Safety is an unwavering core value at FirstEnergy. We believe that, together, we have the power and responsibility to keep each other safe and eliminate life-changing events (LCEs).
Our safety teams work together to drive continuous improvement in our company’s safety processes and programs, and to provide guidance for compliance with applicable laws, regulations and standards. Our Executive Safety Council, comprised of company leaders who meet monthly, develops the strategic direction of our safety vision and provides oversight and guidance on our safety plans and initiatives. In addition, each operating company has a Safety Governance Team, comprising operating company management and union leadership responsible for proper implementation of our safety initiatives and assessments of safety performance.
We continue to include safety metrics as KPIs in our annual incentive compensation program to reinforce that a safe work environment is crucial to our success. Our Days Away, Restricted or Transferred (DART) rate and LCEs metric monitor the impact of our exposure reduction efforts. DART measures the number of incidents that result in days away from work, days of restricted work activity or job transfers. Our DART stretch goal is set at the industry benchmark top-decile rates, and the DART target goal is set at the industry benchmark top-quartile rates. LCEs track injuries that are life-threatening, life-altering or fatal. Please see our ESG data table for specific safety metrics.
For information on our efforts to protect the health and safety of our employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit Our COVID-19 Response page.
Our strategic safety focus aims to reduce employees’ exposure to potentially life-changing events in the workplace by working together to proactively identify exposures and hazards and develop effective mitigation and control strategies. Effective safety leadership, management systems, and programs and procedures, along with employee engagement and training, are key to achieving this goal.
We recognize leadership’s key role in controlling and eliminating exposure. To solidify critical leadership behaviors and accountability at all levels, we have conducted a 360-degree assessment and formed personal safety action plans for all Utility and Fleet Operations leadership. We’ve also provided LCE critical control workshops and field coaching for managers and supervisors, as well as awareness training for our field leaders.
Our field verification process is also an important part of achieving our safety vision and managing our safety performance. Field verifications are designed to increase focus on scenarios that have the potential to create life-changing events. This process helps us to identify critical controls in the field that affect exposure and provide coaching opportunities to help employees recognize exposure risk and eliminate or mitigate it. This process also helps to ensure we’re effectively following existing safety procedures and programs in the field.
Our success in achieving our safety vision depends on partnering with our employees and our unions to reduce exposure and improve our safety practices and processes. Toward that end, we build feedback and coaching opportunities into our safety processes, including our field verifications. We also work to build trusting relationships across organizational levels and encourage employees to speak up and pause or stop work if they feel something is not right.
Employee training and education is also vital to our success. We conduct both annual and ongoing training for employees on a range of health and safety topics:
Progression training: These trainings occur regularly over the employees’ first several years in their role and provide workers with the skills and knowledge needed to safely perform increasingly advanced tasks.
Refresher training: Refresher sessions are offered on a regular basis to ensure the employees are current with our safe work practices and with regulatory-required training.
Service restoration training: This specialized training is provided on a regular basis for employees who support service restoration efforts to ensure that our team members can safely identify and assess damage following a storm, protect the public from hazards such as downed wires and safely repair or replace damaged facilities in order to restore service for customers.
FirstEnergy’s training courses are offered in a variety of formats (i.e., in-person, web-based, instructor-led remote) to optimize timeliness of delivery, student comprehension and sustainability.
Contractor safety includes strengthening our partnerships with our contractors and aligning our efforts to reduce exposures, eliminate events and pursue excellence in safety and human performance, while sharing information and best practices.
Our comprehensive contractor safety program is a key part of this effort and consists of the following elements:
Additionally, we are developing a contractor field verification process to help identify, control and eliminate potential or actual exposures that have the potential to result in an LCE.
Our commitment to safety extends beyond our employees and into the communities we serve. Our Public Safety group develops and manages programs that promote safety for those who may come near FirstEnergy’s power lines or equipment.
For example, our Stop.Look.Live. public safety outreach campaign teaches people to stay safe around electricity by following three simple steps to avoid dangerous accidental contact with electrical equipment:
The multi-faceted outreach campaign combines conventional advertising, including creative radio spots and billboard messages, with digital advertising on streaming services and social media platforms. Stop.Look.Live. reflects our proactive companywide approach to safety and helps customers and community members identify and avoid potentially dangerous situations.
In addition to the advertising campaign, we have robust direct mail, email and web-based educational resource programs that target school-age kids, first responders and our most at-risk contractors, including heavy equipment operators, excavators, tree trimmers and other contractors who often work near or around energized electrical equipment. We also send bill inserts to customers containing tips on how to stay safe around downed power lines and high-voltage transmission lines, and in other potentially dangerous scenarios.
As part of our outreach efforts, we also have a fleet of Live Wire Electrical Safety trailers, which we use to hold in-person demonstrations that show community members the potential dangers that exist around energized electrical equipment. In addition, FirstEnergy employee volunteers will bring electrical safety education into grade school classrooms through our Live Wire Safety School program.
We continue to develop and improve our public safety outreach efforts to protect human life, reduce exposure and eliminate events for anyone who may come near FirstEnergy lines or equipment. For more information, please see our external public safety website at www.firstenergycorp.com/publicsafety.
Our approach extends beyond physical safety to employees’ whole health, including their mental and emotional wellness and personal and family well-being. We help employees make their overall health a priority through our robust HealthyLiving wellness program, and we offer a comprehensive Total Rewards compensation and benefits package to help keep employees healthy, motivated and rewarded for their role in achieving FirstEnergy’s success.
We also strive to create flexibility and balance for our employees. Our time-off policies are designed to promote a healthy work-life balance and ensure employees have time away to spend with friends and family and pursue interests outside of work. Our diverse slate of time-off programs allows for flexibility in how employees take paid leave. Some of our programs include: