The City of Gillette Electric Utility has earned the American Public Power Association's Utility Safety Award for safe operating practices in 2012. The utility earned a first place award in the category for utilities with less than 60,000 worker-hours of annual worker exposure. Bob Rumbaugh, chair of the APPA Safety Committee and Energy Services Consultant at American Municipal Power, Inc. presented the award on March 25, 2013 during the association's annual Engineering & Operations Technical Conference, held in Kissimmee, Florida.
"Keeping utility staff and customers safe should be every utility's top priority," said Rumbaugh. "The utilities honored today have demonstrated serious commitment to this essential aspect of electric service."
More than 280 utilities entered the annual contest, which is the highest number of entrants in the contest's history. Entrants were placed in categories according to their number of workers hours and judged for the most incident-free records during 2012. The incidence rate, used to judge contest entries, is based on the number of work-related reportable injuries or illnesses and the number of worker-hours during 2012, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
"A lot of work goes into building a strong safety record," said Mick Wolf, Electrical Services Superintendent for the City of Gillette. "The City of Gillette Utilities Department looks forward to continuing to improve its safety practices as it provides reliable service to the community."
The safety contest has been held annually for the last 53 years. APPA is the national organization representing more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community- and state-owned electric utilities.