As people all over the world celebrated the end of 2020, San Patricio Electric Cooperative reached an important milestone. On December 31, the co-op achieved 1 million man-hours worked without a lost-time accident.
Reaching 1 million man-hours without a lost-time accident is no small feat for the co-op. SPEC, when fully staffed, has 38 full-time employees. In order to reach this 1 million man-hour milestone, each SPEC employee had to work an average of 26,316 hours without a lost time accident. In total, it took SPEC just over 13 years to reach this milestone.
Of course, linemen, who often work overtime restoring power after hours, on holidays and weekends carried the weight of those many hours worked.
“We are extremely proud to reach this impressive milestone,” said Ron Hughes, SPEC’s General Manager. “This accomplishment would not have been possible without our employees, who have created a culture of workplace safety and demonstrate their commitment every day,”
Many SPEC employees work with live electricity as they maintain the co-op’s 3,161 miles of electricity infrastructure. They operate heavy machinery, encounter pole fires and handle down power lines. These are the people called out of the warmth of their homes during hazardous weather.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SPEC employees have continued to work to serve its members, while taking extra safety precautions to protect their health.
Despite challenging work conditions, its SPEC’s goal that every employee makes it home to their family safely each night. Part of that effort is providing training and holding weekly safety meetings that outline safety standards and give employees a chance to discuss near misses, or potential dangers.
“I believe SPEC’s commitment to providing employees with the proper tools, personal protective gear, and time to do the job safely have also contributed to this safety record,” said Hughes. “With their continued dedication, we hope to continue watching our accident-free days grow well beyond a million hours.”
Lost-time accidents are defined as work related accidents or injuries that require employees to take time off from work. For more than 4,800 days, SPEC employees worked with safety in mind and are continuing to watch the number of accident-free days grow as they practice safety on the job every day.