This story was originally posted by Stefanie Valentic on EHS Today.
Every decision at CPS Energy is made with safety at the forefront and is integrated into the goals of every employee and contractor.
The nation’s largest municipally-owned, vertically-integrated electric and gas company holds a philosophy that everyone is responsible for safety—whether you are in the field or behind a desk, you can contribute to a safe work environment for all.
“We are more than a power company—we’re neighbors, family and friends,” the company’s application reads. “Our team members work rain or shine to provide safe, reliable and affordable power for our community. Our focus on people first has solidified our customers’ trust in the decisions we make to help power their dreams.”
CPS Energy has taken a linear evolution over the years, escaping a reactive safety culture where employees felt it was someone else’s job to look out for their safety and a lack of management involvement. In the last five years, the company has gone through a four-step process of reactive, dependent, independent and interdependent. Both leading and lagging indicators have been clear indicators of the commitment CPS Energy has made to world-class safety.
The implementation of a Safety Culture department allows CPS Energy to ensure all employees from the top down prioritize and recognize the importance of safety as well as the safety of those around them. With this initiative, the company is able to proactively find risk factors and put control measures in place. Internal safety communications increase awareness of safety topics and knowledge transfer to empower workers to be aware and successful. Leadership takes a proactive role as well with in-field days as well as perpetuating a “Safety is Everyone’s Job” environment.
Each operational area has a dedicated safety professional who is on call 24 hours a day to serve that particular area. These professionals provide monthly safety meeting presentations tailored to the area of responsibility, with a review of safety event notifications (SEN) and behavior-based safety observations that have occurred as well as the lessons learned.
CPS Energy also works to proactively serve its community. It creates emergency response scenarios that simulate real-life crises to such areas as man down drills, fire drills and GridEx to prepare not only the company but the San Antonio Police Department, FBI, the Office of Emergency Management, the city of San Antonio and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) for disaster situations.
“Outreach to our community is monumentally important,” the company states.