A Perfect Mix

October 16, 2020

Employees at Ohio Edison’s North Jackson Line Shop recently achieved seven years without incurring an Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)-recordable injury and 40 years with no chargeable motor vehicle accidents (CMVAs). Both are impressive accomplishments that would make any group proud; but don’t mention the milestones to North Jackson employees.

“We try not to talk about them,” said Bill Colletta, manager, Operations Services. “Our employees focus on working safely one day at a time, and one job at a time. We don’t pay attention to overall records – if we complete our job assignments the right way and watch out for each other, safety will follow.”

Seventeen employees are based at the line shop. According to Bill, one of the contributing factors to their success is the mix of people who work in the group. “Our employees have varying levels of experience, ranging from several years to several decades,” he added. “Senior guys take the less-experienced employees under their wing and help them learn the ropes.”

Regional Operations Supervisor Andy Syx agreed with Bill’s assessment and added that new employees are introduced to North Jackson’s safety culture very quickly. “The nice thing about our group is that nobody is afraid to speak up if they see a fellow worker who is not focused on the task at hand,” he said. “There is a great camaraderie among our employees and a real understanding of the importance of good communication and working as a team.”

The formula has contributed to a long-standing safety tradition at the line shop. In addition to the OSHA-free streak, North Jackson employees have gone four decades without incurring a CMVA.

“The most impressive part of that statistic is the large number of employees who have contributed to it over the years,” continued Bill. “We take a real common sense approach to driving. We adjust our travel schedules according to weather and other factors that might affect driving conditions for employees.”

Andy added: “We’re proud of what this group has accomplished. Newer employees embrace the safety standards set by senior members of the crew, and if an issue comes up at a worksite, there is no hesitation to stop the job and correct the situation.”

Bargaining-unit employees at North Jackson are represented by the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) Local 118.