There are many inherent safety risks associated with providing reliable electricity to our communities. In the field, many of our employees work on or around energized equipment, such as high-voltage power lines, and our line and service crews log thousands of hours on the road. In our power plants, high-voltage and high-pressure systems require specialized training and expertise.
Ensuring that our employees return home to their families safely each day is our number one priority. Taking personal accountability, exercising hazard mitigation and actively caring for others are safety principles that are a focus for our employees every day. This relentless attention to safety is one reason why Progress Energy’s safety performance is among the best in the utility industry. Maintaining this top industry safety performance requires ongoing commitment and continuous improvement.
Health and safety is a core company value, and our company is committed to zero injuries and illnesses by making safety an integral part of daily activities. Progress Energy is committed to complying with applicable health and safety laws and regulations. Progress Energy also requires that all contractors working with us comply with these laws and regulations.
All employees are provided with a safe and healthy workplace, and our company strives to make sure employees have the appropriate support, resources and training to perform their jobs safely. Management is also expected to demonstrate the primary importance of health and safety by modeling the behaviors expected of employees. In 2011, we continued our Focus on Safety First campaign that promotes a philosophy of personal accountability, hazard recognition and active caring. We also increased our focus on preventing serious injuries by raising awareness and identifying key precursors to these types of injuries.
In addition, Progress Energy has a high standard of performance accountability. We continually assess our policies, procedures, work practices and regulatory compliance to maintain a high level of performance accountability and strengthen our commitment to health and safety.
The company’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) injury and illness rate has been below 1.0 for six consecutive years. In addition, Progress Energy’s 2011 safety performance was 80 percent below the North America Industrial Classification (NAICS) OSHA rate.
However, despite decreasing our overall injury and illness rate, Progress Energy experienced a tragic fatality at its Sutton Plant on March 15, 2011. That day, an explosion occurred in the vicinity of one of the plant’s generators and took the life of an employee who was performing maintenance. Multiple internal and external investigations have resulted in enhancements to our procedures and training.
Our health and safety record in 2011:
Our commitment to safety extends to the contractors who support our operations. Under our company’s Contractor Safety Program, the safety performance of prospective contractors is evaluated before companies are selected. Contract terms also specify that safety requirements and safety orientations must be given before any work is performed. The company monitors contractor safety performance through routine on-site observations and more formal audits of programs and practices.
On June 9, an employee of Frontier Industrial Corporation died while working on a demolition project on the retired portion of our retired Bartow Plant site near St. Petersburg, Fla. The employee was inside the building when it collapsed prematurely. A thorough investigation was conducted and remedial steps taken by the contractor.