Electrical Safety Consultants Inc

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ESCI's Professional Team Members

ESCI's professional team has the in-depth knowledge to serve you; each member has from 22 to 43 years of related experience. Scroll down the page.

Brian Erga, President and General Manager

A 1978 graduate of the University of Washington School of Electrical Engineering, Brian has been involved in the electrical utility industry for more than 37 years. He is a distinguished Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and active member of the IEEE Engineering in the Safety, Maintenance, and Operations of Lines Subcommittee (ESMO). Mr. Erga is currently chairman of the ESMO Induction Task Force and an active member of many IEEE, ESMO, Federal OSHA, ANSI, and ASTM committees, work groups and task forces. He is an active member of the NESC-C2 Subcommittee 8, responsible for NESC Part 4 "Work Rules."

Brian Erga is considered an expert in electric utility design, construction, maintenance and operation. He has been deeply involved in the hearings and proposed revisions to OSHA 1910.269 and OSHA 1926 Subpart V. He is also an industry expert in all types of personal protective grounding, has published numerous papers and articles, and is knowledgeable in all Federal OSHA regulations relating to the utility industry. Mr. Erga is a subject expert on the application of the Minimum Approach Distance, two-man rule, FR clothing and PPE requirements, and other rules and regulations related to the utility industry. He provides expert witness services and is a sought-after speaker nationwide.

Hector Silva, Safety and Training Manager

Hector is our Safety and Training Manager for the Oregon/Arizona/Nevada Utilities Safety Group. Hector has more than 33 years in the electrical utility business. He spent 13 years as a lineman, five years as a Transmission/Distribution Safety & Training Specialist, and eight years as Supervisor of El Paso's Safety Department. Hector has a great deal of experience in utility safety and is considered an authority in technical training relating to pole-top/bucket-truck rescue, rubber gloving, Leadership Safety Awareness, and Department of Transportation (DOT) matters since 1989. Hector is a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), a Certified Utility Safety Administrator (CUSA), and an active member of several national organizations such as the National Safety Council, Western Energy Institute, and Edison Electric Institute Safety & Health (EEI). He also is available to provide expert witness services.

ESCI provides its employees opportunities to excel in their duties as leaders and teachers through continued education and membership in national safety and health committees.

ESCI is continuing the expansion of our Safety and Training Coordinator personnel by recruiting nationally recognized Journeyman Instructors.

Professionals interested in joining ESCI should send a resume and cover letter to:

P.O. Box 2822
Bellingham, WA

Bonnie Parten, ESCI Office Manager, is the company's go-to person for accounting, payroll, billing, company benefits specialists and official company cheerleader. Thanks to Bonnie's hard work and the hard work of all ESCI professionals, ESCI continues to grow. Contact

Cody Christian, Safety and Training Manager

Cody has more than 31 years in the electric utility business and has held a number of positions including:

  • Safety and Training Manager;
  • Journeyman Lineman;
  • Equipment Operator;
  • Apprenticeship Line Instructor;
  • Expert Witness For Complex Litigation Involving The Utility Industry;
  • Independent Safety and Work Methods Utility Auditor;
  • Natural Gas Installation and Maintenance;
  • Certified Rubber Glove, Hot Stick and Live-Line Maintenance Professional.

Mr. Christian is highly knowledgeable in the Federal OSHA 1910.269 and CalOSHA regulations and safety procedures. He offers in-depth safety training services to qualified electrical workers throughout the United States. Cody holds the:

  • National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Loss Control Professional Certification;
  • OSHA General Industry Outreach Trainer Certificate;
  • National Safety Council First-Aid/CPR Instructor;
  • Emergency Care & Safety Institute;
  • Certified Master Instructor Counter-balance Forklift.

He is past Secretary/Treasurer of the Montana Lineman's Rodeo and coordinated the Montana teams for the International Lineman's Rodeo in Kansas City, Missouri. Cody and his wife Diane currently reside in Folsom, California.

Clayton King, Director of Corporate Research & Testing

Clayton King received a BSEE from the University of Missouri in 1965 and completed graduate studies at Iowa State University and the University of Missouri. He has more than 40 years of experience in the field of testing products and systems.

As A.B. Chance Manager of Laboratories, he conducted a substantial number of high-current and high-voltage tests for products and methods development of electrical protective equipment. He has made presentations to the American National Safety Council, the Edison Electric Institute, NEMA, the IBEW, and many electrical utility companies. He is a member of many IEEE, ASTM, and IEC committees and working groups on personal protective grounding, high-voltage metering, and laboratory testing procedures. Mr. King is a registered professional engineer in the State of Missouri.

Clayton is the industry leader in personal protective grounding equipment components, and the application and testing of their acceptance.

