Summit Utilities Wins 2022 Southern Gas Association Safety & Health Award

Safety video training results in reduced backing accidents


Summit Utilities, Inc. (Summit) is the proud recipient of the 2022 Southern Gas Association (SGA) Safety & Health Award. The award was given out on June 14, 2022, during the SGA Natural Gas Connect conference in St. Louis, Missouri.

SGA received 68 submissions and more than 2,065 votes, which narrowed down finalists to the top three in each category. Summit was recognized as a finalist and chosen by the SGA Board of Directors as the winner in the Safety & Health category for its “Parking Safety and Completing a 360-Degree Walkaround” training video.

“Summit’s initiative to create this safety video represents our dedication to the safety of everyone we meet, every citizen we help, and every team member we have,” said Nathan Knell, Senior Director of Environmental Health Safety and Training at Summit. “Educating team members, as well as the public, proved to reduce accidents that could have injured people or damaged community and company property. We are honored to win this award and have our work showcased among other industry-leading companies.”

At Summit, the safety of its team members and communities is a top priority. Summit recognizes that operating vehicles may be one of the most hazardous routine tasks its team performs. How vehicles are parked is an important part of safe driving. While reviewing trends regarding backing and parking-related motor vehicle accidents with frontline team members, it was suggested that safety video be created.

“The best part of this project was that it was a frontline safety suggestion, and we were able to work with our team members to develop it,” said Knell.

The 360 Walk Around procedure requires Summit team members to completely walk around their vehicle prior to use. During this walk around, team members look for unsafe driving conditions, clear paths of travel, and make sure that the vehicle is in safe operating condition. Most importantly, the 360 Walk Around represents the idea that safety should be considered from all levels and angles—360 degrees. Summit team members spend a lot of time on the road and this helpful video reminds everyone that completing a 360 Walk Around inspection to check for unsafe conditions is just one of the many pro-active tools Summit uses to prioritize a safety-first culture.

This safety initiative has benefitted Summit team members, customers, and members of the public. The video was used to educate all team members on the 360 Walk Around practice. Since the training, Summit has significantly reduced backing accidents.

For decades, the Southern Gas Association (SGA) has been an important forum for recognizing leading natural gas companies across the United States and Canada. SGA Awards recognize members who are advancing the natural gas industry. The SGA’s aim is to support and showcase the great work of companies who have achieved real, measurable business outcomes in their organizations. SGA Awards recognize individuals and teams for their technical contributions, professional excellence, career achievement, service to colleagues, industry leadership and community service.