SEC announces three years of no lost-time injuries

Published 10:11 am Thursday, May 20, 2021

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As of April 30, Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) completed three years without a lost-time injury due to an on-the-job incident.

“Safety is a core value for SEC,” President and CEO Jeff Edwards said. “Having three years without a lost-time injury, especially given the number of significant weather events that have gripped our service territory over the past three years, is evidence of our full commitment to adhering to all safety practices.”

During this three-year period, SEC’s workforce of approximately 133 men and women logged more than 803,000 man-hours and drove more than 4.3 million miles. They also restored power through major weather events, including Tropical Storm Michael in 2018, the December 2018 snowstorm, Winter Storm Petra in 2019 and the recent Winter Ice Storm Shirley this past February. SEC’s workforce provided guidance and direction to mutual-aid crews, including 850 non-SEC workers who helped with power restoration in February. 

“Our performance has outpaced Federated Rural Electric Insurance’s ‘high performing’ cooperative average over the same period,” Edwards said. “Moreover, for three years, each of our employees has been able to go home safely at the end of the day to their families and friends.”

The emphasis on safety at SEC is incorporated into every aspect of operations through the work of an employee safety committee, monthly safety meetings and an annual day of activities devoted to being safe at work, home and on the road. Before starting any job in the field, lineworkers and supervisors hold tailgate meetings to discuss the day’s work and safety measures that must be followed. Every staff member is trained to identify potential risks and adhere to best practices that ensure the health and well-being of workers and members.

“Safety culture is made up of the attitudes and beliefs of a workforce and will inevitably determine the direction of the safety process,” SEC Director of Safety Ian Hix said.  “We have demonstrated our desire to move in a safe and positive direction, and this milestone is evidence of that effort. Accountability and communication have made their way to the forefront and we continue to see the benefits.”