Research suggests that the average adult makes approximately 35,000 decisions each day. For PLH Group employees and others working for the power line construction and pipeline construction companies, many decisions on the jobsite determine the safety of the workforce. Thorough health and safety programs, as well as preventative measures, aid workers to make safe and conscious decisions. Circumstances will exist, however, where sound judgement is necessary. It is for those situations especially that all stresses and distractions on the jobsite must be minimized to successfully ensure safe and sound judgement is practiced by all employees at all times.
The nation’s power line and pipeline systems are complex and intricate. PLH Group companies diligently work on these complicated systems that span from border to border and coast to coast to provide safe, reliable energy throughout the nation. The variety of professional services offered by PLH Group companies ranges from power line, pipeline, station, and facility construction, installation, and maintenance to aerial emergency response and horizontal directional drilling. In an industry where it is imperative to prioritize health and safety, PLH Group utility construction companies must reduce jobsite stresses and distractions — like those derived from social media, global pandemics, complacency, mobile communication, urgent deadlines, national crises, and demanding schedules — to maintain an uninterrupted commitment to health and safety throughout the workday.
Air2 flying lineman secures his harness prior to working on the HV transmission lines
The PREVENT System is the cornerstone of PLH Group’s safety program. Using QR codes linked to short videos, PREVENT integrates safe work practices into every step of a task and is at the fingertips of all employees for use anywhere, at any time. The program utilizes elements of behavioral and performance based systems to encourage a questioning attitude and provide functional solutions to situations encountered during task execution. It reduces scenarios that depend on sound judgement versus predetermined task processes.
It is impossible, though, to completely eliminate all decision-making situations on the jobsite. Actions can be taken to help crews reduce worksite stresses and distractions to maintain situational awareness and conscience decision-making.
These actions include:
Clearly communicate. Unanticipated events, like the current COVID-19 global pandemic, often require altered or additional jobsite policies and procedures. These response plan changes may create uncertainty or confusion if not clearly communicated.
Complete comprehensive pre-job briefs. Thoroughly preparing employees for power line and pipeline work mitigates surprises and allows teams to identify potential construction hazards before work begins.
Avoid complacency. When workers are complacent, they are more likely to allow their minds to wander away from the task. Remind them of the significant potential for injury with high-risk tasks.
Identify workers not fit for duty. Managers, supervisors, and peers should be able to visually identify and evaluate distracted workers, as well as understand the appropriate response to ensure safe work.
Minimize worksite stress and deadline pressure. Workers may become too focused on meeting deadlines that they lose situational awareness and curtail important process details.
Limit electronic devices. Not only is the accessibility of an electronic device a distraction, but sound from the device could also be a potential hazard if it masks sounds that may otherwise alert workers on the construction site to an issue or nearby hazard.
Require safe cell phone use. Safety hazards are present throughout construction sites. Workers should always stop walking or working if reading their cellphones to have clear situational awareness.
Take frequent breaks. Small breaks throughout the shift give workers the opportunity to address physical and mental distractions, as well as provide workers time to refresh.
Eliminate known hazards. If specific hazards are continually identified, fix them at the source so they do not cause a repetitive distraction.
PLH Group understands that potential hazards are present throughout power line and pipeline construction jobsites. With diligence and a commitment to the health and safety of its workforce, PLH Group encourages and helps crews curb stress and distractions, especially within the gates of the worksite.