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and coaching supervisors. In general, the division safety specialists have an in-depth
expertise in safety as well as specific knowledge in electric distribution safety.
• The main role of the safety advocate position is to be out in the field full-time interacting
with field coworkers. Their interaction includes: job briefings, review of safety practices
and providing field safety feedback. Ameren is in the process of formalizing the field
safety advocates feedback to enhance their knowledge of field safety issues. A safety
advocate supervisor’s background is generally skilled crafts with extensive knowledge of
electric field work. Interviews with field employees revealed that the role of safety
advocate has been well received.
• Ameren Illinois coordinates some safety activities with Ameren Missouri, but does not
get specific safety direction from them. The Illinois safety organization provides safety
assistance including accident investigation and preparation of safety materials to the
Substation group, which reports into Ameren Missouri.
• Safety training occurs at the operating centers and the Decatur and/or Dorsett training
facilities. Training is provided by the first-line supervisor or the safety specialist or some
combination thereof. The division safety specialists are tasked with ensuring that
appropriate required and discretionary safety training has been accomplished.
• In 2007, the Company initiated the SAFESTART program. SAFESTART reminds
employees to stop and think about the work task at hand and their state of mind. For
example, a poster reminds employees that rushing, frustration, fatigue and complacency
can "cause or contribute to these critical errors" such as "eyes not on task," "mind not on
task," "line-of-fire" and "balance/traction/grip," which increase the risk of injury. Much of
the training associated with this program is conducted by bargaining unit employees.
• Represented employees are keenly aware of the Company’s emphasis on safety, but
some feel it is being driven by the numbers and take exception to the use of discipline
for safety violations. Several interviewees opined that supervisors pay insufficient
attention to safety when there is a large work backlog or when they are under
emergency storm conditions. These opinions could not be substantiated by interviews
with management employees. In general, the bargaining unit employees interviewed
responded well to the Utility’s recently-initiated the SAFESTART program.
• The Company has in effect a safety policy called “The Rules to Live By.” This document
embodies work rules that are critical or fundamental to safety work practices and
potentially could danger employee health and safety if ignored. “The Rules to Live By”
document clearly states that not following these rules will result in immediate
progression to Step Four of the five step disciplinary process, which will result in
immediate suspension. At the same time, the Company is asking employees to discuss
near accident misses so that others can learn. Certain union members indicated they
are fearful to present this information because it could result in discipline. The Utility is
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