Mike Rice, Director of Energized Live-Line Training

Mike Rice, Director of Energized Live-Line Training, leads the ESCI Energized Training Group. Mike has more than 33 years in the electrical utility business including working as a lineman and foreman in the New England States for 16 years. He is considered one of the few highly experienced live-line instructors left in the electric utility industry. Mike held the position of International Live-Line Tool Demonstrator for the A.B. Chance Company for more than six years, training thousands of linemen around the world on live-line work methods and procedures. Mike also has held the position of Senior Safety Consultant for a major west coast electric utility for more than nine years. He is an expert in energized live-line bare-hand, hot stick and rubber glove work methods and training. Mike is also highly knowledgeable in the operation and maintenance and construction of electric utility systems and personal protective grounding.

Tom Rasler, Director of Work Methods Development

Tom Rasler has more than 35 years of experience in the electric utility industry. He has experience in all aspects of the construction, maintenance and operations of transmission and distribution facilities. Tom recently retired from Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), where he was the Supervisor of their transmission and distribution work methods group. In this position, Tom was responsible for developing the work methods for both overhead and underground transmission and distribution work practices, including Work Procedure Manuals, Standards, Guidelines, and Information Bulletins, as well as the development and delivery of the associated training. Tom was also responsible for ensuring compliance with all regulatory requirements covering the performance of T&D line work and for monitoring all regulatory changes that pertain to this work.

Tom is a member of the International Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Engineering, Safety, Maintenance & Operation (ESMO) Committee. He has worked on many of the working groups within the IEEE and ESMO that develop the Standards, Guidelines, and Papers that provide utilities with work practices and provide the information utilities need to safely perform work on their electric facilities.

David Wallis, Director of Standards and Work Rules

Mr. David Wallis holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, and is nationally recognized as a preeminent expert in electrical safety standards and work rules. He recently retired after 40 plus years developing Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) electrical safety standards. Mr. Wallis directed the OSHA Office of Engineering Safety for the last 10 years, authored 10 OSHA safety and health standards and contributed to dozens of others. David has examined the records of more than 6,000 electrical accidents and thousands of non-electrical accidents to determine their cause, allowing him to draft rules preventing the re-occurrence of those accidents.

Mr. Wallis is the primary author of most OSHA electrical standards, including OSHA 1910.269, OSHA 1926 Subpart V, OSHA 1910 Subpart S and OSHA 1926 Subpart K. He also contributed to the promulgation of several other OSHA safety standards, such as the permit-required confined space standard in OSHA 1910.146. David has represented OSHA as an expert witness in several cases before the OSHA Review Commission.

David actively participates in national consensus standards writing committees by offering his extensive knowledge in occupational safety and health standards. He is an active member of ASTM F18, IEEE, the Engineering in the Safety, Maintenance, and Operations of Lines Subcommittee (ESMOL), NFPA 70E, and NESC Subcommittee 8 responsible for Part 4 "Work Rules." He also is available to provide expert witness services.

Brian Pollom, ESCI AMR/AMI Smart Grid Consultant

Brian has 35 years in utility industry.

  • 25+ Years at Puget Sound Energy in Bellevue in
  • Engineering, Line, Substations, Quality, AMR/AMI.
  • 9+ Years working with AMR/AMI Vendors.
  • 5 Years – Trilliant Networks – Montreal/San Francisco.
  • 4 Years – Landis+Gyr – Melbourne/Sydney.
  • Advanced knowledge of Electric utility business inculding
  • 6 years in substation engineering and operation including work with Tyee construction both at Grays Harbor and PSE; and
  • 6 years in quality for PSE, with a focus on new material acceptance and all types of equipment failure.
  • 18 years AMR/AMI Smart Grid – Demand Response.
  • Program Lead and Service Provider.

Kristine K. Buchholz, Director of Special Projects

Kris has more than 34 years of high level, electric utility management experience with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E). She last held the position at PG&E as the Director of Transmission Line Maintenance and Construction, managing 18,000 miles of transmission lines, 300 employees and a $288 million dollar budget. Kris also was the Director of PG&E's Grid Control Center with interconnections to Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC). She held the position of Process Improvement Manager, Engineering and Planning Manager, Director of PG&E's Bay Area Customer Field Service Group, Capital Investment Director, Electric Engineering Supervisor, Bay Region Transmission Gas and Electric Operations Manager, Stanislaus Division Director Engineering and Telecommunications, Transmission and Substation Operations Engineer, and various Engineering positions.

Ms. Buchholz holds a Master's degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a Registered Professional Electrical Engineer in the State of California and a past member of the WECC Operations Committee. Kris is the past chairman of the IEEE Engineering in the Safety, Maintenance and Operations of Lines Committee (ESMOL), and still is deeply involved with the ESMOL Committee.

At ESCI Kris will be leading special projects for ESCI customers involving all areas of electric utility operations, maintenance and construction, including live-line work methods development, management assistance and engineering projects.

