Utility contractors recognized for zero accidents

Making it through an entire year with zero reportable accidents isn’t an easy task for most utility contractors.

The National Utility Contractors Association is honoring member companies that have perfect safety records with a Zero Accidents Award.

“I think zero accidents is not necessarily uncommon, but something that each company could have,” said Jill Glei, director of education for NUCA.

To be eligible for the award, NUCA members must submit a completed application, available on the organization’s website, and a copy of their signed 2004 Occupational Safety and Health Administration 300A summary form – showing the total number of accidents in the workplace for the year – by mail or fax.

Applications for the award will be accepted until 2005 OSHA 300A summary forms are released.

All NUCA members with zero accidents are eligible for the certificate. Companies in contention for the William H. Feather safety award – presented by NUCA and based on the number of lost-time injuries, workers’ compensation injuries, experience modification rates and company safety program information – are also automatically entered for the zero accidents award.

This is the second year NUCA has awarded its members for having zero accidents in the workplace. At least six utility contractors were given the award for 2003.

One of those utility contractors was Dekalb Pipeline. The Conyers, Ga., based company employs 70 and has had zero accidents for a number of years, including 2004.

“We make a big deal out of going through a calendar year without accidents,” said James King, president of Dekalb Pipeline. He said by emphasizing safety training and other resources offered by NUCA, his employees have become more safety conscious.

Statistically, nonfatal workplace injuries in the utility industry make up 0.5 percent of all work sectors for 2003, according to the “Workplace Injuries and Illness in 2003” report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It’s also far more common for smaller utility companies to report zero accidents than larger companies, according to OSHA.

Glei said eligible companies can display the certificate to make customers aware of their safe reputation.

“People can read it [the certificate] and say safety is a priority with this company,” she said.

Patrick Beeson can be contacted at pbeeson@randallpub.com.