"Safety comes first at the plant," said Roger Neumeyer, plant manager. "Our record low of safety incidents is a tribute to how seriously our employees take safety and use the training they receive."
New Madrid's 2007 rate of 3.19 "recordable incidents" is its best ever. Recordable incidents are injuries resulting from a workplace injury or illness that requires some type of medical treatment beyond first aid. The rate, as calculated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is an approximation of the number of injuries per 100 full-time employees.
New Madrid's low rate was a major contributor to the cooperative's companywide recordable incident rate of 2.3, which is lower than the national average of 3.9 in the utility industry. The 2007 rate was an improvement on AECI's previous all-time low of 3.91 in 2006.
Neumeyer said a number of factors explain the continued improvement in safety experienced at New Madrid Power Plant. The number-one reason is that employees are taking more personal responsibility for their own safety and that of co-workers. The plant's Safety Training Observation Program (STOP) in which supervisors observe employees in their work settings and offer suggestions for safety improvements also has helped improve safety awareness. Promoting and planning safety into all aspects of work is a third reason for the improved safety rate. The plant's wellness program, which provides incentives for employees to take care of themselves physically, also contributes to improved safety.