Thomas A. Verdecchio, ESCI Live Line Special Projects Manager

Mr. Verdecchio has more than 43 years of electric utility safety and training experience, and live-line transmission experience. He was an integral team member for development and leadership of Public Service Electric and Gas Company's (PSE&G) New Jersey Live-Line Group for more than 15 years. Tom was the lead team member responsible for the development of PSE&G's live-line maintenance techniques which has significantly reduced PSE&E's transmission O & M costs. Mr. Verdecchio's experience includes:

  • The ability to plan and safely work various types of live-line energized work from 138 kV to 500 kV
  • Forty plus years in the electric utility business including distribution rubber glove and hot stick work methods, safety and training work methods development and application of OSHA 1910.269 and OSHA 1926 Subpart V
  • Developing the installation of load cells on energized 230 kV circuits
  • Developing energized work procedures for maintenance of PSE&G's 90-year-old 138 kV circuits
  • Assisting PSE&G to become the first utility helicopter owner/operator for live-line work maintenance and repair
  • Director of Flight Operations PSE&G development training for pilots and linemen for live helicopter work
  • Development of the rotorcraft manual for the 14 CFR Part 133 external operations
  • Development and patenting Personnel Protective Gaps for voltages 115 kV to 345 kV

Mr. Verdecchio has been a member of the IEEE/ESMOL Subcommittee for fifteen years. He has authored five papers on live-line work methods and is currently working to combine all the papers into a Live-line Working Guide for the industry. He is IEEE's representative to NESC Subcommittee 8, Part 4 "Work Rules," and is a member of the EPRI Live Line Advisory Board. Tom is a member of the U.S. National Committee of the IEC (International Electro-Technical Commission) and a committee member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Mr. Verdecchio currently works with EEI, IBEW, OSHA and the FAA in the rule making for Helicopter Live-line Work external operations FAR part 133 Class A, B, C, and D.

He also is available to provide expert witness services.

Gretchen Erga, Special Programs Administrator

Gretchen is the Director of Health and Wellness at ESCI and specializes in the health and wellness field. She develops and provides health and wellness programs, oversees all First Aid/CPR training, and ESCI's Hearing Test services. She is certified as an American Red Cross First Aid/CPR Instructor. A 1974 graduate of Western Washington University with a BS in speech therapy and audiology, she obtained her MS in education from WWU in 1991. Gretchen spent 24 years teaching at the intermediate level of public education, specializing in health and wellness the last five years.

Jerry Lemm, Safety and Training Manager

Mr. Lemm has been in the electric utility business for more than 26 years. He received his business management degree from Northern University. Mr. Lemm then joined Montana Power Company where he held several positions in the Operations Group. He then pursued a career as a safety and training professional and worked with utilities in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Washington. His safety and training experiences include work with natural gas and propane companies, electric generation, and transmission and distribution systems. Mr. Lemm is well versed in the OSHA 1910 and 1926 regulations, and is an OSHA General Industry Outreach Trainer. He spends much of his time involved in Federal regulatory compliance and Department of Transportation (DOT) rules. Mr. Lemm also is an expert in workplace wellness, office safety and general safety requirements. Mr. Lemm's extensive martial arts background and experience in law enforcement issues has given him an edge on work-place violence and personal safety issues. He is also qualified to conduct facility security audits for employers. Mr. Lemm has an upbeat and quick-paced instructional technique, and can make even the most boring subjects interesting and pertinent.

Jerry holds the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Loss Control Professional Certification and numerous other instructional certifications as a trainer in the field of health, wellness and general safety. He is CAOHC certified, an NSC Instructor Trainer and a certified First Aid/ CPR and AED instructor. He also holds a certification as a Critical Stress Debriefing Counselor and Personal Trainer.

Jim Craker, Safety and Training Manager

Jim has more than 30 years in the electric utility business including 12 years at a REA in South Dakota and 17 years at a Public Utility in Washington State. His positions include:

  • Safety and Training Manager;
  • Journeyman Lineman;
  • Line Foreman;
  • Assistant Operations Manager;
  • Line Superintendent;
  • Certified Rubber Glove, Hot Stick and Live-Line Maintenance Professional.

Mr. Craker is highly knowledgeable in the Federal OSHA 1910.269, OROSHA and WAC 45 for the State of Washington. He offers in-depth safety training services to qualified electrical workers throughout the North Western U.S. Jim holds Certifications in:

  • First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor;
  • Flagging Instructor;
  • Forklift Instructor.

He is a member of the Employer's Electrical & Communication Safety Committee (EECSC) and the Electrical Utility Safety Advisory Committee (EUSAC).

Jim and his wife Connie currently reside in Shelton, Washington.

John O'Loughlin, Safety and Training Manager

John's experience comes from 36 years of electric utility experience, including 12 years as a senior safety consultant for PNM Resources. John has a total of 24 years as an journeyman lineman, crew foreman and district operations manager.

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