A unique year of working safely

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When 2020 came to a close last December 31, the Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative workforce had completed another full year without a lost-time accident.  In all, it had been 1,980 consecutive days since that last accident had been recorded.  As I write this, we’re now getting tantalizingly close to a 2,000-day milestone.

Under any circumstances, this would be considered an outstanding achievement.  What makes it even more remarkable is that our system, within that 12-month period, was hit with two historical storm emergencies.  In terms of both outage numbers and physical destruction suffered, those would be included among the ranks of the top five or six most-damaging weather events ever to come our way.  That’s right!  In April and then again in October, our employee team was confronted with two of the most-menacing storms in the co-op’s entire 80-year history.


April, October trouble

As I can readily recall, the April trouble centered on multiple tornadoes that tore across large portions of the co-op territory.  Then, the late-October Tropical Storm Zeta, with unspeakable levels of damage, visited all five counties in which we serve.  In each instance, it took our crews more than four days to bring matters under control. 

I point all this out in order to observe that major storms can offer multiplied opportunities for on-the-job accidents to occur.  Be that as it may, our personnel managed to make all those repairs without a single recordable mishap.  I simply couldn’t be any prouder of a group of employees.  Their ability to stay focused on the safety aspects of their work, while also laboring under the most-strenuous of circumstances, provides ample evidence of their devotion to following safety rules. 


Safety, our top priority

Safety—that of our employees, our members, and the public—remains our top priority.  As I’ve stated on previous occasions, our number-one our goal is for everyone to return home safely each day to those they love. 

There are also some bonus considerations that come with an effective safety program.  For example, lack of accidents naturally helps Blue Ridge to hold down expenses.  Providing you with the best-possible service at the lowest-possible cost is always on our radar screen.  A strong employee-safety game plan is definitely part of that equation.  We’re in this business to meet your service needs effectively, and we’re more than glad to take on that responsibility.


Jim Lovinggood

President CEO