AREA’s risk management department provides safety and regulatory training and guidance to the 22 member-cooperatives in the state. In 2012, it made more than 200 visits to cooperatives, training 10,059 employees in various safety and regulatory topics including driver safety, blood-borne pathogens, CPR, first aid, AEDs, forklift certification and re-certification, fire safety, construction practices, hazard recognition, boom operations, hydraulic safety, grounding, driver safety, digger derricks, transformer banking, firefighter electric safety, defensive driving, rigging, pole top rescue, bucket truck rescue, job briefings, hazardous communication, heat stress, noise level testing, hearing protection, holiday safety, federal motor carrier safety, right of way safety and safety attitudes.
In addition to safety training provided at individual cooperatives, the Risk Management group also provides training at AREA headquarters for various cooperative employees. Training programs are selected and designated to meet the most current and detailed needs of AREA’s members, and the staff works closely with the member cooperatives to make sure these needs are continually being met.
AREA helps member cooperatives in complying with the regulations of certain government agencies by making regular visits to and contact with our 22 member cooperatives. It has assisted in the review, update and distribution of changes to the AREA Disaster Assistance Work Plan, helps member cooperatives in exercising their Emergency Restoration Plans, and is responsible for the Regulatory Compliance Manual.
All manuals and other resources are available to our members through our Touchstone Energy site. (LINK)
In times of disaster, AREA acts a central coordinator for member cooperative assistance, whether it is for disasters affecting in-state systems or out-of-state systems. AREA coordinates cooperative crews and helps in areas of clerical, engineering, communications, warehouse personnel, disaster billings to provide more uniform practices, and any other needs member cooperatives have during times of disaster.
In addition to a centralized assistance effort at AREA headquarters, an AREA staff member is present at the AEMA office in Clanton when a disaster strikes to coordinate with other agencies throughout the state. AREA also has signed and filed a Mutual Aid Agreement with NRECA.