Purpose

The Safety Culture & Governance (SC&G) Section provides advisory support to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to promote safety culture, which is an integral part of a safety management system (SMS), and develops guidance on related governance practices and procedures.

SC&G Section’s distinct advisory function enhances safety as a part of the SMS Branch of the CPUC’s Safety Policy Division (SPD). 

Mission

SC&G Section’s mission is to advance the safety culture and governance at Regulated Entities (RE) by: 

  • Implementing, overseeing, and undertaking safety culture investigations. 

  • Developing RE specific safety policies, regulatory tools, and metrics for consideration by the CPUC. 

  • Providing subject matter expertise to support decision-making in active proceedings regarding the application of safety policies and practices. 

Vision

To conceptualize, develop, and implement a transparent safety knowledgebase, rules, standards, and metrics that help assure a mature and effective safety culture is promoted and maintained within the utilities that the CPUC regulates.   

Proceedings

SC&G Section has actively engaged in advising the CPUC in proceedings and some related items are provided below.  

In this investigation, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) conducts a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) for each of the wildfires included in this OII that were reportable incidents to the Commission and for which CAL FIRE determined that the ignition involved PG&E facilities.

The purpose of the RCA will be to analyze the factors that contributed to the ignition of the fires and make recommendations as appropriate so that the learnings can be implemented on a go-forward basis to mitigate the risk of similarly caused fires in the future.

The RCA will consider all potential root causes and will not be restricted to violations of GO 95.  This may include systemic, programmatic, management, and structural matters that may need to be addressed to reduce such incidents in the future.

Additional information, documents, events, and next steps can be found on this webpage.

 
Contact

Richard.White@cpuc.ca.gov

Last Updated

9/7/2023

In this investigation, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is examining whether the organizational culture and governance of Southern California Gas Company (SoCal Gas) and its parent company, Sempra Energy, prioritize safety and adequately direct resources to promote accountability and achieve safety performance goals, standards and improvements.

Proceeding information, rulings, and party comments can be read on the I.19-06-014 docket card.

Events

August 18, 2022: Workshop on SoCalGas’/Sempra’s Proposed Safety Culture Improvement Plan. 

June 13, 2022: Workshop on SoCalGas’/Sempra’s Safety Culture Improvement Plan development and the issues contemplated for Phase 2. 

January 26, 2022: Workshop to Discuss Independent Assessment Report on SoCal Gas and Sempra Safety Culture 

Related Documents
  • July 29, 2022: SoCalGas/Sempra Safety Culture Improvement Plan 
  • January 14, 2022: Assigned Commissioner Ruling launching Phase 2 activities, setting workshop and issuing report
  • December 10, 2021: Independent Safety Culture Assessment Report of SoCalGas/Sempra
  • June 27,  2019: Order Instituting Investigation (I).19-06-014 
Contact

Carolina.Contreras@cpuc.ca.gov

Last Updated

08/23/2022

In this investigation (I.15-08-019), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is examining whether Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has corporate governance, clearly documented organizational goals and objectives, and work procedures that prioritize and improve safety.

Additional information can be found on this webpage.

Proceeding information, rulings, and party comments can be read on the I.15-08-019 docket card.

Related Documents
  • November 4, 2021: Decision extending statutory deadline for the proceeding to November 8, 2022 (D.21-11-010)
  • March 29, 2019: NorthStar Consulting’s first update to their 2017 assessment of PG&E's safety culture
  • Nov. 29, 2018: Decision ordering PG&E to implement the safety recommendations of CPUC staff as outlined in NorthStar’s (D.18-11-050)
  • May 8, 2017: Independent Assessment of Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company's Safety Culture by NorthStar Consulting
Contact

carolina.contreras@cpuc.ca.gov

Last Updated

09/14/2023

The purpose of this Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR) is to develop and adopt a safety culture assessment framework and identify the structure, elements, and process necessary to drive each regulated investor-owned electric and natural gas utility and gas storage operator to establish and continuously improve their organization-wide safety culture. 

This proceeding will implement the statutory requirements of Senate Bill (SB) 901 (Stats. 2018, Ch. 626, codified in Public Utilities Code Section 8386.2), which requires the Commission to establish a safety culture assessment for each electrical corporation, conducted by an independent third-party evaluator, at least every five years.

Proceeding information, rulings, and party comments can be read on the R.21-10-001 docket card

Events

February 24, 2023: Technical Working Group Meeting #5: Safety Culture Assessment Framework (continued)

October 31, 2022: Technical Working Group Meeting #5, Safety Culture Assessments Workshop

July 28, 2022: Technical Working Group Meeting #4, Safety culture maturity model, indicators, and metrics

July 22, 2022: Technical Working Group Meeting #3, Safety culture assessment schedule and process

June 24, 2022: Technical Working Group Meeting #2, Collaborative Approaches to Safety Culture & Benchmarking 

June 16, 2022: Technical Working Group Meeting #1, Safety culture definitions and framework

March 30, 2022: Telephonic prehearing conference (PHC) for R.21-10-001 commencing at 10AM, to determine the parties, positions of the parties, scope, and schedule of the proceeding, and other procedural matters.

March 11, 2022: Initial kickoff workshop featuring safety culture experts and CPUC Commissioner.

