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Safety Reports

Regional OSP Safety Meeting July 19, 2016

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**Issue Owners are in BLUE. If you have taken ownership of an issue, please be prepared to provide an update at our next meeting**

**Unresolved / Ongoing Issues**

-On the road driver's safety training.

  • Also referred to as peer to peer driver's training. Scott Germak will look into seeing if we may be able to work it in, depending on the needs of the business.

Updates / Discussion

  • Scott will pick this issue back up and look into it further. There had been discussion about this while we were still VZ. Possibility of using an outside vendor. This needs to be a uniform process across the region. If this does go through, we probably won't see any of it until around October time frame. We will look for an update at our next meeting.

 

-Electrical outlet testers. (Resolved)

  • Many techs conveyed at Day of Safety that they did not have this piece of equipment. Noah asked for the advocates and LCOMs to go back and ensure that these get ordered for those who currently do not have one. Joey Santiago committed to follow up for Eastern Division.

Updates / Discussion

  • This issue seems to have been resolved. None of the advocates spoke up when asked if there was still a need to get these ordered for their area.

 

-Cold closure training

  • Len Goellner will continue to attempt to set up vendor training. He also sent word to logistics to continue to stock heat shrinks.

Updates / Discussion

  • Scott Germak volunteered to take this issue on now that Len is no longer part of the committee. He will reach out to the training center to try to coordinate with the vendor. Training is to be given to some of the advocates and they will then go back to their area to share with their groups. Update to be given at our next meeting.

 

 

 

**Issues from January 26, 2016**

-RF meter locations

  • Marty Rodeffer asked if there was some way to compile a list of where the RF meters were stored. This would ensure that in the event that a broadband tech needs to enter a cell site, they would know where the nearest meter is for them to use.

Updates / Discussion

  • Marty did receive a partial list. Josh Saladino will reach out to the areas that are missing in order to get the list complete. Joey Santiago offered to assist if needed. Once complete, the list will be shared with the appropriate work groups. Update to be given at our next meeting.

 

-Contained dog door hanger

  • Noah brought up an idea on how to lower the incidents of dog bites. If we had a door hanger that we could put on the room where the dog is contained, the chances of someone accidently letting the dog out would go down. Len and/or Geno would look into getting approval and having some printed up.

Updates / Discussion

  • Geno Flori volunteered to take over this issue. He will look into the logistics of getting these made and will update us all at our next meeting. All of the advocates agreed that this is a good way to offer another layer of protection against dog bites.

 

-Incomplete sidewalk sleever kits in New Port (Resolved)

  • If anyone does not have a complete kit, contact Earl or Josh for the correct order IDs.

Updates / Discussion

  • The only discussion we had regarding this issue was if the sledge hammer should weigh six or eight pounds, six pounds was determined to be the proper size. It was also clarified that there would not be a kit for each employee, that they should be stored at the yard and available when needed. Nobody spoke up saying that they did not have access to a kit in their area.

-Tarpon Springs work center address

  • Per Dan Wagner, the given address for the work center is nowhere near the actual address. This has been an issue with 911 services. Len and/or Geno will follow up with real estate to see what the solution is.

Updates / Discussion

  • Aaron Stinson volunteered to look into this further. We were told that the issue had been resolved and that the address now showed as 1950 Plaza Dr. This will be confirmed and real estate will be consulted about the possibility of installing another sign directing people back to the work center. An update will be given on this at our next meeting.

-Vehicle maintenance issues (Resolved)

  • Justin Horne brought up some concerns regarding vehicle maintenance. Examples of vehicles going 12,000 miles past their recommended oil change, engine light repeatedly come on, and other routine issues that are difficult to get addressed.

Updates / Discussion

  • Justin Horne reported that things have gotten much better in his yard and that they were nearly all caught up with PMs.

  • There was great dialogue between the representatives from fleet and the rest of the safety committee. David Carman and Eric Garcia are from fleet management and they reminded everyone to continue to do their daily safety checks and to refer any truck issues to the garage ASAP. We also discussed the roles and responsibilities of the contractors who are currently helping the garages get caught up. If there are any issues with a PM done by a contractor, David asked that they be referred to him.

**New Issues / Ownership**

1.Tire pressure stickers on the vehicles.

