Every cooperative aspires to eliminate serious injuries due to electrical contacts. To achieve this, we often implement new action plans to reduce high-risk behavior. Unfortunately, even when we are successful in changing behavior, it’s human nature to return to that which is most comfortable and improvements are lost. Our challenge as leaders in the electric utility industry is to break this cycle. It’s imperative we instill in every area of the cooperatives’ operations a sustainable culture of safety. It’s our Commitment to Zero Contacts.
The training on life-saving rules has been clear and consistent over the years. However, research demonstrates that different cultural forces and employees’ perceived expectations of organizational priorities can lead to inconsistent use of these rules, or not applying them at all. Clearly defining the life-saving rules, communicating leadership’s value in them, and ensuring a consistent understanding of them is fundamental in setting expectations.
When a safety management structure is created, its value and importance is communicated from the highest levels of cooperative leadership, and it is effectively performed, it helps ensure safety expectations are being met and potentially reduces the likelihood of electrical contacts.
Resources to implement the Commitment to Zero Contacts initiative at Indiana’s electric cooperative can be found by visiting IndianaEC.org/commitment-to-zero-contacts h. On this site you’ll find commitment forms, implementation resources, sample board resolutions, and more. You’ll also find ready-to-use graphic files designed specifically for Indiana cooperatives. These graphic files are available for direct download and can be customized for each local cooperative. And, you can order wristbands, stickers, emergency information placards, and coins at cost directly from IEC.