Safety & Health at AEP
No aspect of our work is more important than safety and health, whether it is for an AEP employee, a contractor or a member of the community. Zero Harm is core to our values and 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. This includes AEP’s efforts to take proactive and necessary measure to address the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping health and safety as our top priorities. Read more about AEP’s response to COVID-19.
Sadly, one of our employees did not make it home in 2019 due to fatal injuries sustained on the job. An AEP employee died when his vehicle rolled over a hill due to road erosion. In response, we took immediate action to refocus our workforce by taking time to pause and adding new steps to mitigate risks. The impact of this loss to family, friends and coworkers is profound. We remain committed to doing all we can to prevent events like this from happening again.
Zero Harm means achieving 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 a single shortcut. AEP is deeply committed to a safety culture where employees not only believe Zero Harm can be achieved but also demonstrate it every day as well. Although we experienced a slight increase in injury events in 2019, 83% of our reporting work locations across the company did not experience a DART (Days Away, Restricted or Job Transfer) event.
In our fourth year of our Zero Harm transformation, we are focusing more on learning from events and developing leading indicators. We have created tools, training and processes that allow our employees to better use information from events and leading indicators to change behaviors. We are also improving the way leaders communicate safety to cultivate accountability, employee engagement and oversight. This requires a learning-centric safety culture, where events are viewed objectively and used as opportunities to prevent future harm while we learn from those who do it well. It takes our safety culture to a new level with a focus on communicating, learning and continuously improving. Our efforts include:
- Standardizing Processes: Creating standards for our work puts our best practices into play and enables our teams to avoid unnecessary risk.
- Identifying & Addressing Hazards: The work we do is challenging, and hazards are present at every job. Having strategies to identify, understand and control hazards is a fundamental part of our safety culture.
- Sharing Information: Sharing lessons learned from injuries and leading indicators such as Good Catches makes our employees and contractors safer. This creates awareness about potential risks and actions that can prevent injuries. We use this information to make better decisions about how we do our work.
Internal audits of our safety and health management system and compliance processes are part of our quest for Zero Harm. The audits flag potential hazards that could lead to harm, allowing us to take proactive corrective and preventive action. In 2019, we audited safety and health programs at 27 locations. We share the audit results with business unit leaders and safety professionals across the company to leverage best practices and lessons learned. In addition, the Audit Committee of the board receives the results.