“Safety” is a universal word that is mentioned often and used
loosely. Communities large and small as well as companies across all industries are committed to safety. Sports leagues take safety seriously. Unfortunately, when it really counts, steps to keep the public, workers, athletes and loved ones safe are often ignored in the interest of expediency or convenience.

However, safety is a serious issue, especially when it comes to electrical safety. For JOEMC it’s the number one priority. This is not empty talk. Over time, your cooperative has created a culture
of safety by putting our employees’ safety and that of the community above all else. At its essence, JOEMC’s mission
is to provide safe, affordable and reliable electricity to its member-owners. At the end of the day we strive to deliver affordable and reliable electricity to our member-owners, but equally important, we want to return our workers home safely to their loved ones. To do this requires ongoing focus, dedication and vigilance.

Working with electricity is an inherently hazardous job, especially for linemen. We have a Safety Manager as well as a safety team whose focus is keeping employees and the community safe around electricity. We establish and follow safety protocols based on leading national safety practices for the utility industry. We require our linemen to wear specialized equipment when working next to or with power lines. There are specific protocols that our linemen follow when dealing with electricity. Our Safety Manager and safety team have regular meetings where they discuss potential situations or day-to-day job duties 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.

As importantly, we encourage all of our crews to speak up and hold each other accountable for safety. By cultivating a culture of openness and transparency, we promote problem-solving with regard to safety, rather than defaulting to a blame game. We examine the information and data gleaned from near-misses and accident reports to discern patterns and use safety metrics to improve in those areas where we have fallen short.

Because we live and work in the community we serve, we care about our neighbors. JOEMC participates in electrical safety demonstrations at schools and for community events. We also
provide safety tips and information on our website and throughout the year in this newsletter.

May is National Electrical Safety Month. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation, each year thousands of people in the United States are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents and electrocution in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. Don’t overload your outlets or attempt electrical projects around the home…call a licensed electrician. Report downed power lines, unlocked substations or padmount transformers that look amiss.

Contact us or visit our website for additional electrical safety tips. And remember to always be mindful when it comes to electrical safety. Pause and take the extra time to plug into safety.