Safety Summit (Sep 01-03)

Safety is a paramount issue within the utility industry. Safety professionals work tirelessly to manage risk, avoid incidents and ensure safety through a variety of programs and initiatives geared toward employees and consumers. This summit is designed for gas and electric utility safety professionals, and spans across three unique, topical tracks: Safety Strategy and Policy, Electric Safety Work Methods and Gas Safety Work Methods. Content is designed to promote safety culture through discussions related to the education and training that can influence utility operations, as well as address some of the challenges and successes associated with developing strategy.

Register Now

General Details

Program Chairs
Manny Albert, Director, Safety + Environment, FortisAlberta
Lisa Stewart, Project Manager, Spectra Energy Transmission
Mark Taylor, Director, Field Resource Development, ENMAX Corporation

Program Location
Portland General Electric
121 Southwest Salmon Street
Portland, OR 97204

Who Should Attend
Safety Strategy + Policy

  • Safety Strategy and Policy – Senior management level safety professionals from both electric and natural gas responsible for developing and maintaining safety policy, culture and standards. This forum is open to energy members only.
  • Electric Safety Work Methods – Managers, trainers, supervisor, safety advocates and team leads responsible for safe work methods and practices among employees. Service company members encouraged to attend.
  • Gas Safety Work Methods – Operations managers at 1st or 2nd level supervision of employees at local distribution or gas pipeline companies, managers responsible for safe work practices among their employees or who implement training on natural gas operations work methods and safety advocates and team leads interested in learning how to best promote safety. Service company members encouraged to attend.

Registration Options
The prices are the same for each of the three program selections.
Member Conference Registration: $549
Regular Conference Registration: $1099
Member Conference Registration + Vendor Display: $749
Regular Conference Registration + Vendor Display: $1299
+ Booth Assistant: $200
+ Guest Pass: $100

Member prices increase $100 after August 11. Booth assistant passes are available for $200 each once the main vendor registration is complete and includes all food functions with vendors. Conference Registration fee includes all sessions, comprehensive meeting materials and all food events. Conference Registration + Vendor Display includes full meeting registration, and one of six vendor display tables available. A guest pass with a conference registration includes networking reception and dinner.
The Safety Strategy + Policy sessions are currently sold out. Contact Eric to inquire if availability changes.

Program Sponsor
Potelco Awards15503




For more information contact Eric Christenson at 971.230.6984.

General Agenda

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Hosted WEI Reception
Join Safety professionals in a hosted reception at Portland’s Rock Bottom Brewery, located just a few blocks from the hotel.
206 Southwest Morrison Street
Portland, OR 97204
Followed by dinner on your own.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Catered Networking Breakfast

8:00 AM – 8:05 AM
Safety Moment

8:05 AM – 8:30 AM
Portland General Electric’s Safety Journey – A CEO’s Perspective
Speaker:Jim Piro, President & CEO, Portland General Electric
PGE is on a journey to zero injuries. Join PGE President and CEO Jim Piro as he describes efforts to strengthen the safety culture at the 126-year-old company. He’ll share struggles and successes that have taken place along the way in the drive to ensure a strong safety culture at PGE.

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
Risk Tolerance – The Ten Influencing Factors of Why Workers Accept Risk
Speaker: Dave Fennell, Director, Dave Fennell Safety, Inc.
“Why do individual workers and groups of workers take risks?” This presentation answers that question. An extensive research project was conducted by Dave Fennell and the ExxonMobil Human Factors Centre of Excellence to explore the science behind risk perception and risk acceptance. The principles behind Risk Tolerance will be explained and the Ten Influencing Factors of Why Workers Accept Risk will be discussed in detail. Participants will gain an understanding of how to recognize each of the risk tolerance factors in the their work place and they will be provided with strategies that they can use to help workers, groups of workers and even organizations reduce their acceptance of risk. Participants will come away with new approaches and techniques that will help them better manage all aspects of safety where the individual choices of workers impacts the safety culture of the site. Dave will demonstrate how to apply the results of this comprehensive research by using simple tactics that can be applied immediately in your safety management systems and workplaces.

