Quick Start Guide Natural Gas Utilities

Building a Sustainable Public Safety Communications Program Individual efforts directed at specific safety topics are not as effective as when all of a utility’s communications are coordinated to deliver a consistent safety message across multiple channels in an integrated approach. Practically speaking, that means translating the why, who, what, and how of your utility’s Public Safety Communications Program into a coordinated and ongoing approach that implements specific strategies and tactics. Once implemented, the completeness and effectiveness of those actions should be carefully evaluated and documented. Program data and observations should be carefully analyzed alongside ever-changing risk indicators and industry trends, so that thoughtful improvements and proactive measures can be incorporated into future strategies and tactics. The Public Safety Communications Program is designed to effectively educate the general public and complement other utility communications programs directed at excavators/contractors, emergency responders, public officials, and residential and business consumers. This section spells out key considerations for each core aspect of establishing your program and should be worked through with a cross-functional group of stakeholders in your utility before being presented to and approved by utility leadership. This program is not designed to establish or reflect the legal duty of care that any natural gas utility owes to its customers, the general public, or any other group with respect to the communication of safety information. That legal duty is well established in each venue, and it is not the intention of this program to change it. Rather, the purpose of this program is broader. It attempts to assist natural gas utilities in providing safety information—even where there is no legal duty to do so—in order to help prevent incidents and save lives. This is suggested as a public service, and not as a reflection of a legal duty owed by a natural gas utility to its customers, the general public, or any other group. In addition, an important collateral benefit of these public safety communications is that every incident that is prevented—and every life that is saved—will reduce the opportunity for natural gas utilities to be needlessly drawn into litigation and potential liability exposure.


Developing a Public Safety Communications Program

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