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Perspective: Safety - It's a Big Deal

We don’t take safety for granted at Jackson EMC; it is our first priority. Whether it’s our linemen working with high-voltage electricity or office personnel at their desks, we stress safety for the sake of all our employees and our members.

Working with electricity is inherently dangerous. It’s why we provide extensive training that stresses safe work practices. Our line crew members and field service representatives attend mandatory safety meetings each week. We consistently remind our workers of dangers to avoid and safety guidelines to follow.

Along with undergoing regular mandatory evaluations, we invite safety experts from other cooperatives around the state to review our safety practices. Every three years a team of our peers visits our offices and questions our employees to ensure we are performing at the safest level possible. Completed in October, our most recent safety evaluation by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Safety Achievement Program found what we already knew, that Jackson EMC employees take safety seriously and practice safe work habits each day.

The observation team was impressed with the well-maintained vehicles, buildings and grounds at each of our district offices. As observers toured our service area, asking questions and watching work practices, they noticed knowledgeable employees who take pride in their jobs.

All Jackson EMC employees attend monthly safety meetings that cover topics ranging from first aid to fire safety. Our employees know what do in the case of an emergency and they are trained in life-saving skills, like CPR. Everyone completes a defensive driving course too, keeping them, and others, safe on the road. These safety trainings help us stay safe at work, as well as when we are in the community with our friends and families.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says safety programs that find and fix workplace hazards before workers are hurt not only reduce injuries, they also lead to higher productivity, lower costs and greater employee satisfaction. This is important to both our employees and you, our members. In OSHA’s experience, companies with active safety and health programs experience 15 to 35 percent fewer injuries. Having such programs in place reduces insurance costs for the cooperative, savings that are passed on to our members.

We stress safety because it’s the right thing to do, and we continuously evaluate our programs to make sure they are meeting the intended goal of keeping our employees and our members safe. This is dangerous work; scoring high in safety achievement is important. That means we are safe on your property when we work on lines and equipment and that our employees come home safe every day.

We congratulate our employees for their commitment to safety, and we wish you and yours safe and happy holidays.