9:30 AM – 9:45 AM
Break with Vendor Displays

9:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Concurrent Sessions (view program tabs for separate agendas)

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Lunch with Vendor Displays

1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Concurrent Sessions (view program tabs for separate agendas)

3:30 PM – 3:45 PM
Break with Vendor Displays

3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Concurrent Sessions (view program tabs for separate agendas)

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Hosted Dinner

McCormick & Schmick’s Harborside at the Marina
309 SW Montgomery St
Portland, OR

Sponsored by:

Henkels + McCoy-01




Thursday, September 03, 2015

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Catered Networking Breakfast

8:30 AM – 8:35 AM
Safety Moment

8:35 AM – 10:15 AM
Concurrent Sessions (view program tabs for separate agendas)

10:15 AM – 10:30 AM

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Operations Executive Panel
Speakers: Jimmie Cho, Senior VP, Gas Operations & System Integrity, Southern California Gas Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company
Cameron Aplin, Vice President, Operations, FortisAlberta
Bill Nicholson, Sr. VP Customer Services, Transmission & Distribution, Portland General Electric
John Higgins, Vice President, Gas Transmission and Distribution Operations, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Senior Executives from US and Canada will share their insight into leading Operations with a cultural and practical application of Safety. You are invited to share your questions with the panel as we affirm the commitment of a safe energy company to employees, contractors, and members of the general public.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
2016 Safety Programs Leadership Planning Meeting (Optional)
Program Development Team members from all three groups will meet as a group to discuss what went well, what could be improved, and determine leadership for the 2016 Safety Summit. Anyone who is interested in helping to build the agendas and topics for next year are invited. Please indicate your attendance during registration. Lunch is provided.

Strategy + Policy

This agenda includes sessions only for this program offering listed as concurrent sessions on the general agenda.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

9:45 AM – 10:45 AM
Seattle City Light and The Other 16 – Safety Culture Begins at Home
Speakers: Deloris Marks, Division Administrator, Utility Support Services , Seattle City Light
Darwyn Anderson, Safety, Health and Wellness Director, Seattle City Light
Susan Paine, Safety, Health & Wellness Compliance Advisor, Seattle City Light
Seattle City Light’s Safety Culture has undergone a significant transformation through the involvement of two leading key initiatives of Safety, Health, and Wellness programs: employee led projects (The Other 16) and by leadership doing executive site assessments on a regular basis. Learn how this increased involvement and investment of time at all levels within the organization, with the focus on safety has led to positive shifts in the safety culture and support our leading indicators for improving utility safety and our utilities continuous improvement.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Safety at BC Hydro — Employee Engagement and the Leadership Challenge
Speaker: Lisa Seppala, Director, Safety Strategy & Compliance, BC Hydro
A troubling safety record and an employee fatality at Cranbrook Substation in August of 2010, led to a significant re-think on safety. A front-line safety taskforce was formed and made 21 recommendations to improve safety in the organization, many pointing to the need for a change in culture. Now five years later, the organization is working to raise the bar again with new leadership, big, bold goals and a focus on increasing the visibility of leadership and safety performance across the organization and with its contractors.

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
FortisAlberta – Measuring Safety Culture
Speaker: Manny Albert, Director, Safety & Environment, FortisAlberta
From the executive level, to the field, to the office staff, and the warehouse, is the safety culture consistent and healthy all the way through the organization? FortisAlberta shares their safety perception survey results showing the state of the company’s safety culture.

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Creating Partnerships with a Focus on Safety Culture
Speakers: Manny Albert, Director, Safety & Environment, FortisAlberta
James Duke, Safety Director, Idaho Power Company
Through partnering with safety and operational leaders in other organizations across WEI, Idaho Power was able to utilize shared ideas to customize their program to enhance safety culture. This session will share their journey, strategic partnerships, challenges, as well as solutions to improving their safety awareness and performance.

3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Topical Roundtable
Facilitator: Jack Grimmer, VP, EHS & Quality Assurance, HAWAI’I GAS

Thursday, September 03, 2015

8:35 AM – 9:15 AM
Critical Observation Training
Speakers: Michael Dammann, Principal Consultant, Black & Veatch
Phil Smithers, Director, Safety & Health Services, Arizona Public Service Company
Black and Veatch with Arizona Public Service discuss the initial climate and around safety and coordinating safety observations, and the after-change in culture in climate following the organizations training engagement. Critical Observation program through partnership with B&V and APS.

9:15 AM – 10:15 AM
Open Roundtable and Program Wrap-up
Facilitator: Steven Harkin, Senior Safety Compliance Consultant, Pacific Power
Continued conversations around best practices and solutions to issues. We will begin to create a list of topics for future programs as well.

