PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2021

COVID-19 Response

Workforce Safety

A strong safety culture is fundamental to everything we do at PG&E, yet our recent safety performance has fallen short of significantly reducing the occurrence of injuries and eliminating fatalities. In response, we are implementing a 2025 Workforce Safety Strategy and we are aligning resources to the most important mitigations and controls.

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, we are implementing a lean operating system. Lean practices facilitate the rapid identification of issues and enable faster action and cross-functional coordination to drive continuous improvement. The goal of this system is to improve visibility into all facets of our performance including safety, quality and executing our work.

2025 Workforce Safety Strategy

PG&E employee working on a utility pole PG&E has established a workforce safety strategy through 2025 that includes two major pillars: systems and culture. “Systems” refers to risk management, equipment, processes and procedures. “Culture” refers to coworker engagement, adherence to established requirements, a sense of urgency for safety, and leadership. Focus areas include:

Health and Safety Management System
  • Design, document and implement a clear, actionable safety plan and management system
Enhanced risk management
  • Identify and assess hazards at the task level
  • Improve risk management standards consistent with leading practices, including critical controls
Contractor management
  • Increase supervision and safety officer presence, stronger safety criteria in the contractor selection process, and safety-focused contractor management training for PG&E employees
Standards
  • Improve our safety technical standards by simplifying them, clarifying them, and making them more protective, consistent with leading industry practice
Ergonomics
  • Use data to develop a proactive approach for identifying high risk physically demanding field jobs for detailed evaluations
  • Office ergonomic specialists will use data to proactively work with employees prior to them experiencing discomfort
Safety audits
  • Design and schedule audits to reflect risk-based scope and frequency, with participation from operations and trained auditors
Data management, systems and reporting
  • Improve data capture by including more detail about the reasons behind the most serious incidents
  • Utilize a database to further enhance our ability to digitize checklists, reports and communications, and make the information available to supervisors in the field
Safety culture
  • Emphasize recognizing, reporting and responding to incidents; increase the presence of officers and directors in the field to have informal safety conversations with employees; recognize and celebrate safety practices and accomplishments; provide a safety leadership development course; and use safety as a dimension in talent management and assessment

We also continue to take a multifaceted approach to protect the safety of the public through our operations. These public safety efforts—which involve numerous departments and coworkers—include vegetation management, electric grid sectioning, process safety for gas and electric operations, transportation safety and asset management. This strategy will allow us to better coordinate our planning for these critical efforts and integrate our reporting to ensure data consistency and accuracy.

2020 Milestones

Employee Safety

In 2020, PG&E developed and began executing the key elements of our 2025 Workforce Safety Strategy with several highlights:

  • Leaders in the field: Across all of PG&E, the time supervisors spent in the field with their crews increased from 27% at the start of 2020 to 52% at the end of the year. We also launched Safety Connections, a new initiative to encourage officers and directors to have informal safety conversations with the employees on the job site.
  • Serious Injury and Fatality Investigations: We improved our processes to drive timely serious injury and fatality investigations within 30 calendar days. We also expanded the scope of incident reviews among executive and line of business leadership.
  • COVID-19 Requirements: We included new COVID-19 pandemic-driven safety requirements into our standard safety observation processes. We released a self-assessment tool called LiveSafe that all workers reporting to locations outside their homes are required to use daily.
  • Independent Safety Oversight Committee: We expanded the scope of this committee to gas operations and power generation; it has overseen electric operations since 2019.
  • Home office ergonomic assessments: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and work from home requirements, PG&E initiated home office ergonomic evaluations and equipment support for coworkers. We conducted about 12,370 virtual home office evaluations in 2020.
  • Industrial athlete program: Through this program, specialists work with employees in strenuous, high-risk positions to reduce injuries and improve their physical and mental resilience. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we offered virtual services, a hotline and an enterprise-wide daily live stretch program.
  • National Safety Council (NSC) Safety Barometer Survey: We partnered with the NSC to conduct a safety perception survey with PG&E employees and contractors in order to establish a baseline measure of safety culture and identify opportunities for improvement.

Contractor Safety

A key area of our workforce safety strategy includes strengthening our contractor safety programs to reduce exposure to risk.

We value our contractors and our shared commitment to public and workforce safety. Our Contractor Safety Program requires contractors performing medium- and high-risk work to meet prequalification requirements to perform work for or on behalf of PG&E.

PG&E contractors and subcontractors include roughly 2,000 contractor companies, as well as approximately 31,000 individuals. These contractors worked nearly 51 million hours during 2020, supporting PG&E’s diverse work efforts.

Our Contractor Safety Standard and associated line of business contractor safety oversight procedures set requirements for managing contract work, including procedural steps for each line of business. These procedures include providing post-job safety performance evaluations of contractor work and sharing lessons learned resulting from safety incidents. We use compliance assessments to evaluate our effectiveness and identify any gaps in how we implement the procedures.

