SCE Using Data to Become Safer, Smarter
SCE Using Data to Become Safer, Smarter
Scott Todd, an operations senior supervisor at Southern California Edison, can often do a visual check of electrical equipment, like a power pole or transformer, and identify problems or issues and how to mitigate them, a skill shared by many of his fellow field personnel, including field supervisors, production specialists and e-crew foreman.
Now that historical knowledge honed over several years that until recently was put on paper or manually inputted into a database is becoming smarter. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, that information is available via a platform called a digital crew board. It is all to increase worker safety.
“It’s another tool in our tool belt that we use daily to ensure our employees are aware of potential unique safety concerns,” said Todd, who has worked at SCE for 15 years and currently oversees the operations department in the Santa Ana District. “The tool will enhance our ability to identify safety issues even before we get out to the field to construct a job. It’s an exciting new technology that allows us to further enhance the safety of our personnel.”
Harnessing that data to increase worker safety into a predictive digital platform is a small group of SCE employees: Jeff Moore, a data scientist, Rosemary Perez, a safety advisor, and Judynelle Capul, a project manager. Their combined effort has resulted in a predictive digital safety dashboard that is currently being used in various SCE districts to help increase worker safety
Their work recently garnered SCE the ORCHSE Innovation Award from the National Safety Council.
“This started as a safety initiative in the safety culture transformation roadmap, and our goal is to eliminate injuries and fatalities,” said Capul. Added Perez: “We want to make sure our employees go home safely each and every day.”
The platform uses historical data to assess the safety risk of planned and emergent work orders by considering more than 200 variables often present in repairs. A digital crew board exposes the results of the predictive model by flagging work orders with elevated risk or are associated with a past injury. The platform facilitates additional safety conversations by supplying the top five contributing factors and recommendations on how to reduce risk.
The digital platform, which can be used on a web browser from a laptop or mobile device, will highlight flagged high-risk work orders in orange so field supervisors can be alerted and make any necessary adjustments. Sometimes a crew member may be assigned to a particular task, a site visit might be scheduled ahead of the work or the job may be delayed to another day due to weather conditions.
“Like a bank that uses fraud notices, this digital crew board solution alerts field teams to elevated risk that is present with a particular job,” said Moore. “It’s one way to help with managing all of the variables field supervisors consider when making the crew-work decisions. We are trying to better understand and mitigate injuries.”
He added, “Edison is using data to become smarter, safer.”
The tool will enhance our ability to identify safety issues even before we get out to the field to construct a job. It’s an exciting new technology that allows us to further enhance the safety of our personnel.”Scott Todd, SCE Operations Senior Supervisor
The digital crew board has so far been deployed in the SCE districts of Santa Ana, Whittier and Victorville. The platform has received high praise, especially with its current 80% accuracy rate in flagging high-risk work orders.
The team plans to roll out the platform to 14 additional districts this year and all 35 districts will have access to the tool by the end of 2022. Future usages for the digital crew board include work around SCE’s wildfire mitigation efforts.
“I want to applaud this team for their innovation in the context of our safety culture transformation and making progress toward eliminating serious injuries and fatalities, so people can go home safely every day. THAT is what this is all about,” said John Ruggiero, SCE senior manager in Health & Safety.