FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 28, 2013
CONTACT: Jen Neville, 720-962-7050, firstname.lastname@example.org
WESTERN HONORED WITH NATIONAL AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SAFETY PRACTICES
LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Western Area Power Administration earned the American Public Power Association's Electric Utility Safety Awards of Excellence for safe operating practices in 2012.
"We are proud of our safety performance," said Tony Montoya, Western's Chief Operating Officer. "We have a staff of top-class professionals who strive to ensure safe operations in every facet of their work."
In 2012, Western crews—including electricians, meter and relay craftsmen and linemen—spent more than 2.6 million hours working out in the field. Those 1,700-plus employees had fewer than 22 recordable injuries for an incident rate of 1.6.
The rate is based on work-related recordable injuries or illnesses and the number of hours worked during the year. "The award recognition goes to the employees who work in high risk environments each and every day," said Western's Safety Manager Kevin Jensen. "A successful culture of safety means every employee is watching out for their fellow Western brothers' and sisters' safety all the time."
Bob Rumbaugh, chair of the APPA Safety Committee and energy services consultant, American Municipal Power, Inc., in Columbus, Ohio, presented the award on March 25, during the association's annual Engineering and Operations Technical Conference, held in Kissimmee, Fla.
"Keeping utility staff and customers safe should be every utility's top priority," said Rumbaugh. "The utilities honored today have demonstrated serious commitment to this essential aspect of electric service."
Western was second in its category, which is based on number of work hours. "We were honored to receive the award on behalf of all our employees that made safety a work practice, not just a discussion topic. Our goal is zero incidents so that every night every employee goes home tired, but unhurt," said Jensen. "Ensuring that employees are safe at work and go home healthy is something on which we pride ourselves."
More than 280 utilities entered the annual contest, which is the highest number of entrants in the contest’s history. The annual contest reviews three years of data before considering utilities for an award. Entrants are placed in categories according to their number of worker hours and judged for the most incident-free records over the calendar year.
The safety contest has been held annually for the last 52 years. APPA is the national organization representing more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community- and state-owned electric utilities.
Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 10,000 megawatts of clean, renewable power from hydroelectric powerplants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 15 western and central states. It is part of the Department of Energy.
Serving the West with Federal hydropower
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