CEO’s Message – May 2020

Safety Starts with You


May is National Electrical Safety Month. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation, each year thousands of people in the United States are critically injured and electrocuted as a result of electrical fires and accidents in their own homes. Many of these accidents are preventable. At Stearns Electric Association, we prioritize the safety of both our employees and our members. There is much you can do to keep yourself and your community safe around electricity.


Because we live and work in the communities we serve, we care about you, our neighbors. Now that the weather is nice, many of you are working on outdoor projects – sometimes near our power lines. Follow these tips to ensure that you and your family stay safe at home:

  • Look up and around you. Always be aware of the location of nearby power lines and electrical distribution equipment.
  • Keep equipment, and yourself, at least 10 feet away from power lines.
  • Be careful when working on and around your roof.
  • Never climb or trim trees near power lines.
  • Always call Gopher State One Call at 811 before you dig.
  • Don’t attempt electrical do-it-yourself tasks.
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets.

With spring arriving, storm season is just around the corner. If you see downed power lines stay away and call 911. Always assume power lines are energized and stay at least 50 feet away. A power line is a conductor, and while it may look harmless, they carry a dangerous electric current that you can’t see, hear or smell. Please stay clear of downed power lines!


Stearns Electric employees recently celebrated a safety achievement. For the first quarter of 2020, Stearns Electric employees recorded zero time lost due to workplace injuries. Over the course of a year, Stearns Electric’s employees work roughly 114,000 regular work hours. Although Stearns Electric and its employees prioritize safety daily, due to the nature of our work, injuries do happen. Working accident and injury-free is an important goal for Stearns Electric. Working injury-free in the first quarter of 2020 is a noteworthy accomplishment for our employee group!

To ensure employee safety, the Cooperative follows safety protocols based on leading national safety practices for the utility industry. We require our line workers to wear specialized equipment when working next to or with power lines. There are specific protocols that our line workers follow daily when dealing with electricity.

Additionally, our safety team has regular meetings where they discuss upcoming projects from a safety perspective. They monitor and track near-misses of accidents to understand them, share “lessons learned” and improve in the future.

Thank you for helping keep yourself, others, and Stearns Electric employees safe. Have a safe and joyous spring!


Robin C. Doege