PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2020

Plan of Reorganization Commitments

Safety Culture

PG&E recognizes that we must improve our safety culture and performance. We are working to transition from a compliance-focused to a risk-focused organization that holds each of us accountable for safety, resolves issues promptly, and has engagement at all levels within PG&E.

As a key step toward strengthening our safety culture, we hired Francisco Benavides who currently serves as Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Senior Vice President and Chief Safety Officer (CSO). Mr. Benavides brings 30 years of industrial safety, health and environmental experience to this role. His past work has demonstrated injury rate reductions from 40 to 90 percent, eliminating fatalities and reducing the rate of high-potential incidents.

Mr. Benavides reports to the PG&E Corporation CEO and President and is responsible for setting our workforce safety strategy (including employee and contractor safety), establishing governing standards for safety implementation and supporting PG&E’s operational safety execution. Learn more about our Workforce Safety Strategy.

Additionally, in our proposed regionalization of operations, each region will have a Regional Safety Lead who reports to the CSO and who is accountable for safety at the local level. The Safety Lead will work with the leadership in their region to identify region-specific hazards and assess risk, verify critical field controls, provide coaching on positive safety interactions, and coordinate the implementation of enterprise-wide safety programs within their region.

Safety Governance and Leadership

The PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company Boards of Directors are responsible for oversight of safety. The Boards oversee the business and affairs of PG&E by establishing an appropriate “tone from the top,” setting and providing oversight on corporate policies and goals, and holding management accountable for results. This requires directors who are independent, have diverse skills, and participate actively in the Board and its committees.

The Safety and Nuclear Oversight (SNO) Committees of the PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company Boards are responsible for overseeing and reviewing policies, practices, standards, goals, issues, risk and compliance relating to safety. Among other things, the SNO Committee focuses on:

  • Principal risks arising out of PG&E’s operations and facilities, the process used by management to analyze and identify these risks, and the effectiveness of programs to manage or mitigate these risks;
  • The Utility’s goals, programs, policies and practices with respect to improving safety practices and operational performance as well as promoting a strong safety culture; and
  • Periodically visiting the Utility’s nuclear and other operating facilities.

The Boards hold regularly scheduled meetings, and the SNO Committee must meet at least six times per year. Members of PG&E management regularly attend Board and Committee meetings. The SNO Committees’ charters specifically require regular review with the CSO of PG&E’s long-term safety goals and objectives, as well as current staffing and budgeting needs.

The following management-level committees and teams are working to ingrain a new level of safety into our business:

  • Enterprise Safety Committee: Meets quarterly to review performance and address gaps and barriers to improvement. In addition to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company CEO and President, members include additional senior PG&E officers and directors, and leaders from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Engineers and Scientists of California (ESC) labor unions.
  • Safety Technical Council: A collaborative forum that reviews and provides input into key safety strategies, initiatives and programs. It also provides a forum for learning across our lines of business. The Council includes the CSO, Enterprise Health and Safety and line of business Safety Directors and leaders from the IBEW and ESC.
  • Line of Business Safety Councils: Responsible for executing plans to reduce and eliminate exposure to safety hazards. 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 strong and proactive safety culture.

At PG&E, the safety responsibilities are shared by our lines of business. This approach is strategic, practical and founded upon the best practice of the industry, recognizing that the hazards within each line of business may be different. We also believe that the people closest to the work know the most about the inherent risk associated with performing it. Encouraging our employees to speak up helps us to better understand and address those risks.

Key safety leadership development and employee engagement initiatives include:

  • Safety leadership development for all operational leaders: All operational and crew leads attend a workshop that creates alignment around safety leadership principles, safety culture and the role leadership plays in reinforcing a strong safety culture.
  • Further integration within our hiring process: PG&E uses pre-hire tests for certain roles ranging from operating clerks to line workers and system operators to assess candidates’ predisposition to follow safe practices. We are also working to determine other jobs where this test may be used.
  • Safety Summits: Throughout the year, teams across our service area hold safety summits to discuss safety and health hazards associated with field level work. These meetings reinforce the importance of safety in our daily work.
  • Strengthening job requirements for field safety specialists: Field Safety Specialists go through a rigorous safety professional development program.