A group of PG&E workers listening to safety instructions

Workplace Safety

For PG&E, safety is an around-the-clock commitment. Our dedication to safety can be seen in our operations, in our processes and procedures, and in how our employees and contractors perform every task, every job, every day.

Through an emphasis on increasing the technical skills of our employees in the field, the leadership abilities of those who oversee other employees, and a continuous evaluation of our operations, our goal is to keep all of our employees and contractors safe.

Our Approach

PG&E employs a broad spectrum of workplace safety efforts with several key aspects:

  • Setting aggressive health and safety targets to track and evaluate our performance.
  • Implementing a Corrective Action Program in a number of our operational lines of business, allowing employees to identify and report potential safety hazards or equipment problems. Each issue is tracked until the appropriate corrective action is completed. The program includes a feedback loop so that employees who submit issues receive information on action taken as a result of their submission. Employees may also submit issues anonymously.
  • Continuing to improve our Motor Vehicle Safety Program by adopting a phone-free driving standard so that all employees can maintain their focus on the road.
  • Integrating health and wellness into our safety organization to allow for a more comprehensive approach to evaluating health and safety programs, such as our Industrial Athlete Program, that contribute to our employees’ ability to work safely.

2015 Milestones

Employee Safety

PG&E employees holding shovels at groundbreaking ceremony

Breaking ground on new Gas Training Center

We broke ground on a state-of-the-art facility in Winters designed to train gas employees on best-in-class safety protocols, the use of new technologies and the highest levels of customer service.

Photo by David Kligman

Through our continuous efforts, PG&E has made significant strides in employee safety with a number of highlights:

  • Reinforced a “speak up for safety” culture. We continue to take concrete steps to improve our culture so that every employee is empowered to speak up about safety without peer pressure and approach each task with a safety-first mindset. Safety is emphasized in employee communications, from all-employee messages to safety tailboards that are discussed when field personnel begin their workdays.
  • Rolled out the Corrective Action Program to additional lines of business. We implemented the program in our Safety and Shared Services organization, giving employees an additional, anonymous option to report potential safety concerns. This followed years of success with the program at our Diablo Canyon Power Plant and a successful implementation in our gas organization, with use among employees continuing to grow.
  • Enhanced our Motor Vehicle Safety Program. In addition to implementing a phone-free driving standard, we installed vehicle safety technology on about 1,000 vehicles, giving drivers audible alerts after hard breaking, hard acceleration and speeding deemed to be excessive. This helps alert drivers to at-risk behaviors to improve safety behind the wheel.
  • Enhanced focus on potentially serious incidents. Through analysis of field observations, past incidents and near hits, PG&E has determined the work conditions that carry the greatest potential for serious injury. One module of our Safety Leadership Training teaches leaders how to identify workplace hazards when they perform field observations, reducing the risk of potentially hazardous conditions. PG&E is also incorporating prevention checklists into work processes to reduce potentially high-risk conditions.
  • Continued technical training for field employees. Together, our gas and electric operations logged more than 38,000 student days through 128 web-based training courses on gas safety tasks and 225 instructor-led courses on electric safety tasks. This was in additional to a strong focus on safety leadership development.

Contractor Safety

We expect our contract workers to share the same commitment to safety excellence as our employees. To ensure that’s the case, PG&E established a Contractor Safety Program that requires contractors to meet the program’s prequalification requirements in order to perform work on behalf of PG&E. Nearly 800 contractors doing medium- and high-risk work have been assessed using a thorough safety review process.

In addition, PG&E has begun implementing oversight procedures for contractors and conducting oversight at job sites in the field and post-project evaluations as part of the Contractor Safety Program.

The Gold Shovel Standard application web page

Certification program for PG&E excavation contractors

PG&E developed a first-of-its-kind excavation safety program—the Gold Shovel Standard—designed to ensure that contractors doing excavation work for PG&E demonstrate a commitment to safe digging, including calling 811 before any excavation work begins to have underground lines located and marked by utility owners.

Measuring Progress

PG&E uses two key metrics to measure our performance on workplace safety: the Lost Workday Case Rate and Serious Preventable Motor Vehicle Incident Rate (both defined below). In 2015, our Lost Workday Case Rate slightly improved over the prior year, but still fell short of our goal by 11 percent.

The table below provides complete PG&E employee safety statistics for 2013 through 2015:

Safety Results for 2013 through 2015 (Utility)
2013 2014 2015
Total Lost Workdays Footnote 1 22,541 22,371 23,463
Total Lost Workday Cases Footnote 2 76 86 87
Total Lost Workday Case Rate Footnote 3 0.346 0.376 0.372
Total OSHA Recordables Footnote 4 456 552 597
OSHA Recordable Rate Footnote 5 2.010 2.412 2.550
  • 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) Return to table.
  • 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. Return to table
  • 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. Return to table
  • 4. Total OSHA Recordables is the number of injuries and illnesses that meet OSHA requirements for recordability—those that (1) are work-related, (2) are new cases and (3) meet one or more OSHA general recording criteria. Return to table
  • 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. Return to table

The following table provides motor vehicle safety statistics for 2013 through 2015:

Motor Vehicle Safety Statistics (Utility)
2013 2014 2015
Total Serious Preventable Motor Vehicle Incidents Footnote 1 54 39 40
Serious Preventable Motor Vehicle Incident Rate Footnote 2 0.381 0.274 0.266
  • 1. Refers to the number of serious preventable motor vehicle incidents that could have been reasonably prevented by the PG&E driver. Measures only those incidents considered to be serious, rather than all incidents that were otherwise preventable. Return to table
  • 2. Number of serious preventable motor vehicle incidents that the driver could have reasonably avoided, per 1 million miles driven. Return to table

We also tracked the effectiveness of our vehicle safety technology. Of the three behaviors tracked (hard breaking, hard acceleration and speeding deemed to be excessive), we found a nearly 40 percent overall reduction in at-risk driving behaviors.

PG&E also introduced and actively tracks a number of leading—or predictive—indicators to help us more deeply embed safety in our operations and encourage employees to both speak up and seek treatment for injuries of any type. These include:

  • Number of Corrective Action Program submissions
  • Timely reporting of injuries to our 24/7 Nurse Report Line, which provides immediate access to trained medical professionals
  • Number of near-hit reports submitted

Looking Ahead

PG&E will remain steadfast in our commitment to workplace safety, with a focus on three areas: developing our leaders by instilling safety as a core value through words, actions and behaviors; creating an environment that encourages everyone to speak up about safety issues; and controlling exposure to risks to prevent potentially serious safety incidents.

To that end, we plan to introduce the timely reporting of injuries to our 24/7 Nurse Report Line as one factor in at-risk performance-based pay. We also plan to prequalify our 2,500 subcontractors and fully implement the oversight procedures as part of our Contractor Safety Program.

In addition, we will develop a Safety Management System, a standardized framework for managing public, employee and contractor safety. We will use the system to ensure all policies, processes and organizational structures are aligned and executed consistently across PG&E. We will also perform regular third-party assessments of the system and require our senior leadership to review key system elements on a periodic basis.

Finally, based on a benchmark study of best-in-class technical training programs, we plan to refine our approach to how we govern, deliver and measure the effectiveness of our training.





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