Electric Methods

This agenda includes sessions only for this program offering listed as concurrent sessions on the general agenda.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

9:45 AM – 10:45 AM
Introduction and Roundtable Discussion: Incident Review
Facilitator: Mark Taylor, Field Resource Development Director, ENMAX Corporation
Speakers: Darryl Pederson, Supervisor, Safety & Work Methods, FortisAlberta
Brian Erga, President, ESCI Inc.
Travis Englehart, Supervisor- Safety Department, Puget Sound Energy
This closed door session provides an opportunity for a candid discussion on events surrounding workplace accidents and near misses. The objective is to understand what happened and to learn from one and other; the focus will be on distilling the lessons learned to prevent the same type of thing from happening at your company.
We will talk about what happened, causal factors, and outcomes.
Presentations will include pictures and take 5-10 minutes.
We would prefer people not take notes and that what is discussed in the room stays in the room.
Half the session time will be open for participants to share their stories (please make sure you have received clearance from your organization).

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Ergonomics Innovations
Facilitator: Darryl Pederson, Supervisor, Safety & Work Methods, FortisAlberta
Speaker: Steven Rigby, Lineman, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Join us for a presentation on how Pacific Gas and Electric performed an ergonomic intervention at a large utility. Topics covered will include training, change management, ergonomic tools, ergonomic video tailboards, and yard ergonomics

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Top Ideas to Steal
Speakers: Mark Taylor, Director, Field Resource Development, ENMAX Corporation
Billy Roeder, Human Resources Training Leader, Idaho Power Company
Brian Erga, President, ESCI Inc.

Topics on:
Electronic Tailboards
Comprehensive Timeline for Apprentice Lineman
Hard Hat Programs

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Equal Potential Bonding and Grounding of Overhead Primary Circuits
Facilitator: Billy Roeder, Human Resources Training Leader, Idaho Power Company
Speakers: Darryl Pederson, Supervisor, Safety & Work Methods, FortisAlberta
Brian Erga, President, ESCI Inc.
Equal Potential Bonding and Grounding of Overhead Primary Circuits is an everyday occurrence in the duties of a Power Line Technician at FortisAlberta. Failure to properly follow procedures, puts the workers at serious risk. FortisAlberta shares their insight about their EB&G program, that has been in place for the past 24 years.

3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Ongoing Training Programs for Journeyman Electrical Workers
Facilitators: Brian Erga, President, ESCI Inc.
Billy Roeder, Human Resources Training Leader, Idaho Power Company
Speakers: Darryl Pederson, Supervisor, Safety & Work Methods, FortisAlberta
Jeff Wilding, Manager, Safety Improvement & Employee Qualification, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Ensuring existing Journeyman Power Line Technicians are keeping up-to-date with standards and technology, is a key goal at the Post Journeyman Training program at FortisAlberta, that has been in place since 1986. The program has changed formatting over the years, but the success of the program ensures that workers are qualified for the work they are required to perform and transfer that experience to new employees in the trade. FortisAlberta shares the background of their program and what makes it successful.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

8:35 AM – 9:45 AM
The Easy way to Apply OSHAs FR Body Protection Regulation, and How to Develop an Easy FR Body Protection Policy
Speaker: Brian Erga, President, ESCI Inc.
Adhering to the new FR body protection requirements can be challenging if you do not follow the “Yellow Brick Road” OSHA has offered. With Federal OSHAs recent revision to OSHA 1910.269 and OSHA 1926 Subpart V, FR body protection is challenging for those who try to do their own “thing.” This presentation will discuss how to develop an effective FR body protection policy quickly and easily for 98% of all T & D work methods using OSHA 1910.269, Appendix E, and the 2012 NESC. The Discussion will cover:

  • FR Terms
  • The requirements of OSHA 1910.269(l)(8)
  • The use of the 2012 NESC FR tables
  • Protection of the hands, feet, face and head from arc flash
  • Do I need a face shield for protection?

9:45 AM – 10:15 AM
Continued conversations around best practices and solutions to issues. We will begin to create a list of topics for future programs as well.

Gas Methods

This agenda includes sessions only for this program offering listed as concurrent sessions on the general agenda.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

9:45 AM – 10:30 AM
Introduction and Roundtable Discussion
Facilitator: Lisa Stewart, Maintenance and Ops Team Lead, Spectra Energy Transmission
Get to know your peers and learn about current opportunities and challenges faced at other member utilities.

10:30 AM – 11:15 AM
Innovative and Effective Tools for Training: Leveraging Virtual Learning for Field Services
Speaker: Lisa Flynn, Expert Instructional Designer, Gas Operations Training, Pacific Gas and Electric Company
When new standards and procedures are rolled out, communicating this to affected employees can be a difficult and lengthy process. Even after the initial roll out, how does your utility continue to reinforce new processes and support employees for long-term adoption? Learn about a case study from PG&E using Virtual Learning to provide refresher training to Field Services employees in Gas Operations. We will demonstrate how you can use this training platform to increase retention on updated procedures, communicate safe work practices, and provide added support to field employees. We will also discuss the best ways to evaluate training effectiveness to ensure a safe and competent workforce.

