PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2018

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Workplace Safety

At PG&E, safety is at the center of everything we do. Our philosophy is that safety is everyone’s priority, and we require that the men and women of PG&E work in a way that protects the public, their fellow employees, our contractors and themselves. In the spirit of continuous improvement, PG&E offers training to increase the technical skills of our employees in the field and the leadership abilities of those who oversee team members.

Our Approach

PG&E employs a broad spectrum of workplace safety efforts, aligned under our Occupational Health and Safety Plan, with several key aspects:

  • Improving employee safety and health by addressing possible musculoskeletal disorders, sprains, strains and other causes of cumulative and acute injury. This includes integrating health and wellness into our safety programs to allow for a more comprehensive approach to safety. Such programs include our Industrial Athlete Program and our 24/7 Nurse Care Line, which provides immediate access to a trained medical professional if employees experience discomfort or pain, or are injured on the job.
  • Enhancing contractor safety programs, including standardized training, field observations and reviews of safety performance, and a standardized safety plan.
  • Continuing to improve our Motor Vehicle Safety Program by adopting a phone-free driving standard, continuing to expand vehicle safety technology throughout PG&E vehicles, informing employees of changes to motor vehicle laws and customizing our training based on the type of vehicle being driven and the driving conditions typically encountered.
  • Establishing a Safety Management System, which when complete will include controls and governance for a comprehensive set of safety and health-related processes for the workplace and will focus on public, employee and contractor safety.
  • Implementing a Corrective Action Program across all lines of business, allowing employees to identify and report potential safety hazards or equipment issues. Each item is tracked until the appropriate resolution 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.

We also provide appropriate recurrent safety training to employees, officers, and Board members, covering topics that are tailored to their organizational roles. Among other things, PG&E has on a regular basis provided enhanced safety training for the Chief Safety Officer. The training requirements for the Chief Safety Officer have been incorporated into the onboarding plan for the position to ensure that all holders of the position have the necessary background to perform the job. Training enhancements for each organization’s Field Safety Specialists have been incorporated into a five-year training cycle to support skills and knowledge maintenance, and to ensure they are up to date on current methods and procedures and have a working knowledge of key regulatory requirements. PG&E is also focused on improving the timeliness of training completion within the Power Generation organization, and we have established a state-of-the art gas operations and safety training center in Winters, California.

PG&E has also developed a curriculum of tailored safety education for members of the PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company Boards of Directors, appropriate for the Boards’ oversight role over safety. Topics include safety culture, safety leadership, methods for open communication and review that support PG&E’s efforts to foster and reinforce safety improvements through a learning culture; the Board’s role in safety leadership and governance; a review of the PG&E five-year Occupational Health and Safety Plan; and a general overview of safety considerations in high-risk operations. Training is provided both by in-house resources and nationally recognized safety experts from outside PG&E. PG&E also has been streamlining and standardizing its methods for identifying and tracking required training. Completion of required training is tracked for individual employees, and training status is reported to supervisors and to other leaders.

2017 Milestones

Employee Safety

PG&E made substantial progress 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. PG&E developed a campaign called “Speak Up for Safety,” with videos, posters, employee communications, brochures, stickers and more. Safety is also emphasized in employee communications, from all-employee messages to safety tailboards that are discussed when field personnel begin their workdays.
  • Enhanced focus on potentially serious incidents. PG&E has been working to identify the conditions that carry the greatest potential for serious injury on the job, and lines of business have begun leveraging this knowledge during field observations. PG&E is also incorporating prevention checklists into work processes to reduce potentially high-risk conditions. One module of our safety leadership training curriculum teaches leaders how to identify workplace hazards and, in turn, reduce the potential for serious incidents, when they perform field observations. PG&E also has highly skilled investigators who examine incidents that result in serious injuries or fatalities. Each of these activities aligns with PG&E in establishing a learning culture, focusing on how these potentially serious incidents occur so that we can develop controls that provide workers with the capacity to fail safely.
  • Extended the Corrective Action Program (CAP) to all lines of business. Following the successful implementation of the CAP program in our Gas Operations organization and at our Diablo Canyon Power Plant, PG&E expanded the program to all organizations, providing employees a way to report and track follow-up on potential safety concerns.
  • Enhanced our Motor Vehicle Safety Program. We continue to deploy in-cab monitoring equipment, which alerts drivers to at-risk behaviors and improves safety behind the wheel. We also introduced a coaching program and system which allows PG&E to obtain and track insights into the driving behavior of our employees on the road and provides opportunities to address any patterns and trends.
  • Continued technical training for field employees. We delivered nearly 14,500 days of training on courses specifically focused on safety and compliance. We also opened a Gas Safety Academy to provide state-of-the-art training to employees who are learning to operate and maintain our natural gas infrastructure, and we broke ground at a Substation Training Center that will focus on electric substation operations and maintenance.

