Richard “Rich” Steensma, Northern Neck Electric Cooperative’s manager of vegetation and facilities, has completed an intensive program in electric utility safety and loss control. The Certified Loss Control Program is a series of workshops offered by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in conjunction with the National Utility Training & Safety Education Association. The program is designed to instruct participants in many areas related to electric utility industry safety.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, nearly 4 million injuries occur annually in the workplace. One of the goals of a Certified Loss Control Professional is to help ensure a safe work environment for utility workers and the public in general. Avoiding workplace accidents avoids downtime and ultimately leads to lower utility rates.
Steensma is one of only a few electric utility professionals in the country that will receive this certification this year. The program requires participants to complete a rigorous series of seminars and tests, a 30-hour OSHA course, and a detailed final course project.
Loss Control participants go through four, week-long sessions that are designed to challenge and educate participants on new, innovative safety techniques. Participants must also maintain their certificate by attending courses every year to stay on top of changes in the industry.
“With this training, Rich can more effectively contribute to the development of our co-op and improve it for the members. I am proud of Rich for completing this rigorous training,” said Jim Moss, vice president of operations at Northern Neck Electric Cooperative.