Building a Safety-First Culture
At PG&E, safety is both our most essential value and our number one goal. We strive to foster a trust-based safety climate, where through our actions and our words we reinforce the belief that nothing is more important than the safety of the public, our employees and our contractors. We promote an environment where open and honest conversations occur regularly and all employees feel empowered to speak up if they see any potential safety, security or compliance concerns—before or during a task or project—so that safety is embedded in our culture and across our operations.
Although we have made demonstrable progress in many aspects of our safety culture and operations, we recognize that room for improvement remains. Safety is not an end point, but a journey—a road we continue to travel with focus and dedication.
Safety Culture Roadmap
Building on a comprehensive third-party evaluation of our leadership, processes, people and technology, PG&E developed a long-term safety culture roadmap to direct our work. In 2015, we emphasized supporting safety leadership development at every level and reducing exposure to potential serious incidents before they occur.
The PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company Boards of Directors are generally responsible for oversight of safety at PG&E. The Nuclear, Operations, and Safety (NOS) Committee of the PG&E Corporation Board is specifically responsible for overseeing safety policies and issues related to the Utility’s operations and facilities, as well as goals, programs, policies and practices with respect to promoting a strong safety culture.
In addition, the NOS Committee helps monitor the impact of changes in laws and regulations on safety performance at PG&E, and also advises the Compensation Committee of the PG&E Corporation Board on appropriate safety goals for inclusion in PG&E’s executive compensation program and plans. Additionally, as part of its responsibility for reviewing proposed major capital projects, the Finance Committee of the PG&E Corporation Board reviews capital projects and programs with safety implications, such as projects and programs to enhance public or employee safety.
Our overall safety governance is led by the following management-level committees and teams:
- Safety and Risk Committee: guides our safety strategy and assures continuous improvement in safety performance. The Committee meets regularly to review performance and address gaps and barriers. In addition to the PG&E Corporation Chairman and CEO, members include Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s presidents, additional senior PG&E officers and leaders from the IBEW and ESC labor unions.
- Executive Safety Committee: ensures that strategies and programs are reviewed prior to discussion at the Safety and Risk Committee and also provides a forum for learning across lines of business and continuous improvement associated with the approved strategies.
- Line of Business Safety Councils: responsible for executing plans to reduce and eliminate exposure to possible safety incidents. The Councils are composed of management, union and grassroots team members. These efforts are supported by grassroots safety teams comprised of frontline employees who share ideas and partner to come up with effective solutions to reinforce a safety-first culture.
- Enterprise Safety Working Team: responsible for reviewing enterprise-wide plans to reduce and eliminate exposure to incidents and improve our culture. Comprised of representatives from the lines of business and safety organization, this team reviews and provides recommendations for initiatives to ensure we are providing proactive and consistent enterprise solutions to safety challenges.
Key safety leadership development and employee engagement initiatives include:
- Safety leadership development for upper management (officers and directors): an annual one-day workshop that creates alignment around safety leadership language, principles and practices.
- Safety leadership development for managers and supervisors: a series of six workshops over 18 months that teach practical skills related to safety leadership, injury prevention and protecting the public, employees and contractors. It also includes one-on-one in-field coaching and a 360-degree assessment that collects feedback and increases self-awareness. In 2016, we are expanding the workshops to union-represented crew leaders.
- Integration across leadership development: incorporating safety leadership into our suite of Leading Forward leadership development offerings.
- Seeking employee feedback: increasing the number of safety-related items in our employee engagement survey to better represent employees’ sentiment and collect insights around building and maintaining a safety culture.
- Further integration within our hiring process: reviewing our current use of pre-hire tests that assess candidates’ predisposition to follow safe practices and determining other jobs where this test may be used.
Moving forward, we will continue to use benchmarking and continuous improvement actions to evaluate the effectiveness of our safety efforts as we maintain an unwavering focus on creating a safety-first culture.