OTEC has recently adopted the Rural Electric Safety Achievement Program (RESAP) in order to achieve a high standard of safety for our employees, member-owners, communities and businesses within the cooperative. We are committed to providing clear expectations, education and training to reach our goal of continually improving our safety culture. We incorporate safety as an integral aspect of all operations and a core value of OTEC.
The Senior Leadership at OTEC has given their commitment to safety through the Commitment to Zero Contacts and RESAP programs, and in return have asked for and received the same commitment from our employees. This is essential in defining and operating a successfully safety program that protects our people and the public.
In any emergency, it's always wise to be prepared in case of any weather event, such as a wildfire, high winds or winter storms.
It's recommended that everyone sign up for their community's warning system. You can do that now by clicking on your county's link below:
Baker County Grant County Harney County Union County
In traumatic situations, it may be instinctive to flee as soon as possible. A car accident is a good example of this. However, if you are in a car accident with a power line, the safest place is often inside the car.
When a car crashes into a power pole, the pole may fall down, lines may fall on your car or nearby, and the area around your car may become charged with electric energy. If you stepped out of the car in this scenario, your body would become the path to ground for the electricity, and you could be electrocuted.
While downed lines can sometimes show they are live by arcing and sparking with electricity, this is not always the case. Power lines do not always show signs that they are live, but are just as lethal.
Stay in the car if you are in a car accident with a power pole. Warn those who try to come near your car to help that they must stay far away. Call 911 for help, and wait until a professional from the electric utility tells you it is safe to leave the car.
The exception to this rule is if your car is on fire. In that case, jump clear of the vehicle without touching it and the ground at the same time. Then hop away with feet together. This way there will not be a voltage difference between your two feet, which would give electricity the chance to flow through your body.
If you witness a car collision with a power pole, do not approach the accident. By trying to help, you will put your own life at risk. The best thing to do is contact emergency responders and stay far away from the accident.
Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative is proud to have created a new training video in 360-degree format to teach agriculture workers about the hazards of working near power lines.
This innovative video demonstrates OTEC's commitment to our member-owners and their safety.