Since their inception, electric cooperatives have acknowledged that operating safely is a priority. In fact, safety is an imperative. In our business there is absolutely no room for allowing compromising situations or taking shortcuts.
It is Lake Region’s obligation to provide you with electricity in a manner that is safe. Just as important is our commitment to provide our employees with a safe workplace. Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s workplace extends along 5,746 miles of distribution power lines.
A single injury not only hurts the employee, but our co-op, our business, and even our communities. Last year, two of Minnesota’s serious accidents involving utility work occurred during storm restoration. It’s during these times that our lineworkers and other employees must swing into action. They find themselves getting up at 2 a.m., or missing the big holiday dinner, etc., so power can be restored. The weather conditions are not always favorable–freezing rain, blowing snow, cold winds, or severe weather with lightning; often, it is simply nasty. And, just as you want your power back on quickly, our employees want to get back home into their warm bed, or to their child’s ballgame, or that big ham dinner.
Yet, as much as we want power back on and to get back to our families, we cannot accept rushing as a work practice. With every job we do, we must always ask our workers to work safely and not put pressure on our employees to rush or hurry in doing the work. When we hurry, mistakes occur, and someone may get hurt. When dealing with electricity, these mistakes can be deadly. We must never accept a standard that would encourage hurried and hazardous shortcuts.
So, what can we do collectively?
- As a member of the co-op, understand that it is always our goal to get your power back on as quickly as possible. Yet, at the same time, we must ensure the work is done safely.
- As we respond to outages and storms, the conditions can change as we dissect the situations and the extent of damages. We are making calculated decisions on SAFE power restoration.
- If needed, we will call in more crews.
- In larger storm outages, we even have the capability to bring in help from other co-ops through a mutual assistance pact, and sometimes they even come from other states.
Our standard is and always will be to take the time to work safely. It takes all of us, our co-op members and community, working together to keep this standard. It would be foolish to accept anything less. Because, when we work safely to get your power back on, we ALL get to enjoy the comforts of home.
On our homepage you see a series of pictures scroll across with the following statements that describe our commitment to you, our members:
- Ready in a moment’s notice
- Working in all weather conditions
- Service excellence every day
- Working hard to keep your lights on
SAFETY is a core value that is essential in each of these statements.