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May Edition


CHELCO News Special Safety Edition


May is National Electrical Safety Month

Every year, thousands of accidents occur due to shock hazards, and CHELCO is committed to educating the public about potential electrical dangers in the home. 

In 2016, 475,500 structure fires (including residential fires) were reported in the U.S., causing 2,950 deaths, 12,775 injuries and $7.9 billion in property damage. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a residential fire was reported every 90 seconds. Many home fires occur when electrical equipment is outdated or improperly used.

“It is critical that the public understands their home’s electrical system and the safety concerns associated with the latest residential technologies before bringing them into their homes,” explains CHELCO Safety Officer Stanley Donald. “With newer technologies, such as solar panels, electric vehicles and more electrical gadgets in the home, people need to ensure they have an electrical system that’s compatible with the increased load.”

To raise awareness of the importance of electrical safety, CHELCO will be sending out reminders through social media and other communication channels throughout the month.

Through electrical safety awareness and education, we can all play a part in preventing electrical hazards and injuries in the future. Together, let’s plug into safety this May.

For more news, tips and information, click here for the full edition of this month's CHELCO News.





Safety above all else

“Safety” is a universal word that is mentioned often and used loosely. Communities large and small as well as companies across all industries are committed to safety. Sports leagues, at every level, take safety seriously. Unfortunately, when it really counts, steps to keep the public, workers, athletes and loved ones safe are often ignored in the interest of expediency or convenience.

However, safety is a serious issue, especially when it comes to electrical safety. For, CHELCO, it’s the number one priority. This is not empty talk. Over time, CHELCO has created a culture of safety by putting our employees’ safety and that of the community above all else. At its essence, CHELCO’s mission is to safely provide quality services and products at competitive value while adhering to the cooperative principles. At the end of the day, we strive to deliver affordable and reliable electricity to our members, but equally important, we want to return our workers home safely to their loved ones. To do this requires ongoing focus, dedication and vigilance.

Following leading national safety standards

Working with electricity is an inherently dangerous job, especially for lineworkers. CHELCO has a safety team whose focus is keeping employees and the community safe around electricity. We established and follow safety protocols based on leading national safety practices for the utility industry. We require our lineworkers to wear specialized equipment when working next to or with power lines. There are specific protocols that our lineworkers follow when dealing with electricity. Our safety team has regular meetings where they discuss upcoming projects from a safety perspective. They monitor and track near-misses of accidents in order to understand them, share “lessons learned” and improve in the future.

As importantly, we encourage all of our crews to speak up and hold each other accountable for safety. By cultivating a culture of openness and transparency, we promote problem-solving with regard to safety, rather than defaulting to a blame game. We examine the information and data gleaned from near-misses and accident reports to discern patterns and use safety metrics to improve in those areas where we have fallen short. As appropriate, we brief contractors on our safety protocols and set expectations for their engagement.

Keeping the community safe

Because we live and work in the community we serve, we care about our neighbors. CHELCO conducts electrical safety demonstrations in schools and for community events.

May is National Electrical Safety Month. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation, each year thousands of people in the United States are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents and electrocution in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. There is much you can do to keep yourself and your community safe around electricity.

Don’t attempt electrical DIY projects or overload your outlets. Report downed power lines, unlocked substations or padmount transformers that look amiss. Contact CHELCO for additional electrical safety tips. If you would like us to provide a safety demonstration at your school or community event, please contact CHELCO’s marketing department. Be mindful when it comes to electrical safety. Pause and take the extra time to plug into safety.

​For more news, tips and information, click here for the full edition of this month's CHELCO News.



Make room for roadside crews

Florida law requires you to move over a lane — when you can safely do so — for stopped law enforcement, emergency, sanitation, utility service vehicles and tow trucks or wreckers. When you fail to move over, you put yourself and others at risk; you could crash into a vehicle or worker.

If you approach a crew while traveling on a two-lane road, moving over to the next lane might not be an option. In this case, you should slow down when approaching roadside crews. If you approach a crew while traveling on a four-lane road, and safety and traffic conditions allow, Florida law requires you to move over into the far lane.

Violating the move over law could result in a fine, fees, and points on your driving record.  For more information, see Florida Statute.

There’s plenty of room for all. Let’s work together to keep everyone safe on our local roadways.

For more news, tips and information, click here for the full edition of this month's CHELCO News.


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