Trends, Reports & Analyses

Safety Summit a Must for All Co-ops

By Michael W. Kahn | ECT Staff Writer Published: June 19th, 2012

“If we improve safety, everything else gets better in our cooperatives. It’s what the research shows, it’s very clear,” said Bud Branham.

At the Leading Practices Showcase, Steve Burch, fleet manager at Colorado's Empire Electric Association, will share his idea for motivating safe behavior in performing daily vehicle inspections. (Photo By: EEA)

At the Leading Practices Showcase, Steve Burch, fleet manager at Colorado's Empire Electric Association, will share his idea for motivating safe behavior in performing daily vehicle inspections. (Photo By: EEA)

He’s NRECA’s interim safety programs manager, and has a proposition for electric cooperative leaders.

“We want to challenge you to consider new and different ways to lead safety improvements in your cooperative,” Branham told a June 12 webinar previewing next fall’s NRECA Safety Leadership Summit.

He made clear that the word “leaders” means not only CEOs, but also other managers, as well as safety professionals and front-line personnel. It is part of NRECA’s Quest for Zero, to make zero injuries the goal of every co-op.

And Branham stressed that the summit isn’t about regulatory compliance. Instead, the focus is on getting co-op leaders “to think differently, to plan differently, in considering ways on how to impact performance throughout the co-op.”

The summit, Oct. 23-25 in St. Louis, will feature “a mix of our own, home-grown experts from within the co-op network, as well as outside,” said Tracey Steiner, NRECA vice president, education and training.

Among the presenters will be Bryan Singletary of Practical Energies, who will share the feedback he receives nationwide on the barriers front-line workers face, and how those barriers can be minimized.

Also, David Crouch of CAT Safety Services, a Caterpillar subsidiary, will discuss several topics, including what needs to be done to change the culture at your co-op.

“They bring a lot to the table in terms of thinking differently,” Branham said of CAT.

NRECA is asking co-ops to participate in the summit’s Leading Practices Showcase.

“We hope to have 25 to 30 exhibit areas where individual co-ops will set up with employees, and those employees will share their improvement initiatives,” Branham said. Co-ops interested in taking part in the showcase can find more information on cooperative.com.

The first day of the summit, Oct. 23, includes full- and half-day workshops. The main program—including general sessions and learning labs—begins the following day and concludes midday Oct. 25. NRECA is offering a discounted registration fee of $325 per person when the CEO registers with at least one other co-op employee.

Registered users of cooperative.com may click here for NRECA Safety Leadership Summit information and registration.

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