Creating a Culture of Safety
Posted on January 27th, 2021
From Your Board Chairman, Rick Love
When I was elected to the board in 1998, we had a good safety program in place at First Electric. Over the years, our program has matured into one of the top programs among the 900+ co-ops across the country.
Our board is committed to providing the highest level of safety for all employees of the co-op. Weekly, monthly and annual safety meetings are conducted for field and office personnel. Through a positive approach of education, training and support, the co-op has created a culture of safety. We believe it’s our most important responsibility to ensure our employees are safe and healthy to provide the “all in” service you deserve.
Our field personnel have the most exposure to potential hazards. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential to their duties. Hard hats, safety glasses and hand protection is just the beginning of their layers of PPE to ensure their safety each day.
We are constantly monitoring new safety standards and equipment. The most recent is an aerial bucket self-rescue device. It allows field personnel, who work alone, the ability to rappel from a bucket in emergency situations.
A rope can be attached to the bucket in emergency situations which allows the servicemen to rappel safely to the ground. It is a relatively new safety product for the electrical industry; however, this technology is not. It’s like rappelling when rock climbing, and a life-saving technology when applied in our business. We are the first co-op in the state to deploy this technology and we have purchased the devices for all bucket trucks for employees who work alone.
Lastly, our co-op participates in the Rural Electric Safety Achievement Program (RESAP) which is a national safety audit program. It is an in-depth examination of our safety practices. I am pleased to announce we meet or exceed national safety standards. We do not participate for the recognition but to reinforce that what we are doing on a daily basis will help keep our employees safe.
It is a pleasure serving as your board chairman. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact me or your local board member.
Rick Love, Chairman
Pictured, above: Lineman Danny Carlton of Heber Springs rappels out of a bucket with a new aerial bucket self-rescue device.