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Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Kansas City Area Office (KCAO)
Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L)

October 21, 2009

Date Signed

Originally signed July 8, 2003, renewed 7/15/04, and renewed again on 7/20/06

Time Period Covered by This Report

August 17, 2007 through July 8, 2009


This Alliance addresses overhead power line hazards in the telecommunication/cable TV installation industry, by using the collective expertise of best practices and technical knowledge of both parties.

Training Activities:

  • On September 17, 2007, KCP&L’s Dodson Service Center received a call concerning workers erecting a building which were working near KCP&L overhead lines. One of the KCP&L Field Safety Specialist went to the site to have a look and found workers up on the steel without any fall protection and working in the proximity of our over head lines. The Field Safety Specialist said that he had trouble getting the workers down due to the fact no one could speak English. After the KCP&L Field Safety Specialist got the workers down, KCP&L crews relocated the secondaries that were running through the steel structure in order to make the area safe. Also the Field Safety Specialist referred other issues to OSHA for inspection including scaffolding construction, the gentleman working with his back at the very edge of the roof without any fall restraint system, and the step ladder against the building to gain access to the roof. This is an example of the referral clause in the Alliance working as envisioned and how it helped to protect at risk Hispanic workers.
  • On September 27, 2007, a training session was presented at KCP&L’s Sub-One training facility. The session was for the benefit of approximately 80 tree trimmer and construction industry safety professionals on the hazards and control measures related to working around overhead power lines. The training included live power line contact simulations, which were quite dramatic, in order to show the grave implications of such contact incidents involving both low and high voltage transmission lines.
  • On February 11, 2008, the Compliance Assistance Specialist (CAS) from the KCAO, forwarded to the KCP&L Distribution Safety Department the recent interpretation of 1910.269 P(1)(iii).
  • On July 23, 2008, the KCAO CAS, in conjunction with KCP&L presented a 4-hour course on Recordkeeping to the Rural Electrical Cooperatives in Jefferson City, Missouri City on 7/23/2008. Approximately 62 people attended.
  • On October 3, 2008, the Program Analyst and the Regional CAS in Compliance Assistance Section of the Region VII OSHA Regional Office participated in the annual KCP&L sponsored Safety Awareness Event. This outreach targeted both arborist and construction trades’ employers and employees. Approximately 60 persons attended.
  • On January 8, 2009, the KCAO CAS in conjunction with both the Missouri Department of Conservation and KCP&L presented a 4-hour seminar on line clearance tree trimming standards, wood chipper safety and chain saw safety in Joplin, Missouri. Approximately 41 persons attended.
  • KCP&L’s Distribution Safety Department also provides periodic training to local arborists they sub-contract with throughout the year. There have been no recent injuries or accidents related to this type of work.
Outreach and communication:
  • The KCAO CAS regularly refers to the outcomes of this Alliance, as an example of how well an OSHA Alliance can work, during many of his speeches and presentations.

  • As a result of this alliance, overhead power line contact fatalities among arborists, cable TV, telephone and construction workers have been at zero for several past years, as compared to the average of three fatalities per year prior to the implementation of this Alliance.
Implementation Team Members:

  • Keith Kensinger
  • Manager T&D Safety
  • Bill McGuire
  • Safety & Training Specialist
  • Erin Pogue
  • SR Manager Safety & Training
  • Heather Humphrey
  • Managing Attorney, Kansas City Power & Light

  • Mark Banden
  • Compliance Assistance Specialist (KCAO)

    During the past year, the OSHA and KCP&L Implementation Team have not met on a formal basis. However, the KCAO CAS and the KCP&L Manager T&D Safety keep in contact on a regular basis and have held productive discussions regarding additional products that may enhance the safety and health of the cable TV installation industry, employees of KCP&L, and most recently employees in the construction sector. In addition, the Alliance has helped OSHA personnel better understand the different types of hazards created by workers on utility poles, as well as other types of electrical work.

    Promoting the National Dialogue on Workplace Safety and Health

    During the past several years, KCP&L has found the number of reportable accidents among contract labor on their utility poles have decreased to zero since the program was initiated. KCP&L has found the cable TV installation crews and construction employers to be more cooperative with coming into compliance when reprimanded by KCP&L, or being already in compliance willingly.

    KCP&L Manager T&D Safety and the KCAO CAS regularly consult with members of the construction industry on the issue of overhead power line safety and control measures.

    Also, it has been found that multi-state employers have used the outreach materials in other areas they have worked outside of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area.

    Future Plans for the Alliance

    Although the Alliance technically expired in July 2008, OSHA and KCP&L have continued to work together. KCP&L has expressed the desire and willingness to renew the Alliance. A renewal alliance document has been written and approved by the Regional Solicitor, and the document is waiting signatures.