We measure safety performance through two measures:
- Zero fatalities
- Total Incident Case Rate (TICR) – the number of recordable incidents per 100 employees (based on Occupational Safety and Health Administration criteria)
We failed to reach our goal of zero fatalities in 2007. We are saddened to report the accidental deaths of two Duke Energy employees. A Gas Operations employee was fatally injured by an automobile while working on a natural gas line in Ohio. Another teammate was killed while preparing to tow a vehicle in Peru. These tragedies remind us that we work in a hazardous environment and must be extra vigilant to the safety risks around us.
We completed 2007 with a TICR of 1.25, a 17 percent improvement over 2006. This translates to 65 fewer employees being injured in 2007. We also saw a 26 percent improvement in our lost workday case rate (LWCR) from 2006 to 2007, and those employees who missed work due to injuries returned sooner. TICR and LWCR were both better than our 2007 targets.
Our goal is to achieve top decile TICR performance by 2012. While we improved in 2007, we still lag the leaders in our industry. Among the largest investor-owned electric utilities, those in the top decile for safety performance in 2006 (the most recent data available from the Edison Electric Institute (EEI)) had a TICR of 0.76 or lower.
The Duke Energy Foundation sponsored the National Contractor Safety Summit in 2006. As a result of their involvement in the Summit, in 2007, the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Bureau of Labor Statistics established a national working group to improve the collection of contractor safety statistics. We are also directly involved in various research projects to improve contractor safety. The results will be available to interested parties. And, through Duke Energy leadership, the EEI executive committee adopted Health and Safety Principles, a first for EEI.
Internally, we have improved our contractor safety data collection methods. Safety Summits were held in the Carolinas and Midwest to communicate our safety values and expectations to senior managers and project managers of contracting companies.
Several business units have focused on reducing injuries due to poor workplace design or practices. Injuries to Power Delivery line technicians dropped by 25 percent in 2007 as a result of ergonomic safety improvements. Fleet Services and Nuclear Operations have implemented specific programs to identify risks and improve ergonomic safety.