MEC’s safety coordinator receives national certification

Published 10:15 am Friday, March 13, 2020

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Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s (MEC) Safety and Security Coordinator, Matt Shaw, has completed an intensive electric utility safety and loss control accreditation program.

The Certified Loss Control Professional program is structured to guide the Utility Safety Professional to manage workplace safety and ensure the safekeeping of the Cooperative’s resources. Coupled with Shaw’s 30-year stretch in the industry, this program’s specifically designed workshops enhance the participant’s skills including emergency procedures, disaster recovery, environmental responsibilities, hazard and job analysis, hazard assessment, accident prevention, accident investigation, and accident analysis.

This unique program is administered and managed by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in conjunction with the National Utility Training & Safety Education Association and in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin School of Business to promote the “Best Practices” in electric utility safety.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports nearly four million injuries occur annually in the workplace. Accordingly, a top goal of the Certified Loss Control Professional is to advance and ensure a safe work environment for utility workers, the Cooperative’s members, and the public in general.

Avoiding workplace accidents prevents down time and ultimately keeps utility rates as low as possible.

MEC Board Chairman David J. Jones presented Shaw his certificate during the February board meeting and congratulated him on behalf of the full board and senior staff. Shaw is one of only a few electric utility professionals nationwide who will receive this certification during 2020.

The program requires participants to complete a rigorous series of seminars and testing, a 30- hour OSHA course and a meticulous final project.

Safety and Loss Control participants go through four, week-long sessions that are designed to challenge and educate participants in new, innovative safety techniques. Participants must also maintain their certificate by attending annual courses to maintain a continuing knowledge of best in class safety techniques for the industry.

“Matt was in the final stages of completing this important certification when he came to MEC just over a year ago. Safety is our highest priority at MEC and we commend him for the hard work and dedication he has put into completing the program and for expanding his knowledge in the safety field,” MEC President and CEO John C. Lee, Jr., said. “His work at our cooperative has enhanced MEC’s already exceptional safety program and this certification will be valuable to our organization as we guard against complacency and continue our efforts to provide the safest working conditions possible for MEC’s most valuable resource, our outstanding employees.”

Shaw, a Marine Corps veteran, began his electric industry career in 1990 as an apprentice lineman; from there, he advanced to lead lineman, a position in which he served for more than 20 years. During his career, Matt has spent thousands of hours in training line personnel including OSHA compliance across Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware.

“Safety has simply been the unwavering foundation of my entire career,” Shaw said. “Teaching younger employees and line apprentices to safely complete a job is what first drew me to a career focused on safety. Mecklenburg Electric has a premier safety program, and I am excited to put these new skills and principles to work for us all to reach even higher levels of safety in our daily construction and maintenance practices. It is our responsibility to demonstrate to our employees that safety is a part of every decision, every job, and every meeting. This brings us to the biggest benefit of working safely, to go home to those we love, every day, every night, and after every storm.”

Shaw also holds teaching certifications in first aid, CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and AED (Automated External Defibrillator).

Prior to coming to MEC he was an instructor of safety and training at the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives in Glen Allen.

Since relocating to the area, Matt and his wife, Norma Jean, reside in the Drakes Branch area of Charlotte County.