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Co-op Wins Best 3-Year Safety Award

Illinois Rural Electric Cooperative (IREC) recently received top honors during the annual Safety/Supervisory Technical (SST) Conference held in Bloomington, Feb. 11-12.

Employees were presented with the Best 3-Year Safety Award for their outstanding safety record among the state’s electric cooperatives.

Sponsored annually by the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives (AIEC), the SST conference helps to keep attendees up-to-date on changes to safety procedures and provides presenters for information on topics of importance to their positions at their electric cooperatives.

On the first day, attendees heard about the importance of peer-to-peer accountability. Matt Forck of Safestrat, LLC, told the crowd that in the area of safety, 93% of employees say they see urgent risks to life and limb and yet less than one fourth of those who see concerns speak up about them and why that needs to change. Forck also presented a break-out session about foundational leadership skills.

Linemen enjoyed an interactive fast paced session to learn more about different types of impairment, how they affect everyone, the costs involved and steps to recognize and manage them.

During the conference Mike Boyd, Executive Director of The Fallen Linemen Organization discussed the organization’s mission to memorialize fallen electrical line workers, and how they care for the families who have lost or are impacted by a severe injury of a loved one in the line of duty.

On Thursday, attendees heard about how to address the different dynamics involved in a multi-generational workplace. Former lineman and current Safety and Loss Control Manager at South Kentucky RECC Eddie Black, and wife Lisa, gave a compelling talk about the accident that cost him both of his hands and how it affected not only him, but his family and co-workers.

Shown (L-R) are co-op employees: Andy Nash, Materials Supervisor; David Gant, Area Serviceman; Chad Greorgy, Foreman; Brenda Haverfield, Loss Control Supervisor; Joe Alexander, Apprentice Lineman; and Cole Hurrelbrink, Journeyman Lineman.