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APPA offers new courses on safety culture and accident investigation this fall

From the July 8, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published July 8, 2013

By Heidi Lambert
Manager, Education
APPA is offering two new safety courses — Establishing a Safety Culture and Accident Investigation and Near Miss Reporting — and two updated classes at the association’s Fall Education Institute, Oct. 8-10, at the Hyatt Regency in San Antonio, Texas. 

The new safety series includes the following: 
•    Overview and Practical Applications of the APPA Safety Manual (Oct. 8); 
•    Establishing a Safety Culture at Your Utility (Oct. 9); 
•    Accident Investigation and Near Miss Reporting (Oct. 9); and 
•    Practical Field Application of the 2012 National Electrical Safety Code (Oct. 10). 

These classes are designed for managers, safety professionals, electric utility engineers, designers, technicians, field personnel and utility staff who are responsible for safety or who make decisions concerning safety. The instructors each have decades of experience in the electric utility industry. Actual public power case studies will be used as examples in the courses. 

In the one-day 2012 Safety Manual course, participants will learn about the application, organization and purpose of the APPA Safety Manual and the important changes effective with the 2012 edition. The manual has been revised and expanded since its prior publication in 2008. There are revised sections on: personal protective equipment guidelines, wireless electronic devices, pole-top rescue, security and CPR/first aid/AED. There are new sections on: bucket truck/aerial lift rescue, substations and hazardous energy control (underground section). There will be special emphasis on Section 507 (overhead distribution and transmission) to cover intent and background of these safety rules. The course will be led by Mike Byrd, supervisor of safety and training for ElectriCities of North Carolina, and Mike Willets, director of training and safety for the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association. Each participant will receive a copy of the new manual. 

In the new half-day class, Establishing a Safety Culture at Your Utility, participants will learn how to establish a utility-wide safety culture and how to transfer safety strategies throughout the workplace, ensuring more effective safety supervision methodologies. The class will cover the importance of having a safety program, how to get management and employee support, types of safety meetings, employee training and motivation, and supervisor priorities, responsibilities and accountability. This course will be led by Mike Bryd. 

The third safety course, Accident Investigation and Near Miss Reporting, also will take a half-day and will be led by Marc Machacek, regional safety coordinator for the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association. He will highlight the important role of near-miss reporting, developing a positive platform for reporting and recording near misses to prevent them from escalating to lost-time incidents, and conducting accident investigations with emphasis on root cause analysis and how to use this information to prevent future incidents. Participants will work through practical group exercises to learn how to investigate and perform a root cause analysis. 

The Practical Field Applications of the 2012 NESC class will focus on the practical application of the code to situations commonly encountered in the field. Through the use of photos, video clips and accident/litigation case studies, participants will learn how to recognize in the field and correct common NESC violations and safety hazards. The instructor, John Miner, president of Collaborative Learning, Inc., will also cover the purpose, organization, enforcement and legal implications of the NESC. 

Attendees can earn credits toward their professional certifications by attending these events. APPA offers continuing education units, professional development hours and continuing professional education credits for participating in courses. Participants can earn up to 18 PDH credits for attending all four safety courses. 

In addition to these classes, the Fall Education Institute features in-depth courses on accounting, cost of service and rate design, financial planning, key accounts management and executive leadership. There is a $100 discount for those who attend multiple courses or who attend with a colleague and a $50 discount for registering before Sept. 16. This event is co-sponsored by the Texas Public Power Association. 

For more information, visit and click on "courses and workshops" or contact Meghan Riley at 202/467-2919


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