Eric Garcia told us that the mix up with the tires has been corrected and that this should not be an issue any longer. He went on to explain that the correct air pressure for any vehicle is located on a sticker on the door panel. He asked that we let everyone know to refer to that sticker for the proper tire inflation.

2. Bumper Mounted Cone Racks (David Carman, Eric Garcia)

Duke Raven asked if there was any possibility of getting cone holders that mount onto the bumper. Some of the trucks have 6+ cones on board and storing them is very cumbersome. David Carman explained to the committee that due to the wide variety of vehicles in the fleet, there is no one size fits all solution. There are also some concerns regarding the air bag sensors that are located in the bumper of some of the vehicles. He went on to say that fleet is currently looking at trying to come up with a uniform system to address the issue.

 

3. Regular Safety Meetings (Jamie McElman)

Justin Horne raised his concern that there are no longer regular safety meetings being held in the yards. Jamie McElman shared with us that safety is currently combining the best practices from Verizon and Frontier. They are also working on distributing a weekly safety topic to be covered in the field as well as safety lesson plans and action plans. Jamie also clarified that Frontier has adopted the Verizon cone policy which states that cones should be used everywhere, including the work centers.

 

4. Different Shirt Styles (Kelly Austin)

Kipp Beard asked if there were going to be any additional options for company shirts. The ones that are currently available are very hot to work in. Kelly Austin advised us that the ordering process has been slow up to this point. There was an email sent out recently telling everyone that the ordering system had opened up. If someone has not yet gotten this email, she asked for them to get with their LCOM. Currently, the vendor is trying to get everyone who has ordered shirts at least one ASAP. There is a tremendous backlog for them to work through so the rest of the order may not ship out for a while. Kelly also said that she will look into the possibility of keeping the dri-fit style shirts that we were able to get before.

5. Gatorade (Geno Flori)

Kipp also brought up that they don't seem to be able to get any more Gatorade in supply. Geno said that he would check with logistics to see if there is an issue on their end and if we can expedite the orders.

6. Stress (All Advocates)

Troy Hamrick wanted to remind everyone that there is still a high stress level being felt by all of the employees. He would like for us to let everyone know that they shouldn't keep the stress bottled up and that it is good to talk about the different things that are affecting them.

7. PPE (All Advocates)

Ron Corgan asked us to go back to our areas and remind everyone that we need to continue using or hard hats and vests. We should be working under the same policies that Verizon had until Frontier comes out with their own.

8. Garage PPE (Josh Saladino)

Benny Reyes commented that the mechanics had not yet been issued any hard hats or vests. Josh Saladino asked Benny to get with his LCOM and if he is still unable to get them, to let him know so that it will get corrected.

9. Circle Check / Driving (All Advocates)

Vernon Burrell asked for us to remind everyone to continue doing their circle checks on their vehicle. He also would like for us to remind everyone about defensive driving and to put special emphasis on following distance. He mentioned that now that the rainy season is here, roadways will often be wet and that we need to adjust our driving accordingly.

 

10. 36inch Cones (Jamie McElman)

Jim Emminger told us that the reflective tape that is supposed to be on his 36 inch cones has come off. When he asked for replacements, he discovered that these were not available in the Frontier ordering system. Jamie said that he is aware of the issue and that they are currently working to get the proper cones added to the system.

11. Ladder Strap

James Gooden had a question about the proper way to use a ladder strap. It was shared that the proper method is determined by the manufacturer and that he would need to refer to those instructions. The older ladder straps require the straps to run straight between the ladder and the pole. The newer ladder straps require that the straps cross one another to form an X between the ladder and the pole.

12. Attic Blower Kits (All Advocates)

Wayne Craig asked where we were at with getting attic blower kits distributed out to the yards. The committee was under the impression that this issue was closed but after some discussion it seems that it is not. Josh Saladino asked for the advocates to go back to their areas and make sure that there was an attic blower kit available to use. If one can't be found, he asked for them to work with the LCOM and ACOM to get a kit put together. If there are any road blocks, refer them to Josh to get it addressed. *Joey Santiago provided an update after the meeting and said that he was not able to locate an attic blower kit anywhere in Eastern Division and that he will get it addressed.

13. Ladders (Steve Johnson)

Scott Fletcher said that there were quite a few ladders in Eastern Division that were in need of attention. He asked if there were any plans to have them inspected and repaired or replaced.

