J.C. Lyons, Frankfort Plant Board safety director, shares how building a strong safety program positively impacts employees and enhances business operations.

What is your primary business?
Frankfort Plan Board (FPB) is a municipal utility that provides electric, water, and telecommunications to the citizens of Frankfort, Kentucky, and neighboring communities.

How many workers do you employ?
We have approximately 200 full-time employees.

What role does safety play in your organization’s culture?
Our objective is to build on our strong safety and health program to keep the number of injuries and illnesses to an absolute minimum. FPB’s goal is to surpass the best safety and health experience of operations that are comparable to ours.

The personal safety and health of each employee is paramount, and we believe maintaining a safe workplace is every employee’s responsibility at all levels.

Safety and health in the utility business must be part of how we operate every day – without exception! All employees have the right to stop work, and no employee is required to work at a job he or she knows is not safe. Employee cooperation in detecting hazards and, as a result, controlling them is a condition of employment.

How has KEMI helped your company enhance workplace safety and reduce claims?
The keystone of FBP’s successful safety program is preparation, and we appreciate KEMI’s contributions to our ongoing employee training.

The KEMI Safety & Loss Control unit was on-site in 2022 to guide team members through the rigors of CPR and first aid training, and this year 124 employees have already completed this life-saving course.

KEMI has also conducted a 10-hour OSHA construction training for FPB, and we are currently working with the Safety & Loss Control unit to schedule a forklift training.

KEMI has been a wonderful partner by providing exceptional customer service, free training resources, and high-quality educational events.

What impacts or benefits have you seen resulting from a strong safety program?
To the greatest degree possible, management provides all tools, equipment, and training required to ensure everyone is educated and accountable and to keep our safety standards high.

Results from an intentional approach to our safety culture include improved employee morale, lower workers’ compensation premium costs, and a reduction in risk of accidents.

What notable safety milestones or recognition has your company achieved during the past three years?
FPB is a 10-time recipient of KEMI’s Destiny Award in recognition of our outstanding safety program. We are also pleased to share that a new achievement for FPB during 2022 was qualifying for American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Safety Awards – Honorable Mention in Group E.