September 2008

Walking the line, safety style

We’re walking the walk, but we’re also talking the talk.

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Jason Merritt (left) and Steve Hinch, linemen with Transmission Operations & Maintenance, frame a steel pole structure to replace a decayed wood pole structure on the Melton Hill-Harriman, Melton Hill-Loudon 69-kV lines.

Lineman Jeremy Terry is happy most people at TVA are sharing his team’s habit: safety discussions before every job.

“We have pre-job safety meetings before we begin work each day,” says Terry. “At the end of the day, we review how things went, and how we can be even safer the next day.”

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Lineman Jeremy Terry works on another structure on the same lines. The workers hold daily onsite pre-job and post-job briefings, review job-safety analysis for high-hazard work, have pre-operational inspections of their heavy equipment, use protective equipment such as fall protection, hard hats, safety glasses and leather gloves, and watch out for each other.

While that may seem more necessary for folks perched 40 feet in the air and taking care of 16,000 miles of lines in weather good and bad, the truth is, accidents are bad no matter where they happen, so everyone needs to keep safety first. And that’s why safety is always the top consideration in every workplace.

“The culture is important,” says CEO Tom Kilgore. “And it’s important that ours is a safety-conscious culture. As we say often, we want to make sure all of our employees go home at night to their homes and families, and that takes all of us working together at all times.”