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A Culture of Safety
Photo of Duke Ebergy’s Gina Whittle, Ron Gill and Donald Dickinson.
Duke Energy’s Gina Whittle, Ron Gill and Donald Dickinson (from left to right) taking a “fresh eyes”
look at practices in our W.M. Zimmer coal station in Ohio.

A culture of “safety first” is foremost in everything we do as a company. A safe company helps drive productivity and efficiency.

In 2010, Duke Energy achieved its best ever employee safety performance, measured by our total incident case rate, which improved 10 percent from 2009. Specifically, our regulated fossil/hydro fleet reduced its safety incidents in 2010 by approximately 25 percent; our Midwest generation fleet and our International operations reduced their safety incidents, by half and by 75 percent, respectively. Each of these fleets set all-time historic safety records for employees.

The 3R program in our U.S. fossil/hydro generation plants is one example of how we continually strengthen our safety culture. The Rs stand for Reduce risk, Remove exposures to hazards and Reinforce safe behavior. Introduced in 2010, the program encourages and rewards employees and contractors for reporting potential hazards. Anyone at a plant can record problems they observe and recommend corrective action or initiate a work order to address the issue. This simple checklist has improved safety across our plants.

Another example is the “Fresh Eyes” concept at our Ohio plants. Two workers started the program with a common sense premise: It’s easier to see safety violations at other plants than it is to see problems in the plants where we work. Simple and cost-effective, this program gives employees the option of visiting plants that are not their own to inspect for potential safety issues. They offer a “fresh eyes” perspective. This program drove more than 200 safety improvements in 2010, and inspired many of our partners at jointly-owned facilities to embrace the program as well.