Fred Bonewell has more than 30 years of leadership experience of excellence in Health, Safety, and the Environment (HSE) experience and has developed and implemented behavioral based safety along with Job Safety Analysis methods and improved risk evaluation in multiple companies. His past experience includes leadership positions at Louisville Gas & Electric, Florida Power & Light, and others. Fred currently serves as the Chief Security & Safety Officer of CPS Energy, the country’s largest municipally-owned utility providing both electric and gas service.
Fred provides leadership and direction to a diversified team of safety and occupational health professionals providing expert advice to mitigate and reduce risk to enable our employees to work in a safe manner. Bonewell leads our safety program that serves 3,200 employees that include both union and non-union employees.
Fred began his safety career achieving a Bachelor of Arts in Safety & Environmental Management in 1980 from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. In the 35 years since, Fred has led excellence in HSE in heavy construction related industries. He began his career with 16 years at LG&E Energy establishing a safety department and improved safety performance by 60%. There he developed strong relationships with union leadership, recognizing the connection to safe work. Next he spent 10 years at Florida Power & Light. Under his leadership, in safety and labor relations, the company achieved the “Best Safety Program in the South-eastern Electric Exchange” award. From there he spent time with a number of companies making significant impacts to safety at each one. Notably he spent five years at Enel Group in Italy and received recognition for DuPont Safety Award for a 24/7 project as well as developed and implemented Safety initiative spanning 22 countries and 81,000 employees. All of these experiences led to his foundation in leading safety enabling him to drive excellent results with CPS Energy.
Fred came to CPS Energy in early 2015 bringing with him 30 years of safety experience and knowledge. He built an enterprise safety plan around “Zero Harm” prior to coming on board. He built a culture of Actively Caring focusing on accountability and safety for all. He surveyed the recent history of industry incidents and systematically removed casual factors to drive safety improvements. From there he built a Behavioral Based Safety Program to get all involved in safety and promote “Watching Each Other’s Backs”. Included in this were post-holiday safety stand ups to reengage the entire work force in dialogue about working toward safety interdependency. In addition he began building a Job Safety Analysis Program to ensure that jobs were consistently started with the focus on safety and risk evaluation. From there, he continues to drive a Zero Harm Culture.
Fred Bonewell oversees all of CPS Energy’s internal and external safety programs. Through a behaviorbased safety program, the company continues to experience a reduction in employee accidents through the promotion of safety awareness. A similar approach is being implemented externally to encourage safety among contractors as well as customers.
Fred incorporates human factors quality evaluation into his preventive work toward “Zero Harm”. Fred established a Safety Index incorporating leading indicators. In each organization he was able to drive significant improvement through relationships. In 2017, Fred was awarded the San Antonio Business Journal’s C-Suite Award which recognized Fred Bonewell for his distinguished leadership and skills within CPS Energy and the San Antonio community. Linked to this achievement, late last year he personally was awarded the 2016 Distinguished National Safety Council Award, a prestigious national distinction.
Fred is married and has one daughter and son-in-law.