VELCO applauded for workplace safety and health efforts

first_imgMEDIA RELEASEAugust 3, 2005Contacts:VELCODavid Mace, Process Owner, External CommunicationsPhone: (802) 770-6367Pager: (802) 742-3250Vermont Department of LaborScott Meyer, Program Manager Project WorkSAFE1-888-SAFE-YES (1-888-723-3937)VELCO applauded for workplace safety and health effortsFor Immediate Release: Aug. 3, 2005RUTLAND, Vt. Vermonts electric transmission utility has become the fourth Vermont company to be federally recognized for its safety efforts, the Vermont Department of Labor announced Wednesday.The Vermont Electric Power Co., Inc., also known as VELCO, formally joined the federal Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) during a ceremony at the companys Rutland headquarters.This certification is indeed an honor, and Im very proud of the VELCO team for their work in helping achieve the SHARP designation, said VELCO president and chief executive officer John Donleavy. In my 25-plus years in the electric utility industry, I have made a commitment to putting safety first one of my personal priorities. No team is successful no matter what business results are achieved if anyone gets injured.The formal letter of certification was presented by Vermont Department of Labor Commissioner Pat McDonald.Acceptance into SHARP is an achievement of status that recognizes VELCO as a model employer for worksite safety and health, McDonald said. VELCO is the fourth Vermont employer to receive such an award. We hope that with the example VELCO and the other three employers are setting, we will be able to welcome more Vermont companies into SHARP SHARP is after all about recognizing the importance and benefits of workplace safety and health.The accreditation marks the end of a rigorous 15-month collaboration with Project WorkSAFE, Vermonts Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Program.We applaud the employees and management of VELCO in this accomplishment. We must realize that their staff works in all types of weather in a variety of harsh environments and at fixed locations in an inherently dangerous occupation, said Scott Meyer, Director of Project WorkSAFE. To be conducting this type of work while maintaining a safe workplace speaks very well to the caliber and commitment of staff at VELCO. They have a lot to be proud of and we hope that other Vermont employers will follow in their lead.Donleavy said that as part of the companys strategic plan it had implemented new safety programs aimed not only at field workers but also at its office personnel, and promoting safety and health at home as well.As we move forward with constructing our infrastructure improvement projects, VELCO wants its associates to be as successful and productive as they can be, and that means enabling them to work safely and remain healthy wherever they are, he said. Its not just good for business. Its the right thing to do.The SHARP program is a nationally recognized program implemented by states under Federal OSHA. The SHARP program recognizes small, high-hazard businesses with exemplary safety and health programs.Upon receiving SHARP certification, the workplace will be exempt from programmed inspections during the period that the SHARP certification is valid. Currently there are 777 firms in the United States and 36 in New England with the SHARP certification.Ryegate Associates, a wood-fired electric generating facility was the first Vermont SHARP company; the second was DEW Construction, and the third Green Mountain Powers Western Division.For further information about the SHARP program or Project WorkSAFE, please visit the Department of Labor and Industry website: is external).Founded in 1956, VELCO is the Vermont Electric Power Co., Inc., the Rutland-based company that builds, owns, maintains and operates the states high-voltage electric transmission system. That system consists of some 600 miles of power lines ranging from 115,000 volts to 450,000 volts and 25 substations, as well as other equipment and a sophisticated fiber optic monitoring and control system.The company does not own any generating plants or the distribution lines that bring power to individual homes and businesses. VELCO is a private company owned by the states retail utilities, investor-owned, municipal and cooperative. It employs almost 100 people.###last_img read more

