Texas Hosts National Conference on Safety

August 29, 2016

Texas Electric Cooperatives and Sam Houston Electric Cooperative hosted the National Utility Training & Safety Education Association annual conference Aug. 21–24 in San Antonio. NUTSEA, organized in the early 1940s as part of the Rural Electrification Administration, promotes safety and job training in the utility industry.

More than 150 NUTSEA members attended the conference, which included vendors’ displays and featured general discussions and breakout sessions on topics such as accountability in the workplace and communications during crises. Nonmembers and guests pushed attendance past 200, with 32 states represented.

Bruce Stumpe, a training instructor at the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, and wife Darla gave a personal presentation about the severe electrical contact injury he suffered in 2009 and his long recovery. “I couldn’t believe it happened to me,” Stumpe said. “Safety should be the best program your company has.”

Terry Ebright, a NUTSEA board member and safety coordinator at Sioux Valley Energy, an electric co-op in South Dakota, said he thinks the nationwide standard of safety in the industry is very high. Even so, workers must be vigilant. “We can do better,” he said.