CEO Message — July 2020

Posted: July 1, 2020 at 7:25 am

Our Commitment to Safety

Brandon Wittman headshotI'd like to take a moment to reflect on the importance of safety. Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative is serious about safety for our members, the general public, and our employees alike. On our website you will find information regarding Electrical Safety Tips, Power Outages, Generator Safety, Underground Locates, Trees & Electricity as well as the Safety Demonstration Program we offer to schools and various groups we serve in our communities.

We have a responsibility to you. YVEC's concern for safety extends beyond our employees. We care deeply about the safety of our members and we encourage you to plug into safety. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, thousands of people in the United States are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires, accidents, and electrocution in their own homes. Most of the incidents are completely preventable and it's our quest to continually provide safety tips and safety information to the public in an effort to reduce the number of unnecessary occurrences.

To promote safety education in our local communities, YVEC does safety demonstrations with a high voltage trailer at local schools, businesses, and we even host events for volunteer fire departments and first responders. We also have a tabletop safety display that is used in classrooms for younger students. Additionally, we frequently provide electrical safety information and content in our Electrical Hi-Lites, found here in the Rural Montana Magazine. YVEC also strongly encourages the public to contact us if they see a downed power line or another type of dangerous electrical situation. We strive to provide our communities with safe, reliable, and affordable electricity and to also serve as your trusted energy advisor, now and well into the future.

YVEC also has a responsibility to our employees. It is no accident that safety is a top priority at Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative (#77973000). We are committed to a culture of safety that is an integral part of our daily operations. In fact, we have an in-house safety committee made up of employees from every department. This safety team regularly discusses important safety issues both internally and externally. We also submit ourselves to random unannounced safety inspections from Federated, our liability insurance provider. Each month, our employees also attend safety meetings which are hosted by an employee from the Safety and Loss Control department of the Montana Electric Cooperative Association, our statewide organization. Our lineworkers are always required to wear personal protective equipment while on the job. This includes fire-resistant clothing, which limits injuries from bums and sparks. Insulated rubber gloves are worn in tandem with rubber sleeves to protect from electrical shock during "hot" work, when power lines are energized. Employees from every department are highly trained in order to be able to do their job safely.

As the CEO/General Manager of Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative, I believe it is my duty and responsibility to raise awareness about the importance of electrical safety. Take a moment to plug into safety. Please visit yvec.com for tips about how to keep you and your loved ones safe. Also, feel free to call our office headquarters with any question(s) you may have regarding electricity. Together, we can make sure that electricity is safely enjoyed by our communities.

Sincerely,

Brandon J. Wittman
CEO / General Manager

View the full July 2020 Hi-Lites publication (PDF)