As a consumer-member of Pioneer Electric, there’s no doubt you’ve heard us emphasize the priority we put on safety. Pioneer is very proud of the safety culture it has developed throughout the years. Here are just some of the initiatives that have been recently undertaken:
In June 2018, our linemen and management team took on a new national safety initiative called Commitment to Zero Contacts, developed through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange. Our official pledge to “commit to zero” helped to attain no lost time due to accidents or injuries in 2018 — an accomplishment we have not attained since 2012.
As part of our commitment to zero and ongoing efforts to increase our safety culture, our linemen and operations management team began doing weekly safety briefings instead of monthly. And, as a way to take initiative in learning each aspect of safety, one lineman each week is selected to present a section of the safety manual. The weekly meetings have created an open dialogue among linemen to discuss near-miss situations and the opportunity to learn from other’s safety oversights instead of being punished for them. When no personal situations are offered, they discuss near-miss situations that have occurred throughout the state, which are received through Safe Talk, an e-newsletter provided by Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives, our statewide network of distribution cooperatives.
Additionally, operations supervisors, along with the manager of safety and construction, have increased their consistency with crew observations, completing nine observations during normal business hours each week and at least one observation after-hours each month. In 2018, supervisors completed 151 safety observations during normal business hours and 24 after-hours.
Linemen and supervisors have started using Federated Insurance’s new Stop and Focus Everyday (S.A.F.E.) mobile application to walk through the necessary steps to take prior to completing a job and to complete crew inspections.
These safety efforts have led to Pioneer receiving a nomination from Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives to be recognized as a leader in safety among cooperatives by NRECA. Pioneer’s continued safety advancements will be featured in a video produced and shared with cooperatives around the country.
Safety, of course, never rests. As a cooperative, we continue to search for and evaluate new safety initiatives and practices to make sure our employees, members, and communities have the right information and tools to stay safe.