Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Wolverine and Headwaters metering employees achieve 50 years with no lost-time injuries

Current and former employees accepted the award.
The last time a metering employee had lost-time injury at the Wolverine or Headwaters service centers, Lyndon B. Johnson was president. The year was 1965.

Fifty years without a lost-time injury in any sector of the utility business is an incredible accomplishment — in fact, it could be the best safety record in the industry. Wolverine Service Center is located in Iron Mountain, Michigan; Headwaters Service Center is located in Land O' Lakes, Wisconsin. These areas experience extreme weather and many other hazards on the roads, such as deer, bear, turkeys and even moose. Employees often have to drive long distances and walk through snow and ice to reach customers and equipment.

Despite these added risks, metering employees at these service centers over the past 50 years have managed to avoid any type of work-related injury that resulted in lost time from work.

Over the years, these employees have not only been committed to working safely but also have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of others. In 2010, Sue Dallavalle, a meter reader, assisted some hunters when a member of the group accidentally shot one of his companions. Her quick-thinking actions included calling 911 and providing medical care while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive.

In 2013, Jeanette Larison, another meter reader, spotted a barely visible vehicle that had gone off the road in icy weather. She stopped to investigate, climbing through the underbrush to discover a shaken elderly woman inside the truck. Larison waited with the woman, providing her with warm clothing, until police arrived.

And just last winter, Tony Westerberg, meter testing leader, answered a call for help from an elderly man who had fallen down the stairs outside his home. Westerberg immediately called 911 and assisted the 92-year-old until help arrived.

These individuals selflessly stepped in to help customers and community members in distress, and did so with a focus on the safety of everyone involved. In the end, their actions very likely saved lives.

On Monday, June 1, a luncheon celebration was held to honor current and former metering employees of Wolverine and Headwaters service centers in achieving 50 years without a lost-time injury. The event was attended by Joan Shafer, senior vice president – customer services; Kevin Fletcher, senior vice president – customer operations; and directors, managers and other personnel to recognize and thank these employees for their safety-focused service.

“We are unaware of any other group in our high-hazard industry that has achieved such a milestone,” said Shafer. “It’s a real tribute to our employees and their emphasis on safety, in the workplace and in the communities they serve.”

“These dedicated meter readers, servicers and testers have demonstrated personal responsibility and embraced the company’s number-one priority of safety — all while delivering the best customer care anywhere,” added Fletcher.

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