KISSIMMEE, Fla., December 14, 2016 – Kissimmee Utility Authority’s commitment to workplace safety enabled the utility to reach two major milestones this week.
The utility’s Human Resources department hit a milestone of 5,844 days (16 years) without a recordable injury. The Customer Service department, which includes meter reading, field service, revenue protection and energy auditors, marked 365 days (1 year) without an injury.
The utility hosts regular workplace safety meetings, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Environmental Protection Agency compliance training, work zone safety training, CPR and first aid training, forklift training and confined space training. The utility also requires all employees to take an annual defensive driver training course.
“If an employee is injured on the job, it costs us in lost work hours, increased insurance rates, workers’ compensation premiums and possible litigation,” said KUA president and general manager Jim Welsh. “In addition, productivity is lost when other workers have to stop work to deal with the injury. By practicing a safe work environment, we keep our operating expenses down which results in lower electric rates for our customers.”
Earlier this year, KUA was recognized by the Florida Municipal Electric Association with the state’s third best safety record for electric utilities with 400,000 to 999,999 worker-hours of exposure. Entrants were placed in categories according to their number of worker hours and judged for the most incident-free records during the past year.
“Ensuring that husbands return to their wives, wives to their husbands, parents to their children and friends to their friends – that is the most important reason we maintain a safe and healthy work environment,” said Michelle Scharfenberg, KUA’s safety and workers compensation administrator. “In this type of environment, workers are able to reduce distractions and truly focus on the quality of what they do.”
Founded in 1901, KUA (https://kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 70,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.