Safety matters

Posted on Jul 26 2019 in Kankakee Valley REMC

By Scott Sears

“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. Your cooperative is no exception.

Kankakee Valley REMC has created a culture of safety by putting our employees’ and our community’s safety above all else.  At its essence, KV REMC’s mission is to provide safe, affordable and reliable electricity to its member-consumers.  At the end of the day, we strive to deliver on all elements of that mission but equally important, we want to return our employees home safely to their loved ones. This requires ongoing focus, dedication, vigilance and on-the-job training.

Working with electricity can be an inherently dangerous job.  We establish and follow safety guidelines based on national utility industry safety practices. We require that our employees wear specialized gear when working. They also must attend various training courses each year.

One recent course was pole top and bucket truck rescue training.  Through this training, one by one, lineworkers test their ability to quickly strap on their gear, climb a pole and lower a distressed fellow lineworker to the ground safely. Crews are expected to have the injured lineworker on the ground within four minutes to then provide necessary emergency aid.

To make this exercise as realistic as possible, they use a weighted mannequin to simulate a human in distress. This is an annual training that all KV REMC journeymen linemen and apprentice linemen participate in.    

At the center of your cooperative are 42 employees. The relationships between these employees far exceeds that of just co-workers. We are a family. For this reason, keeping each other safe is of paramount importance and something we take very seriously in our daily activities on the job site.

SCOTT SEARS is CEO of Kankakee Valley REMC