2017 Workforce Safety and Health Performance
No aspect of our work is more important than safety and health, whether it is an AEP employee or an AEP contractor. One way to ensure we are living the values of Zero Harm is through performance measurement. We use several methods to track and measure the success of our safety and health efforts. More importantly, we analyze the results to identify trends and opportunities for improvement or prevention.
In 2016, AEP transitioned from the Injury Severity and Recordable Injury rates to the industry-accepted DART (Days Away/Restricted or Job Transfer) rate to track and measure work-related injuries for both employees and contractors. The DART rate allows AEP to identify more serious events and place additional emphasis and focus on those that cause more serious harm. In addition, AEP established DART rate improvement goals using a three-year average of historical DART rates.
Our 2017 employee safety and health results show that we are making improvements as a result of our efforts. In 2017, the DART rate for AEP employees was 0.44 compared with 0.50 in 2016 – which is a 12 percent improvement. This is good progress, but we still have work to do. In 2017, AEP employees experienced 4,164 days away/restricted or job transferred days and 83 events where a work-related injury or illness took them away from their job. Slips, trips, falls, sprains and strains and stepping in holes (STFSS) accounted for more than 50 percent of all DART cases. These types of injuries continue to be the top cause of harm to our employees and contractors. See Transforming Safety & Health to learn about our prevention efforts.
We strive for Zero Harm with our entire workforce, which includes contractors. We invest time and resources to ensure the safety and health of our contractor workforce and we hold them accountable for their performance. This has become critically important as our contractor workforce expands as we grow our business.
We track separate DART rates for our contractors to monitor performance and focus on areas needing improvement. AEP contractors’ DART rate for 2017 was 0.58 compared with 0.59 in 2016. In addition, we experienced two contractor fatalities due to electrical contact events. In response, AEP worked collaboratively with our contracting partners to identify the root cause of the events and build mitigation strategies to prevent future recurrences. However, we still have work to reach our goal of Zero Harm among those who work on our behalf.
To help our contractors achieve Zero Harm, we have a rigorous contractor pre-qualification process that sets clear expectations for compliance and commitment. We are beginning to incorporate leading indicators into the contractor safety management program and proactively address trends. In addition, we meet regularly with our contractors and set an expectation for them to align with our value of Zero Harm. We will continue to look for ways to remain actively engaged through our AEP employee and contractor safety management systems. There will be additional focus on contractor safety in 2018, as AEP works to enhance its contractor safety management program.
We also calculate a combined DART rate for employee and contractor performance, which gives us a total picture of the progress our entire workforce is making toward Zero Harm. The combined DART rate was 0.51 in 2017 compared with 0.54 in 2016. We experienced a 6 percent improvement which shows that we are making progress towards our goal of improving our performance by 10 to 20 percent. In addition, 78 percent of AEP’s work-reporting locations did not experience a DART event.
We are proud of the progress we have made so far; however, we know that reaching Zero Harm doesn’t happen overnight. No single solution or activity will improve AEP’s safety and health performance. However, we are confident that the programs, policies and procedures we have in place will make a difference in the lives of our employees, contractors and their families