XCEL ENERGY’S COMMITMENT TO SAFETY
Xcel Energy’s values “reflect our core beliefs – who we are, how we conduct our business, and the importance of our customers.” The very first value is “We commit to ensure safety for ourselves, our co-workers, and the public.”
Indeed, safety is the way we do business. More than a slogan, our commitment to safety is based on a belief that nothing is more important than having employees return home from work in the same healthy condition they were in when they arrived.
By working together, Xcel Energy and the employees of its operating companies have made impressive strides. And, as a result of the care and compassion of our employees who have put safety first, Xcel Energy finished 2015 with the 8th consecutive “best year ever” with 111 injuries and an OSHA rate of 0.90. Both of these measures are the lowest in company history. The 111 injuries represent a 10% reduction from the 123 injuries in 2014.
In 2015 we focused on making safety personal. Our employees embraced working safely for their families, friends and co-workers, so we will continue our personal focus to ensure our employees go home injury free.
We had a historic year, sending more employees home every day injury-free than any other time in our history. This is something to be very proud of. We expect that 2015 safety performance results will place Xcel Energy into the top-performing publicly traded utilities from across the country.
This is great progress on our Journey to Zero, but we haven’t completed our journey yet. We still have work to do. Please reaffirm your commitment to your safety and the safety of those around you. With your help, we will make 2016 another “best year ever,” and return even more employees home injury-free.
- Journey To Zero Focus
- Safety Leadership Training
- Safety Intervention Stop Work Responsibility
- Rules To Live By
- 24/7 Campaign
- Crew Observations
- Ergonomic Strategy – Ergonomists
These are just the major safety initiatives Xcel Energy have introduced since 2009.
It takes additional time and effort to put these programs and rules into practice every day and that it may slow some work down.
- Investments in PPE
- Paid time to attend Mandatory Annual Safety Compliance Training
- Paid time to attend SAG meetings
- Paid time to attend Regional Safety Committees, quarterly safety conferences
Xcel Energy has made significant investments in safety, including state-of-the-art Personal Protection Equipment. Also, the Company believes the time that employees spend for training, SAG meetings, and safety committees is a wise investment.
Xcel Energy does all of these things because they are the right things to do. We care about the safety of employees, and we act on that belief daily.
Xcel Energy’s commitment to safety and our Journey to Zero – along with your contributions and hard work – have had real results.
Since 2003 the rate of OSHA incidents at Xcel Energy has been cut by over 72%. That means that your likelihood of being injured on the job is substantially less then what it was 10 years ago, and that more employees are going home injury-free every day.
In addition, we have made particular progress in avoiding injuries by electric contact and gas ignitions, some of the most significant injuries in our industry. In 2014 we had 0 such injuries!
Many employees are getting hurt while in the “line of fire” – that is, with the body in the path of an object such as straps under tension or directly under work being performed overhead – or as a result of slips, trips and falls.
Below are results of employee injuries both counts and rates for 2014 compared to 2013 year end results.
Most areas demonstrated improvement from 2013 results and continue on our Journey to Zero with more employees going home injury-free. The OSHA rate indicates the number of injuries per 100 employees, and – as the chart below indicates – most areas are at or below 2 for a rate. Again, good performance and demonstrating continuous improvements.
Please follow these reminders to reduce your chance of being injured..
Avoiding Line Of Fire (LOF) Injuries:
- Awareness is the first defense. Be alert for conditions that may change where the line of fire zone exists.
- Perform a job site walk-down and identify LOF hazards.
- Remind co-workers to stay clear of hazards. Job briefings are the key to avoiding accidents and injuries. Ensure everyone knows and understands his or her role.
- Safety Intervention Stop Work Responsibility: any time the situation changes, stop and talk it over and get on the same page. Be very clear about your expectations for the job.
- Pay close attention to personnel and objects above, below, and in the immediate work area during any job evaluation. Be aware of your surroundings.
Avoiding Slips, Trips, and Falls:
- Practice good housekeeping
- Keep clutter picked up. Common causes of falls include debris, tools, and materials on the floor or the ground.
- Arrange work areas so that there are clear passages for walking and working.
- Store boxes of materials away from traffic areas.
- Keep walking surfaces free of water, oil, mud, and ice – especially on your truck.
- Wear footwear that will prevent slipping and tripping. Avoid slippery soles, and wear well-fitting, correctly fastened footwear
- Stick to established traffic routes. Taking short cuts through areas that contain unexpected obstacles can cause falls.
- Maintain three points of contact when you are climbing ladders, in or out of vehicles, or onto vehicles or equipment.
Complacency is another common cause of injuries. Please stay focused on the task at hand, give every task 100% of your attention, and watch out for each other.
Be aware of your surroundings by practicing situational awareness:
- scanning your work environment;
- looking up, down, and all around to identify potential hazards; and then
- correcting them before proceeding.
Don’t be distracted. Your job is too important to be thinking of anything but the task at hand. Approach each job, each task, and each situation as a safety professional.
Our shared vision is for each employee to go home each night injury-free to his or her family. Together let’s continue to work toward reducing and eliminating injuries and achieving this vision and our Journey to Zero.
Fall Arrest Update
Partnerships are vitally important to our Journey to Zero. In what we believe is an example of a successful partnership, IBEW, Local 111 and Xcel Energy Workforce Relations recently reached a mutual agreement on changes for Chapter 307.07 of the Manual of Safe Practices regarding fall arrest.
For details, refer to the Letter of Agreement that was signed on Jan. 21, 2014.
Why does the Company emphasize safety so much?
Safety is a core value at Xcel Energy. We are committed to providing a safe work environment and sending each and every employee home injury-free. Our belief is that nothing is more important than having you return home from work in the same healthy condition you were in when you arrived. But a job that involves working with high voltage electricity, flammable gas, and overhead wires – not to mention driving on roads and highways – will never be free from hazards. While we have made great progress, there are still employees being injured on the job, and areas of concern that must be addressed.
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