“Safety” is a universal word that is mentioned often and used loosely. Communities large and small as well as companies across all industries are committed to safety. Sports leagues, at every level, take safety seriously.
Unfortunately, when it really counts, steps to keep the public, workers, athletes and loved ones safe are often overlooked in the interest of expediency or convenience.
However, safety is a serious issue, especially when it comes to electrical safety. For Noble REMC, it’s the number one priority. This is not empty talk. Over time, Noble REMC has created a culture of safety by putting our employees’ safety and that of the community above all else. At its essence, Noble REMC’s mission is to provide safe and reliable electricity to its member-owners. At the end of the day, we strive to deliver reliable electricity to our members, but equally important, we want to return our workers home safely to their loved ones. To do this requires ongoing focus, dedication and vigilance.
Following safety standards
Working with electricity is an inherently dangerous job, especially for lineworkers. Noble REMC has a safety team whose focus is keeping employees and the community safe around electricity. We established and follow safety protocols based on leading national safety practices for the utility industry. We require our lineworkers to wear specialized equipment when working next to or with power lines. There are specific protocols that our lineworkers follow when dealing with electricity. Our safety team has regular meetings during which team members discuss upcoming projects from a safety perspective. They monitor and track near-misses of accidents in order to understand them, share “lessons learned” and improve in the future.
As importantly, we encourage all of our crews to speak up and hold each other accountable for safety. By cultivating a culture of openness and transparency, we promote problem-solving with regard to safety, rather than defaulting to a blame game. We examine the information and data gleaned from near-misses and accident reports to discern patterns and use safety metrics to improve in those areas where we have fallen short. As appropriate, we brief contractors on our safety protocols and set expectations for their engagement.
Keeping You safe
Because we live and work in the community we serve, we care about you, our friends and neighbors. Noble REMC conducts electrical safety demonstrations in schools and for community organizations. We also provide high-voltage live line demonstrations for first responders and highway personnel. Internally, our engineering and operations crews participate in monthly safety training.
May is National Electrical Safety Month. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation, each year thousands of people in the United States are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents and electrocution in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. There is much you can do to keep yourself and your community safe around electricity.
Don’t attempt electrical DIY projects or overload your outlets. Report downed power lines, unlocked substations or padmount transformers that look amiss. Before starting your project, be sure to look up for electrical lines, and call 811 if you plan to dig. Contact Noble REMC for additional electrical safety tips. If you would like us to provide a safety demonstration, please contact Communications and Marketing Manager Kevin Dreibelbis at 800-933-7362.
Be mindful when it comes to electrical safety. Pause and take the extra time to plug into safety.
RON RAYPOLE is President/CEO at Noble REMC.