Just about a year ago, there was a tragic news story about a 14-year-old New Mexico girl electrocuted when her cell phone fell into the bathtub with her while the phone was plugged into a charger. According to reports, this girl was a conscientious teenager. Yet, she either ignored or wasn’t aware of the dangers of mixing water and electricity. This reinforced my belief it is impossible for us to over emphasize the importance of communicating safety to our members.
This month’s edition of Ruralite features several articles about electrical safety. Topics range from our crews’ disciplined training and use of the latest safety equipment and practices, to important personal electrical safety tips for consumers. When you have been in the electric utility business for 34 years like I have, you have read and heard all of the safety messages many times over. This cannot help but make me sometimes worry that people are tuning out this important information. I become concerned that people overlook our safety messages because they have heard these same messages before.
Everyone at Central Electric has learned repeated and frequent safety reminders are important. Our employees attend monthly safety meetings with each session driving home the importance of staying aware. This helps break down any tendency to think accidents happen to others, not me. Frequent reminders, when given just a little bit of thought, can make you more aware of what can go wrong if you’re not careful around electricity. That short pause, that extra thought, can keep someone from raising an aluminum ladder into a power line, rushing heedlessly to help someone who has been shocked and risk becoming a second victim, or sticking a shovel into an underground power line.
Our safety messages involve repetition by necessity. Hopefully, one warning skipped over last time is read the next. It only takes a second to remind yourself to be safe, because it only takes a blink of an eye for things to go wrong.
I suspect you have seen many of the safety messages in this issue before, but I hope you will appreciate the importance of reading them again.
Let’s all have a safe summer and remain that way throughout the year.
President and CEO