Safety first is more than a motto – it’s the core of Cloverland culture.
All Cloverland employees complete extensive safety training each year – ensuring all work is completed with a safety-based approach. Working with electricity, machinery and technical devices requires regulated safety standards and protocols to be met. Cloverland’s Director of Safety, Jim Wilson, is responsible for ensuring the cooperative exceeds those safety standards.
Wilson brings over 25 years of experience to his role. He began his career as a lineman and served in the trade for over 18 years. The skills learned in the field prepared him to move into the role as a vegetation control manager and now as director of safety.
In his role, Wilson spends much of his day ensuring crews have the correct safety supplies, ordering new supplies, monitoring crews on-site and working with internal managers and department heads to ensure safety protocols are met. Wilson also communicates with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association (MECA) on safety standards.
Employee training encompasses much of Wilson’s role. Each summer, Wilson plans pole-top rescue training for all five divisions of Cloverland line crews. The training ensures each one of Cloverland’s 36 lineman are trained and prepared for a rescue situation in the field. This essential training reminds all Cloverland employees that electricity is an asset to our lives but can be a danger when not handled properly.
“My reward each day is to know that Cloverland has a good safety record and that all employees are working safe,” explains Wilson.
Wilson ensures all office-based employees have completed online safety training videos which range from cyber security to ladder safety. All field and office-based employees complete CPR, first-aid and blood borne pathogen training. While this training may seem intense for the average office-based employee – accidents can occur at any time and preparation is key to ensuring the safest response.
“In the electric industry, you have to do everything you can to work safe,” Wilson describes.
Wilson believes the best approach to maintaining a culture of safety is to ensure it is accompanied by plenty of positive reinforcement and on-site visits.
Safety for Cloverland employees is Wilson’s mission, but he also dedicates time to educating Cloverland members on electrical safety. In a normal year, Wilson visits local schools promoting electrical safety through “power town” demonstrations.
He also visits local fire stations and EMS units to educate first responders through a hot line demonstration.
“Safety is a commitment for life,” states Wilson.
Wilson’s years of experience and personal commitment to working safe make him an asset to the cooperative. His dedication and service have created a culture of safety that is beneficial to all 118 Cloverland employees.