Redding Electric Utility celebrates remarkable milestone

Apr 14, 2014 8:37 PM

The Redding Electric Utility is a relatively small power plant, but it operates like those double its size.

There's something that sets this plant apart from all the others -- its safety record.

"When you transmit electricity you want it to be at a high voltage, low current, for reducing losses."

Safety first -- that's the motto the Redding Electric Utility swears by.

"This facility has gone 20 years without a loss-time work incident...if an employee is injured to the point they cannot return the next day to work and perform their duty."

The same can't be said for PG&E and Sierra Pacific Industries -- which had worker-related deaths in 2010 and 2012 respectively.

20 years is a pretty long time to have such a perfect record -- so how do they do it?

"This site has a really good safety culture."

Greg Deedon says his men follow safety precautions religiously.

"They have that level of ownership in the facility to want to see it remain at this level."

The work site has about 50 employees; the power plant and control room have a two-man band 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Aside from being manned at all times plant employees undergo special training every year.

"There's an extensive amount of training as far as safety programs we have within the site...which chemicals are dangerous and how to handle them...spill prevention...heavy lifting..."

This facility has a state of the art emergency rescue trailer, designed to rescue someone even from the tightest space.

"We have a lot of high energy systems here being high-voltage electrical...high pressure, high temperature steam, rotating equipment..."

For Greg and the rest of the Redding power plant, staying safe is a never-ending mission.

"It's kind of a constant development; it never stops developing..ever."

The Redding Electric Utility bought out PG&E's facility in Redding in 1921, and has been operating locally ever since.


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