Employee Safety

PG&E’s goal when it comes to employee safety is simple: zero employee injuries. To get there, we are working toward embedding safety into our operational practices and culture; focusing on process safety and compliance with all internal and external requirements; and engaging employees through feedback mechanisms, grassroots efforts and training to strengthen job skills.

Our expectation is that the more than 20,000 men and women of PG&E, individually and as a group, share the responsibility to turn around our safety performance.

Changing our Culture

We are actively working to engage our employees around a stronger culture of safety—one where everyone feels confident to talk openly about honest mistakes, report near-hits and hazardous conditions and actively look for and correct unsafe acts or conditions.

Last year, more than 7,500 employees provided feedback on PG&E’s safety policies, programs and day-to-day actions for a comprehensive assessment of our safety climate. The assessment, which was a key part of our renewed focus toward safely and reliably providing gas and electric service to customers, was extensive. It involved employee-led focus groups, surveys, employee interviews and on-site visits.

We also conducted extensive benchmarking to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of our safety programs.

Improving Process Safety

We are focused on increasing adherence to established work procedures and improving process safety and compliance.

For example, an improved near-hit reporting process is being implemented in 2012. We are also rolling out a Leadership Observation program that is intended to reinforce the importance of following our work procedures and improving communication around safety.

Another initiative, known as Process Safety Management, focuses on safety as a key part of how we design, build, operate and maintain our systems. This includes documenting the work that has been performed—the final, but essential, step to be completed before we can say a job is done.

Providing Training to Strengthen Job Skills

In our industry, hands-on training, continuing education and a focus on knowledge transfer are essential elements of a successful safety strategy. We are working to build and sustain the workforce PG&E will need to thrive by leveraging new technologies, increasing the quality of our training programs and creating a work environment where different views and backgrounds are welcomed and encouraged.

For example, PG&E’s Pre-Apprentice Lineworker Program, developed in collaboration with the IBEW, provides candidates with formal training and assessments. Those who complete the one-year program become apprentice linemen, the beginning of a multi-year apprenticeship.

We also continue to provide our employees with training on technical topics. This includes offering training for new gas engineers, for technicians on new valves being installed and for hundreds of other employees on documentation and record retention.

We have also called on our employee leaders, whose help is critical in creating and sustaining a work environment where safety comes first. In 2012, we are rolling out a program focused on how supervisors can work with their employees to build a trust-based safety climate.

Measuring our Performance

In 2011, PG&E used several key metrics to assess progress on employee safety performance: our OSHA Recordable Rate, Lost Workday Case Rate and Preventable Motor Vehicle Incident Rate. (These metrics are defined below.) We set aggressive targets for safety in 2011, aiming for a 13 percent reduction in the OSHA Recordable Rate and Lost Workday Case Rate and a 10 percent reduction in the Preventable Motor Vehicle Incident Rate, compared to a 2010 baseline. Beginning in 2012, PG&E decided not to set targets for the OSHA Recordable Rate to focus on the prevention of incidents and to ensure appropriate incentives to report incidents.

The table below provides complete employee safety statistics for 2009 through 2011:

Safety Results for 2009 through 2011 (Utility)
  2009 2010 2011
Total Lost Workdays1 28,959 27,477 25,635
Total Lost Workday Cases2 89 78 57
Total Lost Workday Case Rate3 0.441 0.395 0.273
Total OSHA Recordables4 494 386 377
OSHA Recordable Rate5 2.45 1.955 1.803

1 Total Lost Workdays is an internal PG&E metric that counts the number of workdays lost in the current year due to occupational injury or illness for all years of injury (current and all prior years).

2 Total Lost Workday Cases is the number of nonfatal occupational injury and illness cases that (1) satisfy OSHA requirements for recordability, (2) occur in the current year and (3) result in at least one day away from work.

3 The Lost Workday Case Rate measures how frequently new Lost Workday Cases occur for every 200,000 hours worked, or for approximately every 100 employees.

4 Total OSHA Recordables is the number of injuries and illnesses that meet OSHA requirements for recordability, i.e., (1) are work-related, (2) are new cases and (3) meet one or more OSHA general recording criteria.

5 The OSHA Recordable Rate measures how frequently occupational injuries and illnesses occur for every 200,000 hours worked, or for approximately every 100 employees.

PG&E employees logged more than 110 million miles in PG&E vehicles in 2011—a clear indication of just how essential the safe operation of our large fleet of vehicles is to PG&E’s employee and public safety goals.

In 2011, we maintained our motor vehicle safety program with a continued emphasis on driver training. Selected employees successfully completed a formal, one-day refresher driver training program, which includes two hours of classroom instruction and six hours of behind-the-wheel training. Other activities included improved tracking and reporting, and ensuring all PG&E vehicles have a 1-800 “Am I Driving Safely?” decal affixed to the back of the vehicle.

The following chart provides motor vehicle safety statistics for 2009 through 2011:

Motor Vehicle Safety Statistics (Utility)

1 Total Preventable Motor Vehicle Incidents is an internal PG&E metric counting motor vehicle incidents that could have been reasonably prevented by the PG&E driver.

2 The Preventable Motor Vehicle Incident Rate measures how frequently motor vehicle incidents occur for every 1,000,000 miles driven.