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Rules and How to Make Them Work

Posted 4/1/2017

Our clients have often heard me ask, “How do you get a good idea off of the conference room table and into the field?” and “Why would anyone violate a safety rule that everyone says is a good one that they all agree with?”

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A Lesson Learned the Hard Way

Posted 4/1/2017

By Robert Tutt, Black Warrior EMC

We learned a hard lesson about our new trailer. Maybe you can benefit from hearing what happened to us. 

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A Look Back, and Ahead, for New Year’s Day

Posted 12/31/2016

By R. Bruce Wright, CPCU

New Year’s Day is often a time for taking stock, making resolutions and looking ahead, a heavy lift indeed for a single day!

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Workers’ Compensation Cost Basics: Simplifying the Complex

Posted 12/31/2016

By R. Bruce Wright, CPCU

In a perfect world, there would be no employee injuries, but we don’t live in a perfect world, so injuries continue to occur and claims must be paid.

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Is Your Website ADA Compliant? Think This is a Joke? (Better Read On.)

Posted 10/1/2016

Has your utility been on the receiving end of a demand letter regarding your Website’s compliance with the ADA? Several have, so even if you haven’t gotten one, you may have heard about it from others through the grapevine, or at meetings or other gatherings of utility personnel. Pretty much everyone who has heard of this issue has had a similar, if unprintable, reaction. So what’s going on here?

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Broadband & Fiber-optic Lines; a Pitfall For Utilities?

Posted 10/1/2016

Providing rural America with access to high-speed Internet connections is a hot topic these days. It has even been the subject of that least rural newspaper, The New York Times! (To read that article, you can click here.) But before signaling full speed ahead, it may be a good idea to look for potential pitfalls lurking on the path to a high-speed, Internet-connected future.

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Drone Rules, Now Updated, Leave Many Questions Up in the Air!

Posted 7/1/2016

R. Bruce Wright, CPCU

On June 21, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration finally issued rules on the operation of drones by private operators. The new rules landed with the impact of a falling feather, but at least they are a start.

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A Walk Down Memory Lane - Is Nostalgia What It Used To Be?

Posted 7/1/2016

R. Bruce Wright, CPCU

Not long ago I was visiting a rural power distribution utility in our program and I had the opportunity to meet the new, young GM for the first time. He told me about his first full year in the position, about coming in from the outside the company, outside the industry, and about his experiences in the process. As our conversation progressed through the familiar elements of their safety program I was struck by how much has changed since I first started working with this group of utilities back in the Dark Ages, or more specifically, in the late 1970s. 

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Drones are coming, drones are coming!

Posted 4/1/2016

R. Bruce Wright, CPCU

(Actually, they are already here.)

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Weed eaters and fiberglass security light poles don’t get along!

Posted 4/1/2016

by David Akin—Safety and Training Coordinator with EMEPA 

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Your Company Culture’s Effect on Safety; Just Lip Service or Something More?

Posted 1/1/2016

What is “company culture?” How can you tell what yours is? Why should you care?

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Glove Box Accident Report Forms

Posted 1/1/2016

A practical guide for drivers’ accident reports.

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Available Training Sessions

Posted 10/1/2015

There has been enough turnover among our contacts since January of 2002 when we last posted a reminder about our training sessions that it may be time for a reminder!

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Underbuilt Attachments & Abandonment

Posted 10/1/2015

I bet you think I am going to write about abandoned cable TV lines on utility poles, but I am not!

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“Code Blue:” Active Shooters and What We All Need to Know.

Posted 6/29/2015

What do we know about “active shooter” incidents? Who commits them? And why? What are the facts about these incidents?  What can we do about them at our utility? Answers to these questions and more are covered in this article on “Code blue,” active shooters and what we need to know.

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It’s Spring, and a Farmer's Fancy Turns to Thoughts of Really Big Tractors!

Posted 4/1/2015

Ever larger farm machinery is increasing the frequency and expense of potentially serious contacts with power lines and poles in rural America.

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An AED True Story

Posted 4/1/2015

  "The morning was just like any other ordinary morning as my wife Rhonda and I headed off for work."

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New Year’s Resolutions -- Our Top Three Suggestions

Posted 1/1/2015

New Year’s Day is the traditional time for resolutions, usually aimed at self-improvement and often drawn from reflections on the past.

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Looking Forward to Backing Safely

Posted 1/1/2015

Backing accidents are among the most frequent types of vehicle accidents reported by utilities insured in this program. Many of these are minor, but certainly not all!

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Guns in the Workplace

Posted 7/1/2014

 


Editor's Note: Over the course of the past year or two there has been a sharp increase in the number of questions about firearms in the workplace put by members of this program. The questions have come from all sides of the issues, from how to bar all firearms from the work premises to how to decide where, when, and by whom arms should be permitted for protection. I have had a number of lengthy conversations with a fair number of utility employees, both with safety professionals in one-on-one meetings and with other employees during training sessions. As a result, I thought the time had come to seek some independent professional legal advice on this topic.

What follows below is an overview of the issues surrounding this topic, including a brief review of the applicable statutes, both Federal and State (where they exist) along with some comments on “best practices” in this area. This article was written by Mark Barber, a consulting attorney to the Hurtado & Associates Power Distribution Insurance Specialists program.


 

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Learning from Other People’s Experiences — The Less Costly Approach to Learning!

Posted 4/1/2014

The Hurtado & Associates Utility Insurance Program has been carefully designed to meet the needs of its varied members, with a wide range of coverages built-in or automatically included, and with the added ability to provide unusual coverages when they are needed. Throughout the decades that this program has existed it has been continuously improved as the needs of the group and the abilities of the insurance marketplace have evolved. Change, it seems, is the only constant in this business!

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A Way to Improve Your Inspection Programs

Posted 4/1/2014

Recently, during a consultation visit to a utility insured in this program, the discussion turned to inspections and the value that inspection visits can add to building a safety culture within a company. The Safety Officer I was visiting (I will call him “Mark”) articulated a particularly clear vision of the benefits that inspections can provide that went beyond what we usually hear. I thought it might be good to share this approach with everyone.

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NRECA EXPO 2014

Posted 4/1/2014

Since its founding, this program has supported it member cooperatives by attending the annual meeting vendor show, now known as the EXPO.

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Work Zone Safety - Traffic Control

Posted 1/1/2014

Line work is inherently risk-laden. Most work areas where line crews operate are “off site,” where exposures are more challenging to control.

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San Antonio Hosted 2013 Safety Summit

Posted 1/1/2014

Safety was in the spotlight this past October at the second ever NRECA Safety Leadership Summit in San Antonio.

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