*Joey Santiago provided an update after the meeting and said that he found out that there were some ladders that had not been looked at since 2014. He said that he has asked Steve Johnson to head this project up and that it will start next week. They will repair or replace as necessary.

 

 

 

Minutes Prepared by Josh Saladino   

Inside Plant Safety Committe Meeting August 25, 2010

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The Inside Plant Safety Committee met on August 25th.  Howard Driggers, who works in the St Pete Fsrc, led the meeting with a power point presentation on Ergonomics. He explained that ergonomics is the art and science of reducing physical and psychological problems that might arise from the interaction between people, equipment and the environment.  The risk factors are force, frequency and posture. Force exertions increase your risk of injury. This is caused when your desk is not set up to where everything is within easy reach.

 

Another cause of injury is a workstation that is not set up specifically for you.  It starts with the height of you chair. Your chair height adjustment should ensure that your thighs are parallel with the floor, with a right angle at the knees, with your feet flat on the floor or footrest, if needed.

 

Next, you need to verify the keyboard placement is set up where your wrists are straight while keying. This is to ensure that there is no bend in your wrist up or down. When your wrists are bent slightly in either direction the tendons can get irritated and swell which puts pressure on the median nerve. That is called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and can be extremely painful.

 

In setting up your personal workstation you will also need to make sure your monitor is set up for you. Raise or lower the monitor so that the top of the screen is level or slightly below eye level. This will alleviate pains in your neck from either having to look up or down. It should also be an arms length away from you and in line with the keyboard. This will eliminate the need for turning your neck.

 

Ensuring correct posture is another element of ergonomics. Awkward postures can be caused by your workstation not being set up for you specifically. When you sit in a non-neutral position you are putting uneven forces on your lower back, which cause lower back pain.

 

There is a numerical calculation to setting up your personal workstation. If you need help verifying you work station is set up for you properly please contact your union safety advocate.

     

     In Solidarity,

         Danny     

OSP Safety Meeting August 18, 2010

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The Outside Plant Safety Committee met on August 18. The meeting started with a report of the on-the-job injuries that occurred since our last meeting in June. Those injuries ranged in severity from strains, sprains and pulled muscles to bee/wasp stings. These injuries accounted for 118 days of lost work and 92 days of restricted duty. Please remember to work safe everyday.

 

Since our last meeting we had 11 vehicle accidents. The majority of these accidents were hitting fixed objects. The objects that were hit were posts, telephone poles, parked cars, overhead pipes and a stop sign.  Always walk around the vehicle looking for fixed objects prior to moving the vehicle.

 

We have received many calls requesting safety guidelines. We requested that Verizon provide a booklet with all the safety guidelines be made available to every employee. These guidelines have been put into a booklet and will be given to each employee. These books were handed out at the meeting to the committee and a case was given to each local manager to be given out in their respective area.

 

We also previewed a video on electrical safety awareness. This video will be shown in every work center within the next few weeks. In the video a lineman for a power company explains how his life was forever changed in a fraction of a second. He explains that if he had only followed the safety practices and procedures that were in place he would not have been injured. He was in a hurry and did not think “IT” would happen to him.   Unfortunately, now he lives his life totally dependent on his wife. His lapse in judgment cost him both legs, part of his right arm and 2 fingers on his left arm. I cannot stress enough how important it is to follow the proper safety practices and take your time to ensure you go home to your family safe.   

 

Lastly, basic CPR classes are being scheduled for all tool-carrying members. This was a topic that was brought up in our last meeting in June of this year.

 

Remember our ultimate goal- Everyone goes home safe!!!

 

In Solidarity,

  Danny

St. Pete Main Building

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St. Pete Main OSHA health hazard complaint investigation

On July 20th 2010 an anonymous complaint was filed with OSHA concerning health hazards in the St. Pete main building. The alleged hazards were:

1 Employees are exposed to respiratory hazard from the construction dust and;

2- Employees are exposed to eye hazard from the construction dust and debris.

On Thursday July 22nd an on site meeting was held with Kevin Cantero (Verizon Safety Director), Dean Fogo (Verizon real estate), Bill Delk (Building Maintenance Tech) and I. We contacted the general contractor, Mark Scott who performed the work in question. Mark explained that the carpet on the 3rd floor had been removed on June 8th through June 18th. It was verified that the carpet did not contain asbestos. He also explained on June 28 and 29th there was a wall removed in an office on the 6th floor. This work was performed after 6:00pm on those dates.

