Wiregrass Electric Cooperative’s (WEC)'s latest safety campaign will be highlighted during the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association Safety Leadership Summit in Orlando, Florida, in mid-April.
WEC leadership will present a look into the “Wiregrass Way — Just Enough Isn’t Enough” campaign implemented in 2019. Brad Kimbro, WEC chief operating officer, says maintaining a safe environment for cooperative employees remains at the forefront of WEC’s annual goals.
“Service to our members is our No. 1 priority, and we accomplish that through our No. 1 goal of safety for our employees,” he says.
Similar to WEC’s previous safety campaigns, “This Is My Why” and “Always and Never,” the new campaign of “Just Enough Isn’t Enough” continues to include WEC employees and their families. The safety campaign featured the “Just Enough Isn’t Enough” phrase followed by taglines such as “That’s why I don’t take shortcuts,” “That’s why I never lose focus on the job” or “That’s why I never have a bad attitude about safety.”
Kimbro says the new safety campaign posters, which were strategically placed in WEC facilities, aimed to inspire employees to take a few more moments to ensure they were working in a safe manner.
“If it could encourage employees to take one more second to think about the proper personal protective equipment or ensuring they had the proper clearance, that was the goal,” he says. “If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your family.”
In addition to preventing harm to employees, a focus on safety improves productivity as it reduces loss-time accidents and workers’ compensation claims.
“Any accident is one too many,” Kimbro says. “We can’t rest. That is why we do these campaigns.”
Kimbro says the safety campaigns reinforce a culture of safety WEC maintains in various ways.
“The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and our statewide association, Alabama Rural Electric Cooperative Association, do tremendous work in assisting our cooperative and other cooperatives be safe. They both make sure our employees have the best training possible in the electric industry,” Kimbro says.
The cooperative conducts monthly safety meetings to remind employees about safety procedures, and a safety committee comprised of employees reviews those procedures and any other safety-related items necessary.
Foremen also conduct “tailgate sessions” with crews ahead of every job to review the challenges each presents as well as the safety equipment that might be needed to complete the task, Kimbro says.
The NRECA will highlight WEC’s overall safety culture along with the safety campaign, Kimbro says. NRECA leadership routinely asks WEC to make a presentation at the annual safety summit.
“It is a true honor for our cooperative to once again have NRECA’s leadership invite WEC to be part of this national safety summit,” Kimbro says.