SEC achieves safety milestone

Published 10:27 am Saturday, May 23, 2020

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Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) marked two years of no lost time due to an on-the-job incident on May 1.

The accomplishment is the result of a team commitment to a strong culture of safety, a value held in the utmost regard at the member-owned energy cooperative.

“Working safely is our topmost priority at SEC,” President and CEO Jeff Edwards said. “I believe that each of our employees understands that every action counts when it comes to safety. I am proud of the time and commitment our employees give to safety training and effective practices in order to safely deliver their best to each other and the members we serve.”

“This is a tremendous achievement, not only for the electric utility industry, but for any occupational setting,” Director of Safety Ian Hix said. “Over the course of the past two years, we have intentionally given tremendous attention to employee safety training, and it is paying off. When our power line workers head out day and night, they do so armed with a thorough understanding that safety is not only in their best interest, but also in the interest of the members we serve.”

The emphasis on safety at SEC includes an employee safety committee, monthly safety meetings and an annual day of activities devoted to being safe at work, home and on the road. Also, before starting any job in the field, line workers and supervisors hold tailgate meetings to discuss the day’s work and safety measures that must be followed.

“Safety training and engagement at SEC is paramount,” Hix said. “Not only do we train regularly on safety updates and procedures, but we are open and honest when discussing near misses in order to gain better practices. By its nature, electric utility work is hazardous, such as exposure to high voltage, storm challenges, extreme temperatures, great heights, etc., but we are relentless in our focus on best safety practice measures to control those hazards, and our employees respect that.

“I am very proud of everyone, especially with the performance over the last month and a half, as we all have undergone drastic changes to our everyday lives. As we continue to work hard, I am confident we will also work safely.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the cooperative has maintained its focus on safety. Line workers meet outside for their daily assignments, instead of inside, and when practical, travel separately to job locations. All employees are regularly encouraged to follow good hygiene practices and keep a safe distance from others. SEC offices have been closed to members and the general public to further safeguard employees, members and the community.

A friend of mine told a story this past week he recalled, which I just had to share.

A frantic mother was screaming for help on the bank of the river because her little boy had fallen in the river and couldn’t swim. A man came running, and with no regard for his own life, jumped in the water. He found the young boy, pulled him to shore, successfully performed CPR, and presented him to his mom. The mother looked up and said, “Mister, he had a hat.”

I have thought of this old story a lot lately as I watch and listen to our world. Contentment is a scarce commodity among us. Selfishness is overflowing. The apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:11, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” We all should pursue that sense of satisfaction with the blessings God pours out on us.

Does it ever amaze you how some folks are never content? You can serve and serve, help and help, do and do and yet they still want and ask for more. Some folks get just enough to survive and other folks have enough toilet paper to poop 270 times a day for the next 80 years with enough left over for their grandkids to have some too.

Whatever happened to being content?

Even when it comes to services around us, folks desire to have it their way and will complain without considering what all is being done or needing to be adjusted.

We just ain’t content any longer. “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances (Phil. 4:11).” Just after the apostle Paul says this in Philippians 4:11 he continues by saying how he knew from personal experience what it was like to have plenty and he knew what it was like to be in need. He says in verse 12, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

How is life treating you? Are you in want? Are your needs being met? Are you content with what you got? Or, are you never satisfied with what others are doing to assist or with what you have around the house? Whatever happened to being content?

As Bob Moulden said, “Contentment is a scarce commodity among us.”

Do you know what you can do? Be content. Meet the needs. Be the good. Shine bright into the darkness. Never forget how the apostle Paul’s next sentence in Philippians 4 encourages you: “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength (v13).”

You got this. #bethegood

Rev. J. Cameron Bailey is pastor of Kenbridge Christian Church. He can be reached at jamescameronbailey@gmail. com.

Contentment is a scarce commodity

J. Cameron