I have great respect for my colleagues who literally put their lives on the line in service to our members and customers. The electric utility and propane industries are inherently dangerous, and everyday many members of my extended family at Team Midwest leave their own families with the trust and assumption that they will come home for another day. Safety is an important part of our culture. It can never be something we simply check off on a monthly to-do list related to insurance and other requirements; it’s a life-saving choice and standard of care.

Our safety culture extends beyond our employee family and into the field where we employ a lot of different contractors to work on our systems and projects. We expect the same level of diligence and care from those individuals and companies, and monitor their work carefully.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) conducted a safety inspection at our new headquarters building site last week. This was held in conjunction with the 2016 Take A Stand For Safety Day. As project lead on behalf of Team Midwest, I had the privilege to participate in the overview meeting and site inspection. I walked away from that process incredibly happy about our selection of Paric as the construction management firm to oversee the building of our Utility of the Future.

We are represented very well by an extremely capable, knowledgeable and safe group of men and women, both at Paric and through all of their subcontractors. Combined, they have put in over 10,000 working hours to date on our project without incident, and chocked up a perfect score of 17 out of 17 on the Safety and Health Management System Evaluation. Paric’s commitment to safety, like ours at Team Midwest, is second to none.

Jim Getting is MIOSHA’s Construction Safety Consultant, and he said, “When you have the owner, their contractor and their subcontractors all working in safe cooperation with one another, it is a winning formula to ensure every man and woman on your site returns home safely to their loved ones every evening, well done.”

We are changing the landscape, investing in our membership, and building the utility of the future. And we are doing it safely and always with the best interests of our members in mind.