Safety & Health at AEP
No aspect of our work is more important than safety and health, whether it is an AEP employee, a contractor or a member of the public. Zero Harm is at the heart of everything we do. It means we believe all occupational illnesses and injuries are preventable Because We Care that everyone goes home in the same or better condition than when they came to work. We Care about our people, our customers and our communities.
Sadly, we lost one employee in 2018 and one in 2019 to injuries sustained on the job. A line mechanic with our Southwestern Electric Power Company died on the job from an electrical contact in Shreveport, Louisiana. In March 2019, an Appalachian Power Company meter servicer was fatally injured when his vehicle rolled over a hill due to road erosion.
The impact of these losses to their families and coworkers is profound and unacceptable to us. We believe safety is personal, and we accept that each of us has a responsibility to look out for each other and say something when safety and health are at risk. We are committed to doing all we can to prevent this from happening again. We took immediate action to refocus our workforce by taking time to pause and think about additional steps that can be taken to mitigate risks. We held company-wide Safety Stand-Downs, during which employees discussed the events, as well as the importance of work planning.
2018 marked the beginning of the third year of our five-year safety and health transformation to achieving Zero Harm – zero injuries, zero occupational illnesses and zero fatalities. Getting to Zero Harm means reflecting on our past, with an understanding of how much we stand to lose with just a single shortcut. We have established several programs and activities that serve as the foundation for our journey. Our objective is to take our safety and health culture from good to great by making it personal and holding each other accountable. We are doing this one day at a time.
We know we can achieve Zero Harm because work groups across the company achieve it every year. We are creating a learning-centric safety culture where events are looked at objectively and used as opportunities to prevent future harm, while learning from those who do it well. It’s a culture that focuses on communicating, learning and continuously improving so the same events aren’t repeated. Our efforts include:
- Building a comprehensive governance structure that allows us to be more proactive, break down silos and remove obstacles to preventing harm
- Enhancing training to objectively evaluate safety-related events
- Implementing employee recommended policies to make driving safer
- Improving accessibility of safety and health information through online platforms
- Analyzing and sharing injury data and trends with business units in a timely manner
- Producing video messages to educate employees
- Coaching employees to have meaningful conversations about safety and health