SDCEA Earns CREA Safety Award

Dan Whitesides, (left) job training and safety instructor for the Colorado Rural Electric Association, presents SDCEA Chief Executive Officer Paul A. Erickson with a plaque commemorating a co-op safety award in August.

For the second year in a row, Sangre de Cristo Electric Association has been recognized with a No Lost Time Accidents safety award by the Colorado Rural Electric Association.

SDCEA received the award after no employee needed to take time away from work because of an accident on the job. While the award was made for 2019, SDCEA has gone 1,052 days without a lost time accident as of September 18.

“Every day, our line crews work outdoors in some of the most challenging conditions central Colorado has to offer. Steep and rocky terrain, hazardous trees, wind, snow and ice, wildfires, and flood conditions all present hazards that can cause accidents. Receiving this award reflects a tremendous accomplishment and commitment by our employees to work as safely and professionally as possible every day,” Chief Executive Officer Paul A. Erickson said.

“Accidents happen, but what this tells me is that our team is doing the best they can and watching out for one another while working,” Chief Operations Officer Bryon Stilley added.

And, given the amount of time SDCEA employees spend traveling to job sites in five counties, SDCEA’s road safety is also noted.

“Not only have they done an incredible job with no lost time accidents, they have surpassed 1.5 million miles driven without a vehicle accident, which is a huge accomplishment as well,” Stilley added.

SDCEA crews have a busy work schedule, as new construction continues to increase to meet the needs of a growing population in the region. Crews also routinely work responding to outages through several dangerous storms a year.

“We have a great team. SDCEA’s commitment to safety is instilled throughout the organization. If you’re going to do a job, do it correctly and safely the first time,” Stilley added.

“Safety is a priority from the Board of Directors down,” Erickson said. “We are pleased to be recognized with this award, but ultimately, our greatest concern is that our employees are able to return home safely to their families each day at the end of their shift.”