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Wednesday 3b-money


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Trees & Utilities Conference 2017

Published in: Environment
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Wednesday 3b-money

  1. 1. Managing Liabilities on Your Utility Vegetation Management Program Nelsen R. Money NRM-VMS,INC
  2. 2. Where are You with the Liability Issue with Your UVM Program
  3. 3. Have You Had Data Requests…Been in Depositions…..
  4. 4.  Do you have a Hazard Tree Program—Yes we do  Can you provide documentation of your Hazard Tree Program—Well our contractors do our HT program  Can you provide a copy of the contractors Hazard Tree Program—well we haven’t see anything, but the owner is an ISA Certified Arborist..  Does the owner/Certified Arborist do all the HT patrols—Uh.. He has his field crews ID the hazard trees..  Can you provide a copy of the Training Records of the crews on Hazard Tree ID…Uh we have not seen any records…  What is the Danger Tree zone and what is your cycle for reviewing the Danger Tree Zone.. Uh.. The contractor reviews the Danger Tree zone during each cycle..  Does you contractor ID just dead trees or do they inspect all green trees capable of hitting the high voltage lines…Uh.. They ID dead and dying trees and some green trees.  What is your UVM cycle…Uh.. We have a 3 year cycle  Do you always finish the line miles in your cycle…Uh… Sometimes we have things that make it difficult to complete our Cycle..
  5. 5. Remember—You Should Know What is Best for Safety and Reliability
  6. 6. If you Don’t have the Documented Program…Then go to the Pros for Development of a Program
  7. 7. Asplundh Leaves California Who’s Next???
  8. 8. In the UVM Business, Who Needs to be Concerned Utilities Contractors Investor Owned Utilities COOP’s Municipals Tree Contractors Notification Contractors
  9. 9. Managing Your Liabilities Will Probably be About Reducing How Much You Actually Pay
  10. 10. Key Elements in a Utility Veg Program Documented Program • Defined Cycle/Patrol Standard • Documented Programmatic Approach • Documented Hazard Tree Program • Documented Tree Failure Program • Documented QC Program • Documented QA Program
  11. 11. Defined Cycle/Patrol Standard Determine the Cycle length for Safety and Reliability • 1,3 year • 3 year with Biannual Patrol Written Patrol Standard Is your cycle defendable? Are trees burning in the lines What are the Vegetation Outages-limb failure, tree failure
  12. 12. Documented Programmatic Approach • 12 months • Plan—Forecast—Actual • Monthly tracking of Progress • Reforecasting Increases or Decreases in Plan—tree units, miles, acres etc. • Action Plan for getting back on schedule-Additional funding, or resources
  13. 13. Documented Hazard Tree Program • What is your Cycle of Patrol-Is it part of routine or Different Cycle. • What is your Area of Patrol- Justify the Danger Tree Zone • Franchise, Easement, Prescriptive • How are Refusals Documented and Processed • Database, Documented Process
  14. 14. Documented Tree Failure Program • Process to Review Tree Caused Outages • Database to Help track Trends by Species and Types of Outages • Adaptive Management That Makes Changes to Hazard Tree Program
  15. 15. Documented QC Program • Contract Specifications • Notification Companies • Tree Companies • Program Processes
  16. 16. Documented QA Program • Internal Auditors • Review Safety and Reliability Goals, Compliance, • Review Documented Processes • Review QC • Bench Marking
  17. 17. What do Contractors Need to Limit Liability Notification Contractors Employee Qualifications •Certified Arborist/Utility Specialist •TRAQ •Documented Training •QC on Employees •Utilities Schedule •Chain of Custody Tree Contractors •Employee Qualifications •Documented Training •QC on Work •Chain of Custody •Documentation of Fires, wire down, etc.
  18. 18. UTILITY NOTIFICATION CONTRACTOR TREE CONTRACTOR Partnership Ends at Indemnification & Law Department
  19. 19. Do Easement Rights Determine Your Liability??? • Did the Utility Know Better • What is the Utilities Easement Clause on Tree Work • Documented Refusal
  20. 20. If your Neighbor has and Hazard tree that Threatens your Home or Property? • OSHA Requirement for Working near High Voltage Lines • The Tree is Generally the Property of the Land Owner • What if we Described our Policy and Requested the Landowner Have Their Trees TRAQ reviewed • What if we Identified Hazard Trees and Made them Facility Safe Within 10 ft. and Outside Notify the Land Owner of the Risk • What if we Described our Policy on the Utilities Website and Offered to Provide Contractor Assist if anything within 10 ft. and Overhangs. • What if we Went to Court to Force Landowner to Remove Hazard Tree Outside 10 feet • What if at 5-10 years we Have a History of Treating Hazard Trees as landowners Responsibility Radical Concept to Reduce Utility Liability –What If…….