Safety is Our Legacy
Wiregrass Electric Cooperative’s people are its greatest asset.
Hard-working and knowledgeable employees focus on the cooperative’s mission of providing a reliable, quality electric utility service to members.
However, working closely with high-voltage electricity and heavy equipment is an inherently risky endeavor. Through consistent training, education and communication, we make protecting the cooperative family — workers and members alike — a top goal.
WEC provides employees with procedures, equipment and resources to create a safe working environment and eliminate risk of serious injury. That’s the legacy Wiregrass Electric wants to build upon.
Spotlight on Safety
Incorporating the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Commitment to Zero Contacts initiative, WEC introduced its new Safety Legacy campaign in 2022 to keep employees, members and the community informed about the many ways the cooperative is working to maintain a safe workplace and what steps they can take to keep others safe on the job.
With this new safety legacy campaign, we want our employees to think about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Who’s watching and learning from their actions? How will they be remembered? We really want our employees to consider how their attitude toward safety contributes to the example they’re setting for future generations.
Wiregrass Electric is committed to safety, but safety is everyone’s personal responsibility. We don’t want our employees to just follow the safety guidelines, but also to be leaders in safety.
WEC’s approach to safety compliance is different from many other electric utility providers. Many years ago, the board of trustees decided to not fill the safety director position. Instead, it formed a safety committee of 12 staff members representing disciplines across the cooperative.
We’re always looking for innovative ways to make processes safer. That’s where our committee approach is so valuable. It takes input from the people who are working in these conditions and who have firsthand experience with what’s working and what’s not.
While contact with high-voltage electricity is perhaps the most obvious risk to linemen and servicemen, there are many dangers in the field — severe temperatures, unpredictable traffic hazards and dangerous wildlife, to name just a few.
With new technologies and more data, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration changes rules and regulations often and the committee must look at how those regulations apply to what we do and how to implement them.
The committee tracks measurable objectives like lost-time accidents and workers’ compensation claims to gauge how well the co-op is meeting its safety goals. There will always be things we can improve upon to make these practices better and safer to ensure all our employees go home to their families at the end of the day.
Safety also plays a factor into our top priority of providing reliable and affordable electric service to our members. We care about our people and want to keep them safe and healthy. It’s in everyone’s best interest that we all take safety seriously and our great safety record shows that we do.
Commitment to Community
Wiregrass Electric is always committed to safety and has many outreach programs and resources to learn more about electricity and help you stay safe when you’re around it.