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Be careful: The safe way is the best way

May is Electrical Safety Month. Because safety is discussed so frequently due to its importance, we can sometimes take it for granted. For as long as I can remember, each time I have a conversation with my grandfather we conclude the discussion with him reminding me to “be careful.” I always respond that “I will.” To which he would reiterate that I be “double careful.” I don’t think that I was able to fully grasp what he meant until I became a parent. Now that I am responsible for a workforce in an inherently dangerous field, this has taken on an even greater meaning for me.
Image of linetech on a pole


Safety is key

Because safety is the number one priority at Nolin RECC, it is something we hope you take as seriously as we do. Nolin RECC works to create a culture of safety by putting the well-being of our employees and our communities above all else. At its core, Nolin’s mission is to provide safe, affordable and reliable electricity to our members. It is also of the highest importance that our employees be able to return home each evening to their loved ones. To do this requires ongoing focus, dedication and vigilance. It requires constant attention. It must be held in highest regard by all employees at all times. It’s very easy over the course of a workday to let other interests creep above safety. Whether it is comfort, convenience or the effort to expedite a job or restore an outage, many things can come up that inevitably challenge safety as a top priority. Many have said “safety takes no days off.” For proper execution, safety must take no moments off.

 

Keeping each other safe

Working with electricity is a dangerous job, especially for line technicians. Supported by training and regularly discussed safety standards, Nolin RECC has a safety team whose focus is keeping employees and the community safe around electricity. We follow safety protocols based on national safety practices for the utility industry, as well as additional specific criteria we have developed for our workforce to give them more clarity for certain aspects of their jobs. We require our line techs to wear specialized personal protective equipment when working near power lines. Our safety team has regular meetings where they 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. We examine this information and data gleaned from accident reports to discern patterns and use safety metrics to improve in those areas where we have fallen short.

We encourage all of our employees to speak up and hold each other accountable for safety. By cultivating a culture of openness and transparency, we promote problem-solving. We also brief contractors on our safety protocols and set expectations for their engagement.


Safety of our communities

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation, each year thousands of people in the United States are critically injured or electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents and electrocution in their own homes. Many of these such tragedies are preventable. There is much you can do to keep yourself and your community safe around electricity.

Don’t attempt electrical DIY projects unless you have extensive experience and knowledge about the task at hand. Don’t overload your outlets. Surge protectors are a great thing, but the addition of more “plugs” does not change the maximum current that can be passed through the wall outlet. Please contact us to report downed power lines (identify if they appear to be sparking or arcing). Call (270) 765-6153 or visit other areas of this website for additional electrical safety tips. If you would like us to provide a safety demonstration at your school or community event, please give us a call.

Be “double careful” when it comes to electrical safety. It could save your life.

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