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
Safety Meetings Tools and Resources
Speaker: Brandi Bronowski, Team Leader for Health & Safety, Spectra Energy Transmission
Hear from your utility peers about what tools and resources keep information fresh and exciting. Please bring information about the tools and resources you use to engage workers in your safety meetings at your facility. We will be discussing best practices for engaging employees in organizing and participating in regular safety meetings.

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Incident Management and Effective Corrective Action
Facilitator: Robert Peterson, Manager, Safety, Intermountain Gas Company
How utilities respond to incidents and what the reaction looks like can be critical in ensuring the safety of your workforce. Explore how other utilities rank the importance of reacting to different kinds of incidents, and compare standards for corrective action to identify best practices. We will discuss approaches for root cause analysis and best practices for determining corrective action.

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Leadership Perspective: Successes and Challenges
Speaker: Jack Grimmer, VP; EHS & Quality Assurance, HAWAI’I GAS
How does company leadership effectively connect with workers to understand the safety performance and influence the safest possible work practices? Hear about what Hawaii Gas has done to improve safety including successes, challenges, and lessons learned along the way. This is an opportunity to hear a unique leadership perspective on critical issues that can make or break the safety of your work methods and procedures.

3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Process Safety: What is it and how do you apply it?
Speaker: Mark Maldonado, Sr. Coordinator, EHS, Questar Gas
Process safety is layers of protection provided through engineering and administrative oversight. Many safety initiatives focus on personal safety of employees, but it’s also important to look closely at improving process safety and controls. Aging infrastructure and loss of institutional knowledge as workforce changes happen can lead to hazards and accidents. We will discuss best practices in designing and rolling out new procedure and ensuring compliance.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

8:35 AM – 9:45 AM
Roundtable Discussion: Accountability and Employee Buy-in for Safety Procedures
Facilitator: Lisa Stewart, Maintenance and Ops Team Lead, Spectra Energy Transmission
This roundtable will address challenges and successes around gaining employee buy-in and promoting accountability in safety procedures. Topics may include:

  • Strategies for involving employees in the safety procedure improvement process
  • Communication of expectations from leadership
  • Accountability for workers to follow written practices
  • How do you acknowledge and learn from errors or breakdowns in the safety plan?

9:45 AM – 10:15 AM
Provide feedback about what you hope to see on future agendas of the Gas Safety Work Methods group.

Hotel + Travel

Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront
1401 SW Naito Parkway
Portland, OR 97201
Phone: 503.226.7600

Reservation Instructions
Please make your hotel reservations by calling the hotel directly at 1.877.901.6632 or by using the reservation link below. Identify yourself as part of the Western Energy Institute Safety Summit Group and receive a special rate of $199 single/double plus state and local taxes. This rate is guaranteed to August 11, 2015 or until the WEI room block is full. You may also make your hotel reservations online.

Located on the banks of the Willamette River, featuring spectacular views of Mount Hood, the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront is within walking distance of top downtown attractions. As a guest here, you are in the middle of it all from concerts and local culinary experiences to jogging, biking and kayaking at Waterfront Park. Portland State University is just down the street. When you’re hungry, our Energy Star-certified hotel features tasty cuisine with an artisanal flair. Truss Lounge & Bistro is known throughout downtown Portland as an inviting neighborhood hotspot popular for a local brew, wine, or handcrafted cocktail. Active guests can stay fit in our 24-hour fitness center or step outside and enjoy a refreshing run along the Willamette River. Business and leisure travelers alike will enjoy our well-appointed guest rooms with flat-panel TVs and luxurious linens. And with over 44,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, our downtown Portland hotel gives business events a truly unmistakable flair.

Driving directions From Portland International Airport (PDX)

  • Follow Airport Way East and merge onto Interstate 205 South/Veterans Memorial
  • Highway toward Interstate 84/Portland/Salem.
  • Continue to exit 31B and merge onto Interstate 84 West/US-30 West.
  • Take the Interstate 5 South exit on the left toward Beaverton/Salem/City Center and proceed to the City Center exit.
  • Keep right and take the ramp for Morrison Street/City Center.
  • Make a slight right onto Morrison Bridge then take the ramp for Naito Parkway/Interstate 5 South/Salem.
  • Keep right and take the Front Avenue ramp toward Interstate 5 South/Salem. The hotel will be 1/2 mile on the right.

