Our Commitment to ZERO Contacts
Every cooperative aspires to eliminate serious injuries due to electrical contacts. The number of serious injuries and fatalities among lineworkers across the country remains high. It’s a trend that Quinten Wheeler, manager of safety and compliance, and Wheatland want to stop through a new initiative of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange called “Commitment to Zero Contacts.” The initiative was created to help prevent and eliminate life altering injuries resulting from electrical contact.
The factors that increase the likelihood of accidents vary but creating a strong culture of safety helps mitigate the risk at all levels, and Wheatland is doing just that. Wheatland’s General Manager Bruce Mueller took the pledge to commit to zero contacts and made a voluntary commitment for Wheatland to join this nationwide initiative. The effort to eliminate serious injuries and fatalities due to electrical contacts involves educating and engaging every single employee.
As part of the Commitment to Zero Contacts initiative, Wheatland provided every lineman with a coin to carry in their pocket each day that reminds them of why they work safe.
“We have made one of our top priorities at Wheatland to have every lineman make their own voluntary commitment to working safer and smarter. Every lineman has signed an employee commitment form and that is something we couldn’t be more proud of,” Wheeler said.
By signing the employee commitment form, Wheatland Electric linemen commit to use the following work practices and ideas:
- Use our Life Saving Rules
- Personal protective equipment (gloves and sleeves)
- Application of personal grounds
- Application of proper insulating material
- Proper use of clearance procedures
- To “speak up” and not accept, or walk by, a shortcut to safe work
- Slow down and perform effective job planning on all work assignments
At Wheatland we know how dangerous electric utility line work can be; that’s why safety comes first and why we’ve made the commitment to work safer and smarter.