June 2013

Safety at Work

On April 11, my heart skipped a beat when I heard the news that a Missouri lineman was electrocuted while restoring power after severe weather in St. Louis. It was a sad reminder of the hazardous conditions that SEMO Electric Cooperative’s employees (Team SEMO) may deal with 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You never know when the phone will ring to respond to an outage. You never know when your loved one might not come home. Team SEMO continues to keep the fallen lineman’s family and friends in its prayers.  

 On April 12, Team SEMO started its day with an unscheduled safety meeting. We have monthly safety meetings, but this was an extra meeting. We stopped to contemplate the loss of a fellow utility worker. We talked about how our actions are more important than words. We updated our personal emergency contact lists. We agreed that our best personal protection equipment (PPE) is our co-worker. Team SEMO knows working safely is the foundation for everything we do. 

 As the CEO/GM of SEMO Electric Cooperative, I am selfish about safety. I am protective of my co-workers. After storms or other events, Team SEMO will do its best to restore power as safely and quickly as possible. Yes, that is a sound bite. However, it is honest. Team SEMO and its contractors will restore power as soon as possible - safely. We may work through difficult circumstances. We may work long hours. But, safety is first. I have no plans to attend a funeral because I asked Team SEMO to take a shortcut or pushed too hard. The task is hazardous enough.

 Safety At Home

May is National Electrical Safety Month. Electricity is a major part of our daily lives and essential to our modern lifestyle. When electricity does the work it is intended to do, the benefits are enormous. But awareness of the power of electricity is vital or the consequences can be devastating. Each year, electrical accidents and fires kill more than a thousand people and injure thousands more.

Did you know that nearly seven children a day are treated in emergency rooms for electrical shock or burns caused by tampering with a wall outlet around the home? The vast majority of those accidents can be prevented with awareness. We all must learn about electricity, and how to properly use it, and ensure that it is an asset instead of a liability. Please take time to discuss and identify the electrical dangers in your home.

SEMO Electric’s Annual Meeting

On May 20, SEMO Electric will hold its 76th Annual Meeting. Registration and infotainment will begin at 5:30 p.m. The business meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Please join us to learn more about safety, energy and the cooperative. During the meeting, the SEMO Electric Cooperative Foundation will award scholarships to more than 60 students from 16 area schools. A majority of these students plan to continue their education at a local community college or Southeast Missouri State University. These scholarships are a result of member-owners continued support of SEMO Electric’s Operation Round Up, which is a program funded by "rounding up" members’ electric bill payments each month. On behalf of the students, thank you for your support.

Be Smart. Act Safe.

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