Safety Action

Energy Based Safety

Wolfcreek Safety Solutions (WSS) engineered an energy-based safety program to prevent “Line of Fire” accidents for workers participating in inherently hazardous activities in the pipeline construction industry. Our consultants collaborated with leading academic and industrial experts to develop a half-day workshop to teach energy-based safety principles to our clients. This workshop addresses gaps in real-time hazard identification and has been proven in a 2017 pilot study with a major pipeline construction company. Learn more about our 3-Second Safety workshops in the case study below!


Project Overview

3 Second Safety (3SS)© was developed in response to the continued “Line of Fire” Accidents in the Pipeline Construction industry. These are among the most frustrating and frequently tragic accidents in construction. While several laudable efforts to prevent these types of accidents exist, the results have been less than desirable. 3SS is a unique and effective approach that takes the best from the psychology of safety, in the areas of Cognitive and Human Performance, and combines it with the latest in peer-reviewed research in energy based hazard recognition. This combination, along with practical exercises, creates a sum-is-more-than-the-parts technique for quickly scanning the work environment, identifying hazards, predicting when a line of fire accident could occur and intervening to stop it from happening.

To build 3 Second Safety (3SS)©, Wolfcreek Safety Solutions collaborated with Dr. Matt Hallowell, Endowed Professor of Construction Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and Dr. Dianne Stober, an experienced practitioner of integrating psychological and leadership focused approaches to safety. The resulting half-day, interactive workshop provides participants with both the knowledge needed to employ this technique and real-world scenarios to practice on. This technique adds no administrative burden, no forms to fill out and no added bureaucracy. Participants are taught how to use 3SS© for themselves and for others, with additional emphasis on how to effectively engage another worker if they are in a line of fire situation. WSS completed a pilot workshop program at a major Pipeline Construction Contractor in 2017, yielding very positive results. All company Foremen and Superintendents have been fully trained in 3SS techniques and are employing them in 2018 on a 2-year pipeline construction project, one of the largest in the U.S.


Line-of-fire accidents are still happening far too frequently on construction projects, many times with catastrophic results. A common response is to look at the incident in hindsight and conclude that “If only the employee had not been standing there….” “If only the employee had not chosen to be in harm’s way…” If only… The primary problem is that most of the hazard identification and mitigation focus occurs prior to the job starting. While pre-job planning, JSA’s, etc. are important tools, they generally can leave a gap in identifying where most hazards occur in real-time: during execution of the work. If someone can be taught a simple, yet powerful method on how to regularly scan the work area in short bursts, while the work is going on, they can quickly identify potential line-of-fire accidents and intervene to stop them from happening.

Download our Case Study to learn how we solved this problem.



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