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Preventing Fatalities in the Utilities Industries

A troubling pattern of declining injury rates yet plateaued fatality rates has emerged across several industries in recent years. The utilities industry is a part of this group, but for utilities the issue is different from other industries in ways that are important to understand. Exposure to fatality precursors in many industries occurs rarely; whereas utility workers frequently work in high hazard environments (e.g. elevation, confined spaces, high voltage environment, and flammable gas presence).

Recognising the hazardous nature of utility work is not new as the industry has acknowledged the importance of safety programs for many years. The industry’s traditional approach to this issue has relied heavily on rules and procedures to drive safety performance, yet safety incidents have persisted despite the emphasis. Why is this happening?

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