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Quick response, preparedness lead to effective rescues, safety experts say

From the June 21, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published June 21, 2013

A good utility worker safety program focuses on prevention, according to an article in Public Power magazine. 

Although staying safe is priority one, utility crews also must be trained to respond whenever accidents occur, writes William Atkinson in the article. It is critical that utilities spend the appropriate time, money and other resources training workers in, at a minimum, five areas, which can include pole-top rescue, bucket-truck rescue, the proper use of automated external defibrillators, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid. 

While many hours can be spent training workers in how to make sure they and their co-workers stay safe on the job, the utilities with the best safety records have a strong commitment to providing professional safety equipment and making sure workers wear and use the equipment in all of the right situations.

But to really make safety training sink in, it needs to be second nature, experts told Atkinson. Safety training should be repetitive and frequent, said Michael Hyland, APPA’s senior vice president of engineering services. "You also need to do a good job of record-keeping to make sure all employees, not just some of them, are receiving the training," he said. "If someone misses a class, it is important to arrange for that person to get to another class somewhere nearby, or to schedule a make-up class if a few employees miss."

For more about the hallmarks of effective safety training, see the article on

Subscriptions to the electronic and print editions of Public Power and all other APPA periodicals are free to all employees and governing board members of APPA member utilities and associate members. An online subscription signup form is on


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Senior Vice President, Publishing 
Jeanne Wickline LaBella

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