Related Documents
  • September 2022: Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Ruling and Staff Concept Paper #2 
  • July 2022: ALJ Ruling and SPD Staff Concept Paper #1 
  • April 2022: Assigned Commissioner's Scoping Memo and Ruling
  • October 2021: Order Instituting Rulemaking R.21-10-001
Contact

carolina.contreras@cpuc.ca.gov

Last Updated

09/14/2023

 

Other Activities

SC&G Section has actively engaged in advising the CPUC through other safety related activities and related information is provided below.

Events

August 28, 2024: Bear Valley Electric Service and Pacific Gas and Electric

  • 12:30pm - 5:00pm
  • CPUC Auditorium, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102

August 29, 2024: Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric 

  • 10:00am - 5:00pm
  • CPUC Auditorium, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102

Additional details will be posted closer to the event.

 

Contact

Carolina.Contreras@cpuc.ca.gov

Last Updated
07/10/2024

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the Office of Energy Safety Infrastructure (Energy Safety), in their joint commitment to safety, transparency and accountability, have called on investor-owned electric utilities to present updates on their electric safety related efforts, pursuant to PU Code section 8389(e)(5). 

Note: Although a quorum of Commissioners, their advisors or other decision-makers may be present, no action will be taken at these events.

Events

July 6, 2023: Bear Valley Electric Service and Pacific Gas and Electric

July 20, 2023: Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric 

 
Contact

Carolina.Contreras@cpuc.ca.gov

Last Updated
07/10/2024

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the Office of Energy Safety Infrastructure (Energy Safety), in their joint commitment to safety, transparency and accountability, have called on investor-owned electric utilities to present updates on their electric safety related efforts, pursuant to PU Code section 8389(e)(5). 

Note: Although a quorum of Commissioners, their advisors or other decision-makers may be present, no action will be taken at these events.

Events

September 22, 2022: San Diego Gas and Electric Service and Pacific Gas and Electric, 9:00am -12:30pm

SDG&E Presentation

PG&E Presentation

 

September 14, 2022: Bear Valley Electric Service and Southern California, 9:00am -12:30pm

BVES Presentation

               SCE Presentation

Contact

Carolina.Contreras@cpuc.ca.gov

Last Updated
06/06/2023

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the Office of Energy Safety Infrastructure (Energy Safety), in their joint commitment to safety, transparency and accountability, have called on investor-owned electric utilities to present updates on their electric safety related efforts, pursuant to PU Code section 8389(e)(5). 

Note: Although a quorum of Commissioners, their advisors or other decision-makers may be present, no action will be taken at these events.

Events

November 10, 2021: Bear Valley Electric Service and Pacific Gas and Electric, 10:00am -12:30pm

  • Presentation Material

BVES Presentation

PG&E Presentation

 

August 25, 2021: San Diego Gas and Electric Service and Southern California Gas, 10:00am -12:30pm

  • Presentation Material

SDG&E Presentation

SCE Presentation

 

Contact

Carolina.Contreras@cpuc.ca.gov

Last Updated
06/06/2023

 

Educational Information

The SC&G Section provides the following information for visitors of this page to highlight some key details related to safety culture and governance.

As described in CPUC Investigation (I.)15-08-019, a public utility with a mature safety culture has an organizational culture and governance that prioritize safety and achieves a positive record of safe operation. This proceeding further defines an effective safety culture as one that includes:  

  • A clearly articulated set of principles and values with a clear expectation of full compliance.  
  • Effective communication and continuous education and testing. ‘Employees will do it right sometimes if they know how.  They're more likely to do it right if they fully understand why.'   
  • Uniform compliance by every individual in the organization, with effective safety metrics, recognition, and compensation, and consequences or accountability for deviating or performing at, above, or below the standard of compliance.  
  • Continuous reassessment of hazards and reevaluation of norms and practices.  

To build and continuously maintain a strong safety culture, organizations must implement organizational safety management practices. 

Maintaining a positive safety culture requires continual organizational oversight and diligence. While emphasis on safety from senior leadership is a critical component of a mature safety culture, cultivating a safety culture is a gradual process that must permeate all levels of an organization and be constantly reinforced.  

A sound organizational safety culture reinforces and supports an effective SMS. 

Safety Culture and Governance

EVENTS

Recent and upcoming SC&G Section related efforts are provided below. Additional details are provided in the Proceedings area of the SC&G Section’s webpage.

  • 12/05/22 Workshop: (I.19-06-015) PG&E 2017- 2018 Wildfires: Root Cause Analysis Workshop  
  • 10/31/22 Workshop: (R.21-10-001) Goals and Guiding Principles for Safety Culture Assessments
  • 8/18/22 Workshop: (I.19-06-14) SoCalGas’/Sempra’s Proposed Safety Culture Improvement Plan
  • 7/28/22 TWG Meeting 4: (R.21-10-001) Rulemaking to Develop Safety Culture Assessments for Electric & Natural Gas Utilities
  • 7/22/22 TWG Meeting 3: (R.21-10-001) Rulemaking to Develop Safety Culture Assessments for Electric & Natural Gas Utilities
  • 6/24/22 TWG Meeting 2: (R.21-10-001) Rulemaking to Develop Safety Culture Assessments for Electric & Natural Gas Utilities
  • 6/16/22 TWG Meeting 1: (R.21-10-001) Rulemaking to Develop Safety Culture Assessments for Electric & Natural Gas Utilities
  • 6/13/22 Workshop: (I.19-06-014) Investigation into SoCal Gas’ Safety Culture