State ballots turned sports

first_imgWith the Wisconsin statewide elections finally over with, I can’t say I’m ashamed one bit that I didn’t vote. Like most sports fans, I couldn’t care less about politics.But what if the candidates were sport icons instead? Then I’d cast a ballot, for sure.GovernorRunning: Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers Party; Barry Alvarez, Wisconsin Badgers Party.Favre would be the popular choice in the Dairy State, but Alvarez is the educated vote. I mean, the man already has experience running UW athletics and knows what the public (in this case, the sports fan) wants: victories.In 16 seasons as Wisconsin football’s head coach, Alvarez garnered three Rose Bowls and completely turned a crumbling program around, making it what it is today. Even when he hung up his coaching duties after last season, he left Wisconsinites with a qualified replacement in Bret Bielema, who is picking up just where Alvarez left off.Furthermore, Alvarez can relate to the average Wisconsin resident. Born in the small town of Langeloth, Penn., he had to work his way up the coaching ranks to where he is today, and he knows what it takes to get the job done coming from the bottom.Favre, on the other hand, hasn’t been handling his position of power with great ease the last couple of years. His status among elite Wisconsin athletes has diminished with interception after interception, but he will always have a place in the state’s history as a three-time MVP and 1996 Super Bowl winner, and possibly even the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdowns if he can manage to pump out 14 more to surpass Dan Marino.My vote: Alvarez.Lieutenant GovernorRunning: Ned Yost, Milwaukee Brewers Party; Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers Party; Bo Ryan, Wisconsin Badgers Party.Throw McCarthy out of the picture — he’s this ballot’s Ralph Nader, except I like Nader just a tad bit more.Yost isn’t a bad choice — he’s done a pretty good job of turning the tides for the Brewers in the franchise’s new era, but after last season, it looks as though he may have hit his peak.Obviously Ryan is the clear-cut favorite here.If anybody has been the face of basketball in the state, it’s Ryan. After a quiet 15 years at UW-Platteville in which he won eight Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships, Ryan earned the head coaching job at UW-Milwaukee and, soon thereafter, here at UW. Heading into this season, he is just five wins away from 500 career victories.Ryan already knows how to handle the media, dodging questions by indulging the media with stories that you can’t help but laugh with him about.For example, when asked about the chemistry of the team’s guards, Ryan answered, “[A] cookie isn’t good if every ingredient that went into it [is just read] off of the paper, the wrapper. I want all the guards to make a sweet cookie that’s delicious because of everything that, every ingredient that each one of them puts into it.”Plus, Ryan already has experience working underneath Alvarez, so his duties as lieutenant governor would suit him just fine.My vote: Ryan.Attorney GeneralRunning: Ted Thompson, Green Bay Packers party; Doug Melvin, Milwaukee Brewers party; Larry Harris, Milwaukee Bucks partyThompson’s the odd one out of the bunch, not having made any stellar transactions in his two seasons as Packers’ general manager so far. As for Melvin and Harris, it’s a toss-up. Both have made some great moves, but also some questionable ones (Harris trading away Jamaal Magloire and Melvin shipping away Carlos Lee for little in return). However, it’s much more difficult being the general manager of a Major League Baseball team than it is an NBA team, having to manage prospects throughout the minor leagues and dealing with many more players to fill a roster so Melvin should get the edge.My vote: Melvin.State TreasurerRunning: A.J. Hawk, Green Bay Packers Party; Dan Gadzuric, Milwaukee Bucks Party; Brian Elliott, Wisconsin Badgers Party.If Reggie White, the Minister of Defense, was still alive (R.I.P.), he’d be the favorite for treasurer, despite his previous political stumble. But this one’s a no-brainer — Elliott, hands down.Elliott stopped nearly everything that came his way last year, leading the nation in winning percentage (.814), goals-against average (1.55) and save percentage (.938). He also tied the national lead for shutouts with eight, making him the perfect man for treasurer.My vote: ElliottNBA Rules Amendment — Should the league replace the leather ball with its new microfiber composite ball?A fair Association votes “No.” What was ever wrong with the leather ball? In the past 35 years, there was never a complaint with it, and nearly everyone will still grow up playing with a leather ball, as it will still be used in high school and college play. If anything, the NBA should bring back the classic red, white and blue ABA balls.My vote: Nolast_img read more