Grand Haven Board of Light & Power was among 138 public power utilities recognized with the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Safety Award of Excellence for safe operating practices in 2021. The utility earned second place for utilities in its class (approximately 25-50 full-time employees) for annual worker exposure hours. Grand Haven BLP was one of three utilities from Michigan to earn the APPA recognition for safety.
“The Board of Light & Power values employee safety above all else,” said General Manager David Walters. “Every GHBLP team member works hard to safeguard the health and safety of our team every day.”
Three hundred and eighteen utilities from across the country entered the annual Safety Awards. Entrants were placed in categories according to their number of worker hours and ranked based on the most incident-free records during 2021. The incidence rate, used to judge entries, is based on the number of work-related reportable injuries or illnesses and the number of worker hours during 2021, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The BLP also received APPA’s Diamond Level Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) award in 2021 which is the highest level a utility can achieve. The RP3 designation, which lasts for three years, recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development, and system improvement. Criteria include sound business practices and a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity.
“In our industry, safety is the top priority,” said Bob Scudder, Chair of APPA’s Safety Committee and Industrial Hygiene. “This is a commitment that needs to come from the top down and permeate every aspect of operations. These awarded utilities have embraced this priority, and they deserve to be celebrated.”
The Safety Awards have been held annually for more than 65 years. APPA is the voice of not-for-profit, community-owned utilities that power 2,000 towns and cities nationwide. David Walters has also been nominated to serve his fourth 3-year term on APPA’s Board of Directors. This term would begin at APPA’s National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee June 12-15.