Effective June 15, 2020, contractors who perform high- and medium-risk work must notify PG&E of all serious injury and fatality (SIF) events (potential and actual); previously only actual incidents required notification. Contractors will jointly investigate SIF-actual and SIF-potential events with PG&E to increase our learning from all types of serious incidents.

Additionally, for rapid growth companies, we evaluate the contractor’s capacity to respond to the increased staffing by factoring in additional safety measures. In 2020, PG&E reviewed over 140 of these companies.

PG&E has also implemented contractor safety inspection and observation programs, which involve internal safety professionals conducting unannounced job site safety inspections and observations to validate contractor compliance with OSHA, PG&E and job-specific safety requirements.

Measuring Progress

Tragically in 2020, five team members (one employee and four contractors) lost their lives while working for PG&E. Three of the five fatalities were due to a helicopter crash in June 2020.

Seven team members (three employees and four contractors) sustained a serious injury for a total of 12 serious injuries and fatalities. No one should lose their life or sustain a serious injury while at work. We are committed to the standard that the only acceptable number of such incidents is zero.

We saw promising signs of progress by ending 2020 with the lowest Days Away Restricted and Transferred (DART) rate in five years, a 35% reduction over 2019. We also saw improvement in our Contractor DART and OSHA Recordable rates, and our Preventable Motor Vehicle Incident rate.

The table below provides PG&E employee safety statistics for 2018 through 2020:

Employee Safety Statistics
2018 2019 2020
OSHA Recordable Rate Footnote 1 2.94 3.29 2.21
Days Away, Restricted, and Transferred (DART) Rate Footnote 2 1.81 2.05 1.34
Serious Injuries and Fatalities Rate Footnote 3 0.004 0.00 0.02
Serious Injuries and Fatalities Count Footnote 4 1 0 4
Timely Reporting of Injuries Footnote 5 74.9% 75.7% 67.2%
  • 1. 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.1
  • 2. The DART Rate measures how frequently DART cases (injuries that results in days away, restricted or transferred duty) occur for every 200,000 hours worked, or for approximately every 100 employees.2
  • 3. The serious injuries and fatalities (SIF) rate measures how frequently SIF events occur for every 200,000 hours worked, or for approximately every 100 employees. A SIF event includes fatalities, life threatening injuries and life altering injuries.3
  • 4. The SIF actual count includes fatalities, life threatening injuries and life altering injuries.4
  • 5. 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.5

Although the total DART rate for contractors decreased by 27% over the past three years, there was a significant increase in SIF incidents primarily related to vegetation management and electric construction work. The table below provides PG&E contractor safety statistics for 2018 through 2020:

Contractor Safety Statistics
2018 2019 2020
OSHA Recordable Rate Footnote 1 0.93 0.91 0.81
Days Away, Restricted, and Transferred (DART) Rate Footnote 2 0.58 0.47 0.42
Serious Injuries and Fatalities Rate Footnote 3 0.016 0.013 0.032
Serious Injuries and Fatalities Count Footnote 4 3 3 8
  • 1. 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 contractor employees.1
  • 2. The DART Rate measures how frequently DART cases (injuries that results in days away, restricted or transferred duty) occur for every 200,000 hours worked, or for approximately every 100 contractor employees.2
  • 3. The serious injuries and fatalities (SIF) rate measures how frequently SIF events occur for every 200,000 hours worked, or for approximately every 100 contractor employees. A SIF event includes fatalities, life threatening injuries and life altering injuries.3
  • 4. The SIF actual count includes fatalities, life threatening injuries and life altering injuries.4

The following table provides employee motor vehicle safety statistics for 2018 through 2020:

Motor Vehicle Safety Statistics
2018 2019 2020
Preventable Motor Vehicle Incidents Rate Footnote 1 2.79 2.91 2.61
Serious Preventable Motor Vehicle Incidents Rate Footnote 2 0.19 0.35 0.29
  • 1. The Preventable Motor Vehicle Incidents Rate measures how frequently drivers could have reasonably avoided an incident per 1 million miles driven.1
  • 2. The Serious Preventable Motor Vehicle Incidents Rate measures preventable incidents that included towing, over $5,000 in damage to a PG&E vehicle or any party needing treatment away from the scene.2

PG&E also actively tracks several leading indicators which can inform adjustments that need to be made before a potential incident occurs. These measures will help us more deeply embed safety in our operations and to encourage coworkers to speak up. They include:

  • Closure of SIF investigation within 30 days
  • Overdue SIF related corrective actions
  • Corrective Action Program participation rate
  • Percent of Corrective Action Program issues closed on time
  • Percent of anonymous Corrective Action Program submissions