Safety: Always Top of Mind

Safety: Always Top of Mind


By Derek Vannice, VP of Operations

People occasionally ask me, “What is the number one thing that keeps you up at night?” My answer: The safety of our employees. Safety of our employees is always CN Utility Consulting’s (CNUC) number one strategic priority. It has been on the top of the list ever since I started with the company four years, and I plan to keep it that way. CNUC has implemented several programs to keep safety top of mind. A few of them include the creation of a safety task force, weekly employee safety calls, near miss/incident emails, and a safety rewards program. Our company believes that for any safety program to be successful, it needs to continually engage employees and encourage everyone’s input.

Safety Task Force

During a CNUC Leadership Academy session last year, an idea to create a safety task force team formulated. Since then, we have created a safety task force team made up of our employees from across the nation and include employees with a variety of job positions and experience levels. The safety task force has been very successful, and all employees involved are very dedicated. The task force team has several responsibilities including:

  • Developing all 52 safety topics for weekly safety calls, including talking points for each week Writing and reviewing our quarterly pre-and post-test quiz questions covering each safety topic
  • Analyzing the safety topic quiz results
  • Building a library of safety materials for our intranet site for all employees’ use


Safety Calls

In addition to the safety task force, all CNUC employees rotate presenting a safety topic each week to their peers. The safety topics help the presenter and audience build a better understanding of the topics. Employees are very attentive to each other and the discussion helps them develop presentation skills in a low risk environment.

Near Miss/Incident Emails

In March, we began sending out a near miss/incidents update from the previous week in an email to all our employees. Employees are encouraged to discuss them with their supervisor each week on conference calls. This emphasized that the only way to continually improve our safety program is to learn from our mistakes and be comfortable talking about them.

Powerful Achievements Safety Rewards Program

The best way to manage safety is to be proactive and immediate in terms of training, feedback and learning from mistakes. We have noticed that providing recognition when our employees do well creates a more positive and ambitious atmosphere. Last year, we launched the Powerful Achievements safety rewards program, which rewards employees who uphold the company’s highest value, safety, all year long. The program has been successful and very well-received by our employees. The programs outlined above are just a few tactics CNUC does throughout the year to keep our employees safe and continue to learn best practices. We look forward to continuing these tactics and enhancing programs as we go!

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