SEC safety director earns certification

Published 10:22 am Friday, April 29, 2022

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Ian Hix, director of safety at Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC), recently completed an intensive program in electric utility safety and loss control.

Hix, who came to SEC in February 2018, finished the Certified Loss Control Program, which is a series of workshops offered by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in conjunction with the National Utility Training & Safety Education Association. The program is designed to instruct participants in many areas related to electric utility industry safety, including new, innovative safety techniques.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, nearly 4 million injuries occur annually in the workplace. One of the goals for a certified loss control professional is to help ensure a safe work environment for utility workers and the public. Preventing workplace accidents avoids down time and can ultimately lead to lower utility rates.

“I am very excited for our employees and our members that we now have someone with Ian’s background and certifications on our staff,” says Vice President of Engineering George Felts. “His dedication and hard work are exemplary, and now this significant achievement will ensure that he is a resource for our employees and members in helping both groups identify and mitigate hazards before incidents occur. I look forward to Ian continuing to help us find ways to improve the safe and reliable delivery of electricity to our member-owners.”

Hix is one of only a few electric utility professionals in the country who will receive this certification this year. Offered over four, weeklong sessions, the program requires participants to complete a rigorous series of seminars and tests, a 30-hour OSHA course and a detailed final course project. Participants must maintain their certifications by attending courses every year to stay on top of industry changes.

Besides earning his loss control professional certification, Hix recently completed his master’s degree in occupational safety and health from Columbia Southern University.

“Either of these two achievements is significant, but to complete both at the same time demonstrates Ian’s dedication and focus on improving himself for the benefit of the Cooperative and our members,” Felts says.

Hix and his family live in Amelia, one of the counties served by SEC.

Southside Electric Cooperative, a not-for-profit, member-owned electric distribution company, has more than 57,700 active services across 18 counties in central and southern Virginia. Headquartered in Crewe, SEC has district offices in Altavista, Crewe, Dinwiddie and Powhatan. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.