OSHA and Beyond: Keep Employees Safe in the Field

The importance of safety at work reaches an entirely new level when your job exposes you to heavy equipment or high voltage. You’re asked to complete tasks under extreme temperatures or great heights. Such is life for many field service technicians. Particularly those that work for utilities and energy cooperatives that are responsible for aspects of our nation’s utility infrastructure.

But it wasn’t until 1971 and the formation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that American employers were to provide workers with a safe environment. In addition to the OSHA standards that apply to various categories like electrical, hazard communications, and respiratory protection, there is an assortment of best practices workers should always engage in to remain safe. Here are three that you can put into action today. (more…)

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Accountability Is Everyone’s Responsibility

They say that character is doing the right thing when no one is watching, and that may never be more appropriate than on a job site. Whether someone is working alone or the site is buzzing with activity.  Employees in utilities often have specific tasks that simply don’t receive direct oversight. That can be dangerous under the wrong conditions. We’d all like to believe that every employee has the best intentions when it comes to upholding safety protocols. There is another workplace buzzword that encapsulates what it means to actually abide by those guidelines: accountability. (more…)

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Safety Meetings: Make Them More Meaningful

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), the median number of days away from work due to electrical injury was 10. That stat comes courtesy of data spanning the years 2003 through 2017 that ESFI sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That report revealed the sobering fact that the utilities and the construction industries require safe work practices and a disciplined culture of safety and compliance.

There are precautionary measures that a utility or a construction organization can take to lessen the chance of a job site injury. One of the most beneficial of those measures is holding regular safety meetings.  (more…)

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Phishing and Other Dirty Data Tricks

Ask people to describe utility workers, and they’ll likely say things like “essential” and “hard-working.” But, what about a word like hygienic? Digitally hygienic, in particular. As the industry continues shifting analog operations into digital formats, employees at all levels of a utility company should be aware of basic digital hygiene practices. This way, the utility as a whole has a better chance of protecting sensitive internal and customer data.

Digital hygiene is a phrase used to describe practices and habits. These habits keep one’s information or data safe and secure. It can be the difference between keeping confidential data secure and allowing a breach. To help utilities who may need guidance in this area, we’ve put together a few basic tips. You can use them to deploy part of a digital hygiene training program for utility employees. (more…)

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UPA Completes EMWD’s AMI Retrofit and Installation Services Project Ahead of Schedule!

On May 4, 2019, Chris Sirles accepted an award from Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD).  Commemorating the successful completion of EMWD’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Retrofit and Installation Services Project. …

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