On the 25th anniversary of National Safety Month, let’s take a look at how competitive power suppliers are putting safety first – from reliable plant operations and workers’ well-being, to cybersecurity and more.
As June signals the start of summer, it also marks the 25th anniversary of National Safety Month, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). From addressing COVID-19 concerns to preventing workplace or generation facility incidents before they occur, competitive power suppliers set high standards for the safe and reliable operation of generation facilities and the well-being of those bringing reliable power to American homes and businesses.
In addition to cybersecurity, competitive power suppliers take physical safety very seriously and make it a priority to maintain secure operations of their generation resources and the health and well-being of employees. With men and women working tirelessly to keep the lights on, it is of utmost importance to create an environment that embodies the highest safety standards.
While we highlight the importance of workplace safety during June, the efforts made by EPSA members to maintain safe, reliable power require constant attention – 24/7, 365. Here’s a look at what competitive power suppliers are doing to put safety first:
With over 76 plants in operation or under construction across 22 states, Canada, and Mexico, Calpine’s fleet generates enough electricity to power 20 million homes. Calpine’s safety policy is at the center of its corporate culture, with an emphasis on personal responsibility in all facets of the business – including safety performance. The company focuses on employee engagement, risk recognition and mitigation, continuous learning and program monitoring. Read more about Calpine’s strategy in the company’s six-part safety policy.
Competitive Power Ventures
Competitive Power Ventures’ (CPV) mission of modernizing U.S. power generation means developing the most efficient, economic and environmentally responsible power projects in the world. The company’s mission is built on the bedrock of ethical behavior and a commitment to safety. CPV aims for safety above all else, with the understanding that safety programs are not only necessary, but they can also be a competitive advantage by reducing risk and promoting workplace wellbeing. By prioritizing workplace safety, CPV’s Lost Time Accidents are 43% lower than the industry average.
With a background in the oil patch, Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) Manager Jason Lipscomb consults with power plant technicians to ensure the safety of his Cogentrix colleagues and to limit emissions and water usage.
A typical month for Jason includes a visit to multiple facilities. He will review their procedures and results, make recommendations and conduct training sessions on new safety equipment or environmental controls. Back in the office, Jason may study a potential acquisition to determine what limits apply to the water treatment system, and he will meet with the engineering team to find a way to upgrade or enhance environmental or safety systems.
At J-POWER USA, facility management and employees are dedicated to workplace safety activities and practices that are designed to strengthen compliance, reduce risk and foster workplace pride. That’s why J-POWER partners with NAES Corporation to operate its generating stations – helping to ensure the protection and well-being of employees is considered above all other aspects of operations. NAES implements its NAES Safe™ comprehensive Safety Management System (SMS) at all J-POWER stations, which provides the tools, training and culture to integrate safety into work planning and execution throughout the organization. J-POWER has a current fleet recordable injury rate of zero – which sets the gold standard for an industry that operates at 1.9, and over 70% of the plants it operates have celebrated 10 or more years without a recordable injury.
At NRG Energy, Inc., Safety and Well-Being is one of the company’s five core values. And while all five are valuable, safety is number one.
Every day, NRG monitors safety with a measure known as Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR). This metric, established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), tracks recordable injury rates. The company’s goal is to be in the top decile (specifically at 0.57 or below). For 2019, NRG’s rate was 0.49 — representing its best-ever safety record, well below the industry average, and well within NRG’s top-decile goal.
Throughout National Safety Month 2020, NRG held a contest and invited employees to submit a short 20-30 second video, or a photo with a caption, showing how they prioritize safety and well-being in their daily lives.
Vistra’s mindset around safety is exemplified by its motto: Best Defense. Everyone wins. No one gets hurt. All personnel at Vistra locations are encouraged to be actively involved in the safety process. In 2020, plant safety leaders performed more than 57,000 proactive safety engagements across the fleet.
Vistra strives to provide relevant, creative safety training content that contributes to the continuous improvement of the overall safety management system. The company also recognizes creating a safety culture is a daily process. Guidelines are incorporated into standard operating procedures, workplace practices, and individual job performance requirements.
Twelve power plants in Vistra’s generation fleet have earned the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star designation by OSHA for superior demonstration of effective safety and health management systems and for maintaining injury and illness rates below the national averages for the industry. VPP Star status is the highest designation of OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Programs.
From coast to coast, competitive power suppliers go above and beyond to build a safe environment for employees. As we observe National Safety Month throughout June, we remember the importance of ensuring workplace safety, and the safe, reliable generation of electricity, this month – and every month.