The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives (IAEC) is responsible for the education and training of cooperative employees across the state of Iowa to support a safe working environment and to protect cooperative members and the public. A valuable resource in this capacity, IAEC staff members conduct required training, safety and OSHA-type audits, assist in maintaining required record keeping, aid in inspection of cooperative equipment and facilities for safety and mechanical problems, and perform a minimum of two crew observations to assess how line workers follow safety rules and procedures when working on electric infrastructure in the field.
On August 8, 2018, IAEC Job Training/Safety Instructor Scott Meinecke observed NIPCO’s Le Mars Transmission Crew as they installed a temporary line, known as a “shoo fly”. The shoo fly will bypass electric transmission line around NIPCO’s L2 Substation (northwest of Kingsley, Iowa) while it is being upgraded.
Meinecke observed or inspected 109 safety areas relating to
operating procedures and protocols, protective wear, tools and equipment,
noting only five areas that needed improvement. This earned the crew an overall
grade of 95.4%. NIPCO crews were commended for their communication throughout
the job site, both at the start of the operation and throughout each procedure.
“They did a great job with the tailgate,” noted Meinecke. A “tailgate” is the
meeting with all crew, at the job site, prior to any work being started.
Meinecke went on to write, “Later into the job, another crew from North West
REC showed up and NIPCO conducted another tailgate. Great job!”
"They watch over each other and are committed to following safety best practices." - Steve Harringa, NIPCO Transmission Superintendent
The five areas of improvement, noted in the inspection, have been addressed with the crew and were quickly corrected.
NIPCO Transmission Superintendent Steve Harringa is proud of the crew’s high marks. “I think our guys are doing a great job. They watch over each other and are committed to following safety best practices. They want to make sure everyone gets home safe, every night.”