A department that handles everything from building maintenance and construction to safety training and insurance claims probably never sees the same kind of day twice.

That’s certainly the truth for Baldwin EMC’s safety, loss control and facilities department. Three people strong, this department is a true “catch all,” with a broad spectrum of ever-changing but always necessary responsibilities.

Baldwin EMC’s safety, loss control and facilities department handles quite a few tasks that help keep the co-op’s office operations running smoothly. That includes purchasing supplies, overseeing janitorial services, handling maintenance issues and, perhaps most critically, making sure the office coffee supply never runs out.

With the help and guidance of the facilities leg of this department, Baldwin EMC’s management team is constantly evaluating whether or not our facilities are meeting the co-op’s needs. Additional office space, new rooms for technical training and upgrades to outdated structures are all among the facility improvements made over the past five years.

More often, however, the demand isn’t for new construction, but rather, repairs to existing structures and equipment. Baldwin EMC’s safety, loss control and facilities team utilizes a helpdesk system, which allows employees to submit maintenance and repair request tickets. In 2021, the department completed more than 1,000 tickets – everything from changing light bulbs to fixing leaks. Without the skillful know-how of the department, repairs such as these would have to be outsourced, at a higher cost to the co-op and therefore its members.

This department also leads one of the most rigorous safety training programs of any utility in the area. Monthly safety meetings, an extensive and regularly reviewed safety manuals, CPR and first aid certifications are all part of the extensive range of safety protocols in place. The co-op also regularly participates in the Rural Electric Safety Achievement Program, or RESAP, a national safety partnership among cooperative safety leaders, which identifies best practices and methods for continuous improvements to safety performance and culture. Thanks to this proactive approach to safety, overseen by the co-op’s safety, loss control and facilities department, Baldwin EMC saves tens of thousands of dollars a year in insurance costs, and can celebrate a record of more than a year and a half of safe hours worked

However, accidents do happen – everything from traffic fender benders, to damaged property has the possibility to occur. And at times, these accidents and incidents involve Baldwin EMC’s members. In every one of these situations, Baldwin EMC’s safety, loss control and facilities department conducts thorough and detailed investigations, after which point they’ll work closely with members and any insurance companies involved to make sure the responsible party covers the cost of damages.

So, while no two days are alike for Baldwin EMC’s safety, loss control and facilities department, each day holds a wide range of responsibilities, crucial to the co-op’s safe and efficient operations.

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