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Conference Puts Safety in Spotlight

April 1, 2014

Texas Electric Cooperatives focused on electric cooperatives' safety culture, raised a record amount for scholarships and recognized exceptional co-op employees at the 2014 TEC Loss Control Conference held March 17-20 in Austin.

Through the event, electric cooperative linemen and safety employees share friendship, support and understanding. They learn from experts and each other how to carry out the task of ensuring that electricity is delivered safely and reliably. Most do their jobs with a humble dedication and concern for community.

The prevailing message during the conference stressed that safety must be part of an organization's culture. Bud Branham, NRECA director of safety programs, led a panel discussion with that focus.

"As all of us know, there is no silver bullet in safety management," Branham said. "But if the CEO is visibly engaged in safety performance, there is no single greater influence on overall improvement."

Branham's panel was one of more than a dozen training and motivational sessions available to the 411 conference participants, who also received updates on the TEC safety division's operations and honored fellow co-op employees for lifesaving acts and achievements. A trade show with 39 exhibitors presented the latest in industry equipment and services. A golf tournament and a live auction—which raised a record $41,460—gathered money to support the Loss Control Scholarship Program.

Each year at the Loss Control Conference, TEC recognizes the work of electric cooperative employees who embody this culture. TEC bestows awards for dedication to the Loss Control Program, lineman schools and lifesaving acts. 

In this video, found at http://tinyurl.com/mpl2o9r, the recipients of the 2013 Lifesaving Awards went on camera to testify that co-op safety culture goes beyond the workplace. The winners demur praise for their acts, explaining that in each dangerous situation they reacted based on co-op safety training and did what any person should do for another in peril.

The 2015 TEC Loss Control Conference is scheduled for March 18-20 in Dallas.