E Light Electric

The largest solar panel installation contractor uses SafetyCulture to train employees and track safety in the field.

 

man hours with no lost time incident

reduction in travel time to job sites

employees per site

Industry
Professional Services + Construction

Audits in
Daily safety audits
STOP reports
Quality control checks
Job hazard analysis

Company
E Light Electric uses SafetyCulture iAuditor to train, track and report on safety and quality. The number one electrical contractor in solar, E Light Electric, faces challenges beyond the scope of an everyday construction site.

Employees are essentially working within a thousand volt battery, posing a myriad of safety risks to employees. Because solar installations are still a relatively new space, there are many specialized tools that employees have not used before. Additionally, about 80% of the workforce in the field is from the local community. Many of these employees from the local communities have no experience in electrical work or solar installations. This means proper safety training is even more critical to flatten the learning curve for new employees and ensure employees return home safely at the end of their days.

Then, add logistical challenges to those safety risks. Solar is still an emerging industry, one that has garnered a lot of popularity in recent years. Because of the high demand, jobs that had 12-month timelines 5 years ago are now expected to be completed within 3 months. With aggressive schedules, some companies might be tempted to let safety and quality slip, but that’s where E Light electric instead chooses to double down on pre-planning and being proactive. Even one or two days of non-production on these solar installations can cost millions of dollars so getting the logistics right ahead of time is crucial.

E Light invests in classroom training using SafetyCulture iAuditor.

For Jason Wheeler, VP of Operations at E Light Electric, his work isn’t just about solar power fields, but more so about taking care of team members. The solar electric company places a lot of emphasis on in-house training, both in safety and in skills specific to career advancement.

Jason cites this commitment to growing their labor force’s skills as the basis for excellence in the company’s deliverables as well. “We’re never satisfied with good enough. We’re always looking for the newer, faster, better way of doing things and being safe.”

This focus on safety, and the desire to improve upon existing processes, is what drove Ted Smith, Director of Education and Loss Prevention, to explore technical solutions to their paper auditing process. That’s how he found and tested SafetyCulture iAuditor in the field.

Digital auditing in the field cut down on reporting time.

Employees used to rely on written reports for communication between the field and the office. The problem was that a lot of times the notebook was left in one location in the field and at the end of the day, the supervisor had to pull everything that had happened that day from their memory, much of which could easily be forgotten.

SafetyCulture iAuditor fundamentally changed how E Light Electric employees communicate between the field and the office. Jason, the VP of Operations, spends 50% less time on airplanes now. Thanks to the enhanced visibility that SafetyCulture iAuditor provides, he no longer has to spend so much time shuttling between various work sites. He says, “At a professional level, it means I can spend more time developing processes that evolve the way the company does things, the bigger picture stuff, versus being on planes trying to mitigate issues. Personally it means I have more time to spend with my family. It means I sleep in my own bed every night. That’s huge.” SafetyCulture iAuditor also helps safety managers spend more time in the field, rather than at their desks filing reports. “In construction, there’s always a bit of a gap between the main office and what really happens in the field. SafetyCulture iAuditor helps us close that gap,” says Jason. On average, SafetyCulture iAuditor saves an hour to an hour and a half per job per day of each employees’ time.

E Light gains visibility into field operations thanks to enhanced reporting.

E Light has field workers who can take snapshots of what’s really happening at each site. For supervisors who aren’t out in the trenches every single day, it gives them the opportunity to make decisions and have important conversations before they become an issue. This dedication to safety and efficiency has led to 5 million man hours without a lost time incident.

Adam Richmond, Safety Manager at E Light Electric, cites the ease of use of SafetyCulture iAuditor as a major reason it was adopted in the company. “You have a lot of old-school employees who don’t ever mess with a computer. But I’m actually really impressed with how well they’ve taken to SafetyCulture iAuditor. They fought it in the beginning just because it’s new but now it’s their go-to thing.” Adam says that thanks to their safety checklists, the company can track leading indicators to prevent an incident before it ever occurs.

SafetyCulture iAuditor is now used in many facets of E Light Electric’s business; from daily safety reports, to job hazard analysis, from STOP initiatives to quality control checks. It’s been rolled out through the entire organization for field workers and supervisors alike, to enhance communication between the field and the office, improve visibility and ultimately keep employees safer and projects wrapping up on time.

“In construction, there’s always a bit of a gap between the ideas in the main office and what really happens in the field. SafetyCulture iAuditor helps us close that gap.”

Jason Wheeler, VP of Operations with E Light Electric

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