Being a lineman is a hazardous job — but that doesn’t mean it has to be a dangerous one. At Wiregrass Electric Cooperative, every employee is continually trained on how to work safely. However, WEC wanted to find a way to change the underlying culture of safety from one that was about checklists, training meetings and reports to one that was about what matters: making sure every single employee goes home safely to their family at the end of the day.
WordSouth worked with WEC as they searched for a new safety program that wouldn’t just change accident-free hours worked, but would impact the hearts and minds of its employees. We developed a campaign called This Is My ‘Why,’ which engaged linemen and other employees by creating photos with their families and displaying those photos on posters throughout WEC offices, work trucks and more. These also ran as ads in WEC’s monthly magazine, Alabama Living.
The campaign not only improved safety awareness at the cooperative (in 2015 WEC surpassed more than 500,000 hours worked safely), but garnered national attention. Members of the leadership team presented the project at NRECA’s 2015 Safety Leadership Summit in Indianapolis, inspiring other cooperatives to enact similar programs. The program was also selected for a national award through NRECA’s Spotlight on Excellence program.