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Outside Plant Safety Meeting January 2018

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 Outside Plant

Safety Meeting

January 16, 2018




Manhole Lid issues – Having trouble with pullers/ need magnetic pullers or lids replaced.  Doug Spurlin, Earl Dowdy, Ed Trego and Myself went out and visited a site to see the issues that the technicians are experiencing with atmospheric testing, removing the lids, etc.  Doug Spurlin is looking into ordering some magnetic pullers for a trial period to see how well they work for short term.  Lambert has new Manhole Lids that can replace the lids that don’t meet standards for long term goals. 


Gas Detectors – Calibration Issues.  We need equipment to be ordered to replace the units that are sent out for calibration.   Does Frontier outsource all calibration nationwide or is this something we could do internally?  Trouble appears to be with the Vendor losing the equipment.  Material Handlers provide tracking #’s with no results.  Gas Detector Calibrations are taking over 3 months to get back.  I sent the tracking #’s I had to Doug and Earl to follow up on. 


Propane Tanks on the Hesco’s – Ray Causey is tracking it.  If you have a tank that has expired or is close to expiring, provide the info to Ray and the tank should be removed from service and replaced with a validated tank.  Joe Dolphy recommends marking the tanks that have expired to prevent the tanks from refilled and coming back into circulation. 


Ray Causey provided this update after the meeting; Ray contacted Suburban for an exchange program. The plan is to have racks to swap out the cylinders in the yards. I’m waiting on them to get back to me with a date for when they can place the racks and tanks.  They will bill operations and Logistics separately for the tanks used. 


Safety Related Discipline – Kelly Austin was going to research whether or not the Company was going to explain Frontiers policy to all of the employees that could face safety related discipline.  Kelly will provide an update.  Kelly shared that she has notified Management in outside Plant to contact her regarding any discipline related to safety.  She will advise them how to proceed.  Noah brought up that employees should be provided more opportunity for training since the Company could possibly take money away (suspend) from employees for safety infractions.  Joe Dolphy explained that there are hyperlinks on the Link for Safety Bulletins. 


Storm Notification – Kelly Austin shared that she spoke with Len Goellner and he advised that he will look into prior to next storm.  She also spoke with Bob Elek and he advised her that all e-mail communication for the storms comes from Operating Area 3 and employees should not receive many e-mails from that area.  She also noted that once you open the e-mail there is a banner identifying what the e-mail is about.  I asked for the banner title to be placed in the subject line to allow employees to find certain topics faster without having to open every e-mail to find a specific one. 


Desiccant – Joe Dolphy will discuss proper procedures

Pole Attachments – There are a couple of pictures above so you can see a few of the improper pole attachments and 1 proper attachment.  Jim Emminger would like to know if we could have a display made up to take around and show the techs in each yard, what to look for?  Joe has informed me that they did meet with Teco and they are ordering the proper attachments for future use, but they will also provide Frontier with locations that transfers were complete so our Line-crews can inspect the transfer to verify that all work was done correctly.  Joe would you mind discussing this more?

Jaime provided an update after reviewing both bottles of desiccant.  He stated that with both we should be wearing the P95 Dust Masks.  Both products have the same ingredients, the newer version has been ground more finely, therefore it creates the puff of smoke when poured out of the can.


New items to be discussed


            Previous quarter Safety incidents – I separated the incidents into different categories based on how someone received an injury at work.  Then I sorted them out from most to least injuries.  There are actions we can all take while at work that may reduce our risk of injury.  I’m not saying that in every case there was a 100% way to avoid the injury.  In the examples below, I’m simply stating that there may be ways to reduce the risk of injury.


The first category is Walking/Running.  If you look at the different injuries, you will find that some of these could have been prevented with a pre-job survey.  Remind your co-workers to take a few extra minutes and walk out the job and make mental notes of where items are located, how we can safely get around them, etc. 


            The Second most common injury was related to bites/stings.  While we need to be aware of our surrounding, most of the recorded incidents occurred unexpectedly. 


            The Third most common injuries were related to Loading/Unloading the company vehicles.  We may need to remind everyone that we should perform our morning stretches as it appears some of these injuries were related to twisting while lifting.  Also, we need to be careful when attempting to catch falling items. 


            Vehicle Accidents came in #4.  Fortunately, it appears as if none of the employees involved, caused the accident.  Unfortunately, they were still involved in an accident. 


#5 Pulling/Lifting – In some of these cases, the strains, pulled muscles, etc. may have been avoided by stretching.  In a couple of these incidents, the injuries were causing because the employees lost footing.  A pre-job survey may have helped the employees reduce the risk of injury. 


