DeRidder— Beauregard Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BECi) was recently recognized by the Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives (ALEC) for its outstanding safety performance and for making a public commitment to eliminate on-the-job injuries.
BECi linemen and office employees have worked a total of 1,519 days and over 1.2 million hours without a loss-time accident. BECi has won this award ten times in the past 13 years.
Kevin Turner, BECi general manager, said that workplace safety is something that has always been a cornerstone of the cooperative and was even more so during a tough year after employees worked to restore power after catastrophic back-to-back hurricanes.
“2020 was a difficult year for our employees,” said Turner. “After Hurricane Laura and Delta, while working long hours for weeks at a time, being away from their families and facing loss and damage to their own homes and property, our team never lost sight of the goal to restore power and normalcy to our members. It would have been easy to cut corners in such a stressful situation but our employees continued to uphold and adhere to the highest standards of safety.”
Eddie Hanks, BECi safety coordinator, who serves on the Safety Committee at ALEC, said the co-op also made a public pledge many years ago to eliminate serious injuries and fatal electrical contacts as part of an initiative launched by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange.
“When we heard about the ‘Commitment to Zero Contacts’ safety awareness campaign, we jumped on it right away,” Hanks said. “We already have an outstanding safety program that really sets the standard for other electric utilities across the country. But we don’t want to rest on our laurels. We want to continue to make our program even better than it already is.”
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, ALEC presented the safety trophy to the BECi Board of Directors during a recent board meeting. When large gatherings are permitted, the award will be presented to co-op employees.
BECi is the distribution cooperative that serves the electric needs of more than 43,000 residential, commercial, and industrial members in a 7-parish area of southwest and central Louisiana.