We have many contractors working on our behalf every day, trimming trees, replacing or repairing equipment and building new facilities. We collaborate with them on safety and health, providing training and tools to help them improve their performance in a similar fashion to our employee focus on safety and health. We evaluate their safety and health programs to ensure they are taking precautions to protect their employees from harm.
As we strive for zero harm with our employee work force, we seek the same level of performance among our contractors. We invest time and resources to ensure the safety of our contractor work force and we hold them accountable for their performance. This has become critically important as our contractor work force has grown to support the growth of our business.
Overall, we are making progress but it is not enough, especially when two contractors were fatally injured while working for AEP during 2014. At the same time, AEP’s major contractors outperformed the target recordable rate in 2014 with a 1.44 actual performance versus the 1.50 target. However, this performance was overshadowed by the fatalities.
No aspect of our work is more important to us than safety and health, whether it is an AEP employee or an AEP contractor. Across AEP, our focus is on prevention. We give our contractors tools, training and clear direction for working safely and we hold them accountable when they don’t. We also track performance. All construction contractors are subject to AEP’s annual contractor recordable injury goal. If an event occurs, we work with the contractor to identify the root cause and develop actions to prevent a recurrence.
Since contractors are often working side-by-side with our employees, we each have a responsibility to look out for each other. If someone sees something unsafe or someone at risk for harm, he or she has a responsibility to say something and do something.