Following the meeting Dee Dee Kennicutt (FSRC section manager) joined us for an inspection of each floor. On the 6th floor where the wall had been removed there were no signs of construction dust or debris. The work is completed and the office, in which the wall was removed, is now occupied. On the 3rd floor where the carpet was removed, new carpet was placed and there was no evidence of dust or debris. In addition to the carpet being removed, walls were erected. The walls were prefabricated to fit into place, which did not require any cutting of the ceiling tiles or the newly placed carpet. The other floors, were also, free of any construction dust or debris.

Bill Delk also escorted us to the air condition control room and removed the filters, which showed only a normal condition. He also explained that each floor is isolated, which therefore limits the possibility of dust or debris from one floor contaminating another.

In conclusion, there is still some minor work being done on the 3rd floor break room and restrooms. This work will not be causing a hazards dust condition. With that said, please refrain from using the break room or the restrooms on the 3rd floor.


        In Solidarity,

     Danny Alfonso

June 2010 Inside Plant Safety Meeting

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 Inside plant safety meeting report 

     On June 30th a joint Union/Company Inside Plant Safety meeting was held. The meeting started with a discussion on Hurricane preparedness not only for work but for home as well.

    Most of the discussion was concerning fire drills. The goal each year is to have at least one, unannounced, complete fire drill and one scheduled “partial” drill. The purpose for these drills will be to insure that everyone knows how to evacuate the building safely.

And that each employee knows where they need to meet once outside in order to have an accurate head count to ensure that everyone was out of the building and safe. It was discovered that there have been some buildings that have not had a fire drill for quite some time. We were assured that this will be corrected.

     The next inside plant meeting is tentatively scheduled for August 25th.

Whether you work in inside plant or outside plant remember:

   “The demands of the service or urgency of the job are never so great that we cannot take the time to perform our work safely”

If there are any safety concerns that need to be addressed please contact me

  In Solidarity,

  Danny Alfonso     

June 2010 Outside Plant Safety Meeting

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 Outside Plant- June Safety Meeting Summary 

      On June 16th a joint Union/Company safety meeting was held for outside plant. First on the agenda was the safety accident report where we discussed the injuries and vehicle accidents that have happened since our last meeting in April. Please remember to use the following safe driving habits:

·      Always wear your seat belt.

·      Never allow anything to distract you while driving - cell phone, radio etc.

·      Always use the three second rule when following another vehicle.

·      Avoid aggressive drivers. (over 40,000 accidents a year occur due to aggressive drivers)

    Also we discussed a job hazard analysis. This is a mind set that will help to ensure that the hazards are eliminated. It is a simple 3 step process:

1.    What is the job?

2.    What are the hazards associated with the job?

3.    What are the safeguards (PPE) needed to eliminate the hazard?

      We concluded the meeting with “What is the goal” of the safety committee? The focus should not be on an OSHA recordable accident report, Supervisor matrix or discipline. Our focus must be to ensure that “NOBODY GETS HURT”.

       The next meeting for outside plant is tentatively set for August 18th

Insect Awarness and Prevention - from the Safety Committee

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Due to abundance of rain this year we have had several employees contact us and express concerns over the increased activity of BEES, ANTS and SNAKES.in the Southeast Market Area.  Employee’s have mentioned that the Bee , Wasp, Ant, and Spider  activity in some parts of Southeast has increased in Pedestals, Aerial Closures, BD Boxes, Right-Of-Ways etc.  In the past we have had several injuries related to Spider Bites. 

 

Rainbow "Insectape" (Item ID 527030) is a slow release insecticide that can be placed in terminals, cabinets, and pole mounted equipment.  This product requires you to peel and stick to any clean surface.  This product should keep bees, ants and wasp from making a home in any type of closure.  Vendor claims this product could be effective for 15 months.  (Make sure employees using these products follow Directions for Use and Precautionary Statements listed on each product by the vendor.)

  

Supervisors should also ask their employees if they have a high Allergy to Bee and Wasp stings.  This information can be very helpful in getting them prompt medical attention if they get stung.

