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Human Performance with Georgia Power

Ever hear of the “blame game?” Georgia Power is not in the blame game anymore since it began the journey of rolling out Human Performance (HP) concepts to the entire team a couple years ago. 

“HP is an operating philosophy that assumes that humans make mistakes and focuses on developing defenses to prevent events and errors,” said Stephanie Swindle, Human Performance Coordinator with Southern Company.

The idea is to focus on organizational learning for safety and maintenance methods. Swindle will present on “Human Performance” at the 2017 International Lineman’s Rodeo & Expo Safety Conference on Wednesday, Oct. 11.  

This presentation will cover the essentials of a successful HP/organizational learning launch and the potential pitfalls that may occur.  The majority of the presentation will focus on learning teams and discovery just by understanding how work gets done and including those closest to the work in the conversation. Finally, the presentation will cover the three things you need to know about HP:

  • HP is not a “quick fix” approach to problem solving or improving metrics. Rather, it is a systematic approach to help us identify “latent conditions” that lead to events and then build effective defenses to better protect people and processes.  It prompts us to “Learn.”  As we move forward with HP, our focus is shifting towards fixing processes, not people.
  • The importance of starting with the fundamentals. Human Performance is a culture shift that takes time to develop and implement.  A brief introduction of the principles will be covered as well as how to foster advocates for Human Performance. 
  • HP takes training, mentoring, practice and commitment. It does not necessarily require additional personnel; however, it does require management support, HP champions, time to conduct Event Learning sessions, and commitment to fix problems.  "We have conducted over 200 “Event Learnings” in Distribution and have already experienced success in identifying latent conditions and developing defenses to prevent reoccurrence in several of these sessions," Swindle said.  Employees have positively responded to the process because they feel they are part of the process and the solution. 

Stephanie Swindle, maintenance support manager, has been with Southern Company for 17 years.  She supports the wholesale gas and biomass fleet. She previously served as the Human Performance Coordinator for Georgia Power – Distribution and worked with the Human Performance team in Generation where she coached more than 150 learning teams.  Previously, she has served in several manager positions at coal and gas plants in Georgia and North Carolina.  Swindle also served as the Operations & Maintenance Lead on designing and building Plant Cleveland County Combustion Turbine site while working with Southern Power.   She has worked as a team leader in Maintenance, Operations, and Instrument and Controls with Alabama Power. She started with Southern Company in engineering where she led performance, capital and O&M projects. 

Swindle graduated from The University of Alabama with a mechanical engineering degree and received her MBA from UAB.  She is still involved with Alabama serving on the Industrial Advisory Board for the ME Department.

 

 

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