#6 Work in Attics – These injuries all occurred while working in an attic.   Most involved the employee getting punctured by nails. 


#7 Kneeling/Standing – these injuries occurred while an employee was either Kneeling to do their job or when moving to a standing position. 

Take a moment to review these as well.


#8 Digging – 3 of the injuries occurred while the employee was kicking the shovel.  The other was caused due an employee losing his/her footing.


#9 Drilling – One injury was caused while the technician was applying pressure to the drill.  Another was caused because the drill bit got hung up in the wood and forced the drill to rotate, hitting the employee on the side of the head. 


#10 Miscellaneous -


Do we have any new items that need to be discussed or possibly any items that I may have forgotten from any previous meetings?


Verizon Wireless Poles – 45 and 60 foot poles.  Need escort/ Road Closures when transporting poles.  Also, not all Line Crews have the 3 stage boom, which make it unsafe for our line crew to set 60 foot poles. 


Verizon Wireless Transfers – Work Orders requesting our line crews to lower the Frontier Cable for Verizon Wireless to put their attachment on the poles.  Some cases, it would require our Lineman to lower the cable below the DOT regulations. 



Justin brought up the need for having the pole transfers inspected to make sure the Power Companies and/or contractors completing the transfers are using the proper hardware and installing it correctly. Jim stated that they are still finding transfers that were completed by Withlacoochee where the cable was simply placed on top of a J-hook.   Joe Dolphy stated that we need to make sure that we are performing pole test and mid span tests before climbing.  He also stated that the preferred method is placing ladder on the pole and using the cable as a last resort. 


We are going to have more display boards made up, so the line crew can go around and explain to the techs what to look for when inspecting the hardware.  If you come across improper hardware, please notify the Construction/Line Crew manager.


Safety Rodeo vs Day of Safety – It appeared as the majority of workers present preferred the safety Rodeos.  Not all techs got to go through the day of safety.  Could we combine the two programs to have a more consistent program?  Would be better to schedule early spring, rather than during the summer months to allow more techs to go through it.  Need a portion of the safety day to include safety measures for different departments (i.e., Construction, Line-crew, etc.)  Last few were more designed for the FNFT’s.  Could we have one day for the entire Line-crew, all Divisions, so they could talk amongst themselves about different procedures. 


Talking about stings/bites, etc.  Ricky mentioned 2 techs at causeway that are allergic to certain bites/ stings.  They must use an Epi Pen.  He recommends talking to you co-workers to discover if any of them use an Epi-pen for any allergic reaction and to find out where they keep it in case you are working with them and they have an allergic reaction.  You could help save your co-workers life. 


George reminded everyone that this is cold/flu season and to cover your cough & sneeze, wash your hands, and sanitize.


Marty talked about One Fiber placing wireless Antennas on top of poles in certain areas.  Joe talked about there being Allowable Levels and Approach Distances.  Denny will look for more information on this issue.  We will need safety topics covered with all employees to address concerns.   Currently they antennas are being installed in Tampa, Western and NorthWestern Divisions.


There was serious discussion about the use of Cynch-Loks Climbing Belts and Pole Rescues.  The Lineman that are using the new style of belts are requesting training on Pole rescue, in the event one of their co-workers passes out on a pole.  Currently there is no plan in place, other than to call 911.  The Lineman do not feel that this is sufficient since it could take emergency crews 15 minutes or more to get to them, let alone the time spent performing the rescue.  This could be a matter of life or death for an employee. 


Joe Dolphy –said he would take this back and try to find out more information.    Will follow up.


DOT medical Cards – Why does Frontier require them?  No one goes Interstate.  They all stay Intrastate.  If had to go out of State for emergency work, they could get a temporary permit allowing them to go. 


Work Lights for the Line Crew/ Construction etc. for poles down issues.   When there is an accident and the Power Company is there, they have plenty of light.  Once the Power Company leaves, sometime it’s extremely dark and difficult to work.  A suggestions was made to have Bob’s Barricades or equivalent bring out a light rack.  Jeff stated that sometimes they take hours to get there and they would like to be more productive in a timely manner. 


Splitters in the Hubs – With the current B-Pon to G-Pon migration, there are concerns about whether or not it is safe to open a hub.  Not enough room in the Hubs for all of the splitters.  The Fiber strands are just hanging there at eye level.  Will have to do more research.  Please provide examples and try to schedule a time for a field inspection.