Safety Standard

Co-op joins NRECA safety commitment

Posted on Apr 28 2019 in Noble REMC

Noble REMC is living up to its mission: “Where safety is the standard, and members are the priority.”

Noble REMC CEO Ron Raypole signed NRECA’s Commitment to Zero Contacts in October and recently implemented the program cooperative-wide.

The initiative is designed to provide cooperative leaders with ideas and resources needed to help eliminate serious injuries and fatalities due to electrical contact and enhance co-op safety programs.

We join the 45% of Indiana co-ops which have also signed similar pledges. More than 400 cooperatives across the country have made the commitment since the program was introduced in April 2018.

And in the spirit of Electrical Safety Month, the pledge fits into our mission to always prioritize safety for our members and ourselves.

Raypole said the evidence that accident numbers are dropping, but fatalities nationwide were not, was alarming. He, alongside the safety leadership team, thought it was imperative to be part of the program to make sure they’re doing all they can to ensure safety internally and externally.

“My goal is to have zero contacts,” Raypole said. “Nobody comes in contact with electrical lines or hazards.”

This includes getting into the local high schools to show the next generation of drivers what to do when a line falls on a vehicle. It’s important to teach them what to do before they start driving, Raypole said.

And as always, Noble REMC will continue to provide electrical safety presentations to local schools and organizations when requested or available.

Doug Dickmeyer, Noble REMC’s manager of engineering and construction, explained how the operations department is currently using the program’s S.A.F.E. app to conduct crew job briefings onsite before starting each project. The department reviews the work before begininning, going through a step-by-step job hazard assessment and property safety procedure.

The app allows the crew to slow down and create a safer and more efficient plan of attack, Dickmeyer explained.

“We’re rolling it out to our crews with the full intention to use it daily, for every job,” Dickmeyer said. “Our goal is to make sure our employees go home every night to their families.”

One of the first to use the app was Journeyman Lineman Jerry Garcia. While the crews previously kept paper records of their assessments and site work, the app is another progression in how the department documents the safety procedures in place and provides it to leadership in real time, Garcia explained.

“We’ve always been committed to safety, and this provides another way to stay in line with that mission,” Garcia said.

Operations crew members will be receiving hard hats with the Commitment to Zero Contacts logo on them as a reminder to the public of our mission. Additionally, each employee will be given a logo-ed coin to carry to remember that safety is the priority, for themselves and our members.