The safety of our employees, contractors and the public is a core value at FirstEnergy. Each employee is charged with keeping safety first in every action, every day by making a personal commitment to a safe work environment, proactively identifying and controlling the hazards around us and looking out for the safety of others.
Our safety teams work together to drive continuous improvement in our company’s safety culture, processes and programs, and provide guidance for compliance with applicable laws, regulations and standards. Our safety program includes safety education and training, as well as safety management through field observations and risk assessments.
To support our vision of eliminating life-changing events (LCEs), FirstEnergy Utilities (FEU) has established six focus areas that drive our safety initiatives:
Increasing employee recognition
Expanding employee engagement
Enhancing safety communication
Building leadership skills
Applying human performance principles
Strengthening contractor and public safety programs
Building on FEU’s safety vision, we launched our “We Have the Power” employee engagement campaign in 2019 to emphasize personal ownership of safety, strengthen our safety-first mentality and reinforce FirstEnergy employees’ shared role in meeting company objectives and supporting each pillar of our mission statement.
FEU also is actively shifting our focus from incident prevention to exposure reduction by:
Coaching all leaders on transformative leadership skills
Educating employees on a common definition of safety as controlling exposure to risk for themselves and others
Gathering leading indicator field-level data on the use of exposure control methods
Increasing focus on incidents that have the potential to result in LCEs
Enhancing the capability of our safety management systems
We have long included safety metrics as part of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that drive our short-term incentive compensation program. In 2018, we added Days Away/Restricted or Transferred (DART) rate and LCEs KPI metrics to reinforce safety as a core value at FirstEnergy. DART measures the number of Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) incidents that result in days away from work, days of restricted work activity or job transfers. LCEs track injuries that result in a fatality, require immediate life-saving measures or affect the worker’s ability to continue normal activities. Combined with our OSHA recordable rate and our Chargeable Motor Vehicle Accident Rate (CMVAR), these metrics help us measure and understand the frequency and severity of injuries, so we can address issues as they arise.
We track and recognize our employees’ significant safety milestones and achievements, such as years without an OSHA incident or months without a chargeable motor vehicle accident. We also recognize our employees who make life-changing differences. In 2015, we introduced the FirstEnergy Hero Awards to honor deserving individuals and groups who go above and beyond to help someone in need through a heroic act of courage or compassion.
Recordable incident rate
Lost-time case rate
Days away, restricted, or transferred (DART) rate
In an impressive display of commitment to working safely, hundreds of contractor representatives, labor representatives and FirstEnergy employees gathered outside Pittsburgh for the FirstEnergy Tripartite Safety Forum in March 2019.
FirstEnergy includes the safety of contractors and the general public in our unwavering commitment to safety. We strive to be proactive in reducing potentially hazardous exposure and improving safe practices for any contractor who performs work on our behalf, or any member of the public who comes near our electrical lines or equipment. In 2018, FirstEnergy launched two new groups designed to offer greater protections to contractors and the public.
Our new Contractor Safety group was created to develop a comprehensive safety program focused on helping contractors reduce their exposure to hazards, eliminate incidents and pursue excellence in safety.
We share important safety information on the Contractor Safety section of FirstEnergy’s website and link to the e-Smart Worker website, which also features job-site safety tips, videos and training materials to help construction workers and contractors avoid hazards while working around power lines and other electrical equipment.
Our new Public Safety group is developing and managing a proactive program to promote safety for those who may come near FirstEnergy’s lines or equipment. This group targets first responders, third-party contractors, school children and the general public with educational initiatives and materials.
These efforts will enhance and refresh our ongoing safety communications, which include:
Distributing information related to downed power lines and other electrical emergencies, safety around the home and yard, and important precautions near electrical facilities for first responders and the general public
Holding operating company safety days in our service territories
Sharing frequent safety posts, including seasonal messages and storm-related concerns through our utility social media accounts
Working with traditional print, broadcast and web-based media to share important safety reminders
Printing safety messages on customer bill inserts and newsletters
Offering safety presentations to community organizations and first responders
Our educational outreach and public communication efforts could help those working or living near our equipment or facilities be more aware of potential dangers. We will continue to improve safety communications, increase safety awareness and hazard recognition, and focus on prevention, preparedness and response in our educational efforts.