Workplace Safety and H1N1

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OSHA has posted a new Web page entitled Workplace Safety and H1N1(http://www.osha.gov/h1n1/index.html).  The Web page includes fact sheets that inform workers and employers about ways to reduce the risk of exposure to the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus at work.  Separate fact sheets for health care workers and employers contain additional precautions.

"Protecting our nation's workers is OSHA's top priority," said Jordan Barab, the agency's acting assistant secretary. "These fact sheets are tools we have developed to help ensure
America's workers stay healthy and our businesses remain viable. OSHA's new fact sheets will help all employers identify appropriate actions to protect their workers."

As new information about the 2009 H1N1 virus becomes available, OSHA will updates these fact sheets.  We encourage employers and workers to visit OSHA's
Workplace Safety and H1N1Web page often to ensure they have the most up-to-date information.

IBEW/National Safety Council Conference

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On October 22, 2009 I attended the IBEW Safety Caucus in Orlando, Florida.  There were over 100 locals at this Caucus.
I also attended the National Safety Council Labor Division Meeting following the IBEW Safety Caucus.

Jim Tomaseski, who is the IBEW Safety & Health Director, gave the International Report.  Most of the report focused on the current economical situation and its effects on locals across the United States and Canada.  One of the topics brought up was how we as Union Members can help to improve Safety, which helps our employers' lower Workers Comp. costs.  The average cost right now on a Workers Comp. claim is well over $12,000.00.  This, of course, hurts our employers' profitability, which hurts all of us when it comes to negotiating for better wages and benefits.

Several Labor Liaisons from OSHA were present, and spoke about the lack of OSHA reps in the field.  Most of these vacancies are due to retirements, and under the Bush administration they were kept vacant.  Under the Obama administration, they will start with the hiring of approx. 100-150 reps immediately.  There is a good chance that with the funding, this could go as high 1,000 over the next couple of years.  It appears with the new administration that OSHA is now refocusing on compliance with the laws.  They are handing out more fines for violations, instead of just warnings.

One of the most interesting topics was about RF exposure.  There are a lot of concerns as to how much exposure to this radiation is too much.  Right now, several studies are under way to try and put more OSHA laws in to the workplace to protect workers. You can read more about this at the following link:

If you're being exposed to Radio Frequency during your work assignments, please visit: http://www.rfcheck.com.  There is an online survey that will help all of us to better understand the dangers associated with RF.

At the National Safety Council, I was able sit in with the Ergonomics Safety & Health Committee.  The focus here was with OSHA becoming more "passionate" about Ergonomics.  During the Bush administration, President Bush signed legislation to repeal federal regulations on work place ergonomics.  This has prevented OSHA from having a strong, enforceable and comprehensive ergonomic standard for labor.  The hope is that the new Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis will quickly focus on bringing out new ergonomic standards.  It's been estimated that American companies could save $20 billion each year in workers' compensation if we were able to eliminate repetitive stress injuries.

On Saturday I went to a training session on "Communicating Safety" and also sat in with the Transportation Safety & Health Committee.  It was a great opportunity to hear about the safety concerns with the airlines, railroad, trucking, etc.

Overall, it was a great experience and I learned a lot.  Hopefully as the economy recovers, more Unions will get behind the National Safety Council and to help each and everyone of us to make our work environments safer.

 

In Solidarity,

John Glye Jr.

SAFETY UPDATE

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On November 4, 2009 the Union and Verizon held a Joint Safety meeting.

We discussed several recent accidents involving technicians in the field who were involved in rear ending other vehicles.
Their was an accident this past week involving a field technician who fell from an extension ladder while working on a mid span. The technician was seriously hurt, and is currently hospitalized due to the injuries suffered from this fall.

MDU/MTU work is causing a great deal of safety concerns for our members at this time. The primary issue is this: Most of this work is aloft on the side of a multi story building. The technicians are unable to safely belt off to protect themselves in the event of a fall. We discussed using a scissor lift, but in many situations that wouldn't work. The company is in the process of finding a product such as ladder stabilizers that can help keep the ladder and member stabilized to cut down on the risk of a fall.

I'd like to remind everyone that safety is each individual's responsibility…if you don't feel safe, DON'T DO IT!!! Call your coach, and if that doesn't fix the situation, call the Hall.

In Solidarity,
John Glye Jr.

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