The Man in the Arena

by Heather Rivard, SVP of Transmission and Distribution, Southern California Edison

The importance of a safe workplace cannot be overstated. Everyone should be able to come to work knowing that their safety is the top value for their employer. Unfortunately, many employees across our industry have experienced safety hazards and injuries while on the job.  

To address this challenge, it is critical that leaders prioritize safety and accountability in the workplace. To me, leadership accountability means that as leaders we are responsible for creating a safe and healthy work environment for our teams.

This means working together with our teams to engineer out hazards wherever possible and creating the right safety protocols and procedures. We must regularly check in with our team, holding ourselves and our teams accountable for following these safety protocols. 

There are several reasons why leadership accountability is so important for creating a safe workplace. First and foremost, when leaders prioritize safety, it sets the tone for the entire organization. If employees see their leaders taking safety seriously, they know they are supported in putting their safety first always. When leaders prioritize safety, it becomes part of the culture of the organization. 

I have been working in the utility industry for over thirty years. During that time, I have held many roles including senior vice president for DTE Energy in Detroit, Michigan and currently, for Southern California Edison (SCE).