SPEC Reaches 10 Years with No Lost-Time Accidents
In an industry with so many dangers, every safety milestone is significant, but this year we reached a big one. I’m proud to announce that San Patricio Electric Cooperative celebrated 10 years without a loss-time accident in November.
Our employees work with live electricity, operate heavy machinery and spend countless hours behind the wheel. They encounter pole fires, snakes, dogs and other potential dangers in their day-to-day duties.
This year proved particularly trying. In May, we experienced a severe storm with tornadoes that caused significant damage to our electricity infrastructure. It caused some extra work, but thankfully no accidents for our employees.
There was also an incident over the summer when a swarm of Africanized honeybees, or “killer bees” attacked several of our linemen. A couple of minor injuries occurred as our employees scrambled for safety, but nothing that qualified as a loss-time accident.
Of course, the most notable challenge was Hurricane Harvey. This Category 4 Hurricane caused extensive damage throughout our service territory. At the peak, 92 percent of our members were without power. We had to replace about 220 poles and countless miles of primary and secondary conductor.
High winds, debris, rain, mud and mosquitoes made it difficult for our linemen to restore power. However, they were still able to work safely and restored power to our members as quickly as possible.
Despite the challenges of the industry, SPEC makes every effort possible to ensure its employees make it home to their families safely each night. Part of that effort is providing training and holding weekly safety meetings that outline safety standards and give a chance for employees to discuss near misses, or potential dangers.
Our record reflects the safety culture our employees have created at the co-op. They make a conscious effort to work safely, discuss near misses and share new ideas during their weekly safety meetings. They take pride in their safety achievement and want to protect it for as long as possible. Likewise, they take pride in their jobs, knowing the importance of a reliable electricity infrastructure and the role they play in their communities.
Of course, SPEC’s commitment to providing employees with the proper tools, personal protective gear, and time to do the job safely have no-doubt contributed toward all of these years without a lost time accident.
Lost-time accidents are defined as work related accidents or injuries that require employees to take time off from work. For 3,650 days, SPEC employees worked with safety in mind to accomplish this impressive goal.
I want to say a special thanks to all SPEC employees for their dedication to safety. Without these hardworking individuals, we would not have reached this exceptional accomplishment.