May is Electrical Safety Month. Each one of us, from your co-op’s Board and employees to our members and the community partners around us, has a part to play in keeping each other safe around electricity.
In this month’s column I would like to explain why safety is so important to me personally and your co-op’s employees as we serve our membership.
I don’t think of safety as a priority since priorities change — whereas safety is an ever-paramount focus in all that we do. That’s why here at Poudre Valley REA safety is our cornerstone and what everything is built upon. If we get safety right, everything else has an opportunity to be successful.
Safety is a fundamental part of our culture. There are many examples of how safety is woven throughout our cooperative. We have an internal Safety Team, which gives rotating members across departments a seat at the table as we discover, implement, and react to safety measures in our organization and industry at large.
This year we started a Peer-to-Peer Safety Inspection Initiative to ensure our safety culture is strengthened through sharing between employees. The goal of this initiative is to help safety permeate even deeper into your cooperative.
It’s also important we create a culture where individuals are empowered to talk about safety, share insights, and speak out. That’s why I’m proud of the successes we have seen with our Pay It Forward practice. By addressing safety issues with an employee-focused process, employees can safely self-report close calls or identify areas we can improve, and we share their concerns with fellow cooperatives within the state.
We also routinely participate in a national safety program put on by our national trade association in partnership with statewide and cooperative leaders. This program utilizes a framework for continuous improvement to advance safety performance and culture. Core components of the program include cooperative-wide safety performance measures, testing, and resources to identify quantifiable safety goals and increase safety knowledge.
All of these activities and much more help us strengthen our culture of safety where safety is not just a checklist but an inherent part of everything we do. Because a true culture of safety only happens when each of us buy into it, when we accept responsibility for our own safety, and when we look out for those around us.
I encourage all of you to continue reading this issue to learn about important ways you can stay safe around electricity.
You can also find valuable information on our website at www.pvrea.coop/electrical-safety.
Please recognize the importance of electrical safety every time you are near electric products and equipment. Be safe!
President & CEO