Contractor Safety

We expect our contract workers to share our commitment to safety excellence. To that end, PG&E established a Corporate Contractor Safety Program that requires contractors performing medium- and high-risk work to meet minimum prequalification requirements in order to perform work for or on behalf of PG&E. All primary contractors and subcontractors performing medium- and high-risk work, roughly 2,200 individual contractor companies, have been assessed using a thorough pre-qualification safety review process.

We have also implemented procedures for oversight that PG&E performs for contractors performing medium- and high-risk work along with conducting oversight at job sites in the field and post-project evaluations as part of the Contractor Safety Program. Additionally, we have partnered with peer California-based energy companies to form a benchmarking committee that routinely meets to discuss contractor safety program management best practices. Recently, this committee has focused on addressing the challenges posed by vegetation management hazard tree work.

As a result of these efforts and other internal work method best practice discussions, PG&E has developed additional mitigations and controls to address hazards.

Measuring Progress

PG&E uses three key metrics to track our performance on workplace safety: the Lost Workday Case Rate, the Serious Preventable Motor Vehicle Incident Rate and the Timely Reporting of Injuries Rate (defined below). In 2017, we fell short of our Lost Workday Case Rate target, recording an 18 percent increase in the total number of cases and a similar increase in lost workdays overall.

Though our Timely Reporting of Injuries Rate improved in 2017, we fell short of our target. The table below provides complete PG&E employee safety statistics for 2015 through 2017:

Employee Safety Results
2015 2016 2017
Total Lost Workdays Footnote 1 4,438 5,144 6,306
Total Lost Workday Cases Footnote 2 87 97 114
Total Lost Workday Case Rate Footnote 3 0.372 0.402 0.487
Total OSHA Recordables Footnote 4 597 653 729
OSHA Recordable Rate Footnote 5 2.550 2.706 3.111
Timely Reporting of Injuries Rate Footnote 6 61.3% 67.3% 69.3%
  • 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). Data published prior to 2017 provided the number of days away, restricted or transferred, leading to a one-time update for 2015 and 2016.1
  • 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.2
  • 3. Total Lost Workday Case Rate is the number of Lost Workday Cases incurred per 200,000 hours worked, or for approximately every 100 employees.3
  • 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.4
  • 5. The OSHA Recordable Rate measures how frequently OSHA recordable occupational injuries and illnesses occur for every 200,000 hours worked, or for approximately every 100 employees.5
  • 6. Timely Reporting of Injuries is the percentage of work-related injuries reported to our 24/7 Nurse Care Line within one day of the incident.6

The following table provides motor vehicle safety statistics for 2015 through 2017:

Motor Vehicle Safety Statistics
2015 2016 2017
Total Serious Preventable Motor Vehicle Incidents Footnote 1 40 42 42
Serious Preventable Motor Vehicle Incident Rate Footnote 2 0.266 0.280 0.287
  • 1. Number of Serious Preventable Motor Vehicle Incidents occurring that the driver could have reasonably avoided.1
  • 2. Number of Serious Preventable Motor Vehicle Incidents occurring that the driver could have reasonably avoided, per 1 million miles driven.2

We also tracked the effectiveness of our vehicle safety technology via three behaviors: hard braking, hard acceleration and speeding deemed to be excessive. In 2017, hard braking and hard acceleration decreased, while excessive speeding remained consistent.

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

  • Corrective Action Program participation rate
  • Percent of Corrective Action Program issues closed on time
  • Percent of anonymous Corrective Action Program submissions, which continues to decrease as our speak-up safety culture empowers employees to report issues

Looking Ahead

As PG&E continues to strengthen its safety programs and culture, we have identified several multiyear efforts that will support our focus areas. Our plans are designed to:

  • Provide continued focus and progress in making risk-informed asset investments to enhance public safety,
  • Enhance our overall safety governance and systems,
  • Enhance programs that have helped reduce serious injuries and fatalities to employees and contractors while reducing less serious injuries and motor vehicle incidents, and
  • Continue strengthening our safety culture through expanded safety leadership development initiatives and a continued safety partnership with our unions.

In addition, we will continue to benchmark with other organizations to inform our five-year Occupational Health and Safety Plan, identify best practices and build a new level of safety into our business.