Southern Company COO Anthony Topazi notes operational excellence starts with safety. Click to play
Our business employs people who routinely work near energized wires, intense heat, nuclear fuel, heavy equipment, moving vehicles, pressurized pipes and under other conditions that require exceptional safety attitudes and measures. Though it is vitally important to provide electricity to our customers, there is no occupation worth risking the safety of an individual employee.
We practice Target Zero, a company program aimed at instilling individual responsibility for safety. Our policy is "every day, every job, safely." We have incremental goals to diminish, and an ultimate goal to eliminate, accidents.
Safety briefings are the first order of business at employee meetings. And for many employees whose jobs carry a higher risk of injury, that's how they start each shift. No matter the job function or the level of risk a job carries, every Southern Company employee is reminded often that working safely is a requirement.
Southern Power is an excellent example of a strong safety culture and results within Southern Company. The entire organization of over 350 employees worked 2011 and 2012 without any injuries. During 2012 more than 99.4% of Southern Company employees worked injury free. Since the introduction of our Target Zero philosophy in 2005, Southern Company has reduced the rate of injuries to our employees by 68%.
Incremental targets have been in place since 2006. In 2012 we set a new all-time record for recordable incidence rate of 0.62 (against a goal of 0.65). Our lost-workday rate of 0.13 was twice as positive as the industry peer average of 0.26.
People take electricity for granted, like air and water. But it is not the same at all. It's a tremendous force moving at the speed of light that we generate and control in wires and equipment.
According to the National Safety Council, every year in the U.S. there are approximately 12,000 electricity-related accidents resulting in 525 deaths. Knowing a few simple principles can save you from injury or death.