Utilities Safety Association (EUSA)