Karnes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KEC) continually strives for the safety of our employees, our Members, and the general public. The KEC Board of Directors and General Manager, Brad Bierstedt promote safety of its employees by providing leadership and adequate budgets needed to fund its Safety and Loss Control Program.
On March 19, 2010, Karnes Electric was recognized by Texas Electric Cooperatives (TEC texas-ec.org
) Loss Control for operating without a Loss Time Work Injury for 5 Years. Texas Electric Cooperatives is a statewide organization dedicated to representing the interests of cooperative electric utilities in Texas and the member-consumers they serve. Established in 1941 and based in Austin, TEC today represents 65 electric distribution cooperatives and the state’s 9 generation and transmission (G&T’s) cooperatives.
In 2010, Karnes Electric was also recognized by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA nreca.org
). NRECA is the organization representing the national interests of the cooperative electric utilities and the consumers they serve. NRECA is an advocate for the consumer-owned cooperatives on energy and operational issues as well as rural community and economic development. The Association has more than 900 member cooperatives that serve 42 million people in 47 states. Most of the 864 distribution systems are consumer-owned cooperatives; some are public power districts.
NRECA sponsors the Rural Electric Safety Accreditation Program (RESAP).
This voluntary national Safety Accreditation program involves an on-site facility inspection, a review of compliance and loss control sample documents, and a six year traceable history of safety training, safe work practices, and public education and training.
NRECA awarded Karnes Electric Cooperative, Inc. the national Safety Accreditation distinction in May of 2010. This is the cooperative’s seventh national Safety Accreditation award. Karnes Electric received this honor in 1974, 1983, 1986, 1991, 2004 and 2007.
The communities served by Karnes Electric Cooperative receive benefits in a number of ways. KEC employees are annually trained in multiple areas including first-aid, CPR, AED, and hazardous material containment. Also, monthly training including driver safety, OSHA requirements, and safe work practices directly translates into fewer utility accidents and injuries among the public.
Additionally, public safety in the cooperative’s 12-county area is enhanced by a number of free services offered to civic groups, including electrical safety demonstrations and literature.
KEC employees benefit from the cooperative’s participation in the NRECA Safety Accreditation program because of enhanced requirements for insulated equipment dielectric testing, protective equipment standards, and electric utility safety rules.