Vendor Displays

Don’t miss this opportunity to gain exposure to an incredibly diverse group of attendees that will include energy professionals in safety related positions. This is your chance to demonstrate your services for top level executives in these areas. A limited number of table top displays are available.

Vendor Display Schedule

Wednesday, September 2
7:00 AM – 9:30 AM: Check-in & Set-up
9:30 AM – 9:45 AM: Break and Displays
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM: Lunch and Displays
3:30 PM – 3:45 PM: Break and Displays
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM: Tear Down

Registered Vendors (as of August 23)
HD Supply Power Solutions, Ltd.
McKaig Evergreen, Inc.
Westex by Milliken

Vendor Display Registration Options
Cost for booth registration is $200. This add-on option is available during program registration. There are additional charges for electrical outlets. Shipping and storage are not included. Please request AV needs directly through the hotel.
The selection of location is first come, first served, and registrants may request top choices during registration. Registrants will receive a separate booth assignment confirmation from WEI after completing a registration.


Shipping Instructions
Western Energy Institute
827 NE Oregon Street, Ste. 200
Portland, OR 97232
Packages should arrive no earlier than three days prior to the conference start date. All packages should include: Conference Name, Conference Dates, Number of Boxes. For more information contact Eric Christenson at 971.230.6984.

Meet The Speakers

Dave Fennell

Dave Fennell Safety, Inc.

Learn More

Dave Fennell is the Senior Safety Advisor the Imperial Oil and the Senior Technical Professional for Safety for ExxonMobil.

Dave has a BSc. from McMaster University in Environmental Sciences, a diploma in Civil Engineering Technology and is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP). He has worked for Imperial Oil for 34 years, 29 of those in safety. Dave has developed approaches to safety management that have produced results that are widely recognized and have been featured in safety management videos that have been used by companies around the world. He is a regular guest lecturer at the University of Alberta on Behaviour Based Safety and Human Factors in Safety and has presented more than 9 times at the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) National Conference with rave reviews every time.

His latest research projects include the development of standards and materials to prevent steam and hot water burns and work within ExxonMobil on strategies for reducing Risk Tolerance. The video and materials on Risk Tolerance have been used around the world and have been translated into 9 different languages.

Dave was named the Canadian Safety Professional of the Year by the CSSE in 2013.

Dave says he gets his most creative ideas while snowshoeing and paddling his kayak.

Jim Piro

Portland General Electric

President & CEO
Learn More

Jim Piro is president and chief executive officer of Portland General Electric (PGE), and has 41 years’ experience in the utility business. Prior to becoming CEO in 2009, he served nine years as executive vice president of Finance, chief financial officer and treasurer.

A 1974 graduate of Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., Piro earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with an emphasis in structural engineering. He is a registered professional engineer in California and, before working at PGE, worked as a civil engineer for San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Piro serves on several boards and is chair of Greater Portland Inc. and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Investment Council. He is a member of the Oregon Global Warming Commission and is active in the business and utility industries, both locally and nationally, serving on the boards of the Oregon Business Council and the Edison Electric Institute. He is also a member of the Electrification Coalition, a national group of business leaders advocating for policies that support electric vehicles. He serves also on the Oregon State University Foundation and the PGE Foundation.

Jimmie Cho

San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Senior VP, Gas Operations & System Integrity, Southern California Gas Company
Learn More

Jimmie I. Cho is Vice President of Gas Operations for Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E).

Previously, Cho was Vice President of Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion of SoCalGas. He was also Director of Customer Communications, Research and Web Strategy, Director of Safety and Emergency Services, Director of Customer Service Field Operations, and held positions of increasing responsibility in Environmental Engineering, Corporate Affairs, Gas Operations and Customer Services.

Cho also held positions with Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, a member agency of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, as Director of Resource Conservation and Public Outreach, and Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts in various environmental engineering roles.

Cho holds a bachelor’s degree in geology from Brown University and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Stanford University. He serves on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps and the Los Angeles Police Foundation.

Cameron Aplin


Vice President, Operations

Bill Nicholson

Portland General Electric

Sr. VP Customer Services, Transmission & Distribution
Learn More

As senior vice president, Bill Nicholson currently oversees Customer Service Operations, Customer Strategy and Business Development, and Transmission & Distribution Operations & Services. Nicholson joined PGE in 1980 as an engineer at the Trojan Plant and has served in a variety of capacities in Distribution Operations and Generation Engineering. He earned a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from Oregon State University in 1980.

John Higgins

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Vice President, Gas Transmission and Distribution Operations