July 10, 2019 | Mark Paradies

Update: WSJ Reports PG&E Knew Old, Outdated Lines Could Cause Wildfires

Headlines Your Company Never Wants To Read

• • •

If you read our post on the Camp Road Fire, you know that we wondered if an equipment failure on PG&E’s transmission lines sparked the blaze that killed 85 people.

Today, The Wall Street Journal’s headline was:

PG&E Knew for Years Its Lines
Could Spark Wildfires, and Didn’t Fix Them

The article said:

Documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal under the Freedom of
Information Act and in connection with a regulatory dispute over PG&E’s
spending on its electrical grid show that the company has long
been aware that parts of its 18,500-mile transmission system
have reached the end of their useful lives.

The tower that sparked the fire was built in 1921 (99 years old). The mean life expectancy of a tower is 65 years.

Do you think there were any warning signs?

Previous incidents that needed advanced root cause analysis and effective corrective action?

Perhaps there were Generic Causes that indicated bigger problems than just one faulty tower or one faulty distribution line?

Read the entire WSJ article to find out more.

This is the kind of accident that gives senior managers nightmares when they decide to delay maintenance and corrective actions from incidents and audits.

MANAGERS: Don’t delay critical maintenance and corrective actions from incident root cause analysis reports and audit findings.

It won’t be long until relatives of those killed will demand criminal charges when this type of accident happens.

Politicians will listen.

You don’t want to be the first CEO, COO, or Plant Manager behind bars because your decisions are second-guessed after a major accident.

Start by implementing advanced root cause analysis.

Then have your people use the tools they learn to develop effective fixes.

Finally, get the corrective actions implemented.

This isn’t an option. It is a necessary cost of doing business.

Maintaining profitable operations won’t seem very important when the dead bodies pile up and you are looking at the world through the prison cell’s bars.

Categories
Accidents, Current Events, Equipment Reliability / Equifactor®
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