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POWER CIRCUIT


Visit us on the Internet at: www.vvec.com AUGUST 2013


Published for the members of Verdigris Valley Electric Cooperative A Supplement to Oklahoma Living.


Trustees Vote to Return $1 Million in Capital Credits p. 3


Safety Achievement Program is Hard Work, but Worth the Effort


Each morning our trucks roll out


carrying linemen intent on providing you with dependable electric service. It is our intent to make sure they do that as safely as possible. Every three years VVEC has its


safety regulations and practices, vehicles and equipment inspected as part of


the co-op pays,” explains VVEC Job Training and Loss Control Coordina- tor Bill Gillespie. Throughout each year, Gillespie


and members of the Operations staff, perform inspections to make sure VVEC adheres to its safety policies. Meetings are held almost every month


man. And employees are each certified in CPR, First Aid, and AED defibrilla- tor equipment. “We test our safety equipment


more often than OSHA requires,” says Gillespie. “OSHA requirements are that these tests be conducted once a year. But we want to make certain our equipment is safe, and isn’t defective and doesn’t need to be replaced, so we test it twice a year.” Approval through the Safety


OAEC Director of Loss Control Kenny Guffey inspects the bucket on a VVEC line truck as part of the on-site Safety Achievement Program.


the Safety Achievement Program. The program is sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and conducted by the Okla- homa Association of Electric Coopera- tives (OAEC). “It is a lengthy and involved pro- cess, but the benefits of being approved are evident in lives being saved and a reduction in the insurance premiums


with safety personnel from OAEC so employees can review and discuss es- tablished safety regulations. A pole-top rescue is held each year and linemen are required to rescue fellow linemen in a specific amount of time. Rubber gloves and the booms and buckets on the line trucks are tested to make sure they can tolerate specific amounts of electricity before endangering a line-


Achievement Program requires an on- site inspection by a team of certified personnel who spend the day at VVEC. Gillespie says the team includes safety personnel like him from other Oklaho- ma co-ops, and Kenny Guffey, director of loss control for OAEC. Gillespie says the program team begins the day early, inspecting equipment on the vehicles such as gloves, harnesses and tools, along with inspecting the vehicles, booms and buckets. They visit with the linemen, questioning them on how to safely perform certain field tasks. The team also visits a crew in the


field to watch them do their ‘hot’ work, meaning the electricity is not shut off while they’re working. The team returns to the co-op,


where they inspect the office building, warehouse, and pole yard. In addition to the on-site inspec- tion, Gillespie has to prepare a 58-page report, which he begins working on about 12 months before the on-site


Continued on page 2.


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