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We Power Safety

We power safety. Work safe. Home safe. That’s our commitment at MGE, and it is embraced by our employees. When it comes to safety, every person and every company can always improve upon their safety performance. That is why we embrace a philosophy of continuous improvement.

MGE Occupational Health and Safety Policy
As part of our ongoing commitment to safety, the company approved our Occupational Health and Safety Policy in 2022. The policy recognizes the risks inherent to occupational health and safety and embraces safe work practices and environments as fundamental values at MGE. Our commitment to safety and how we govern our commitment isn’t new, but this policy allows us to document our commitment in a more formal manner.

MGE is committed to serving our community and to conducting our business in accordance with this policy, which is governed by the following systems:

  • Beyond Compliance. We are committed to the health and safety of every person working on behalf of MGE. We strive to ensure their work environment is free from known hazards and goes beyond regulatory rules and industry guidance.
  • Safety Culture Continuous Improvement. Through continuous improvement and training, MGE is continually evaluating opportunities for improvement.
  • Corporate Safety Management System. MGE is developing a Corporate Safety Management System, which will impact all operations of our organization. It will be based on industry standards and will have defined systems to create, manage and improve safety processes.
  • Data-Driven Safety Performance. By utilizing leading and lagging indicators, trend analysis, contractor management tools and the performing of incident investigations, we are able to incorporate performance data into our daily processes to make decisions.

Journey to safety excellence
In 2014, MGE launched a corporate safety initiative to improve our safety culture and our journey to safety excellence. We started with safety training for all employees, from our CEO and executive leadership team to our frontline workers. We also set up our Safety Steering Team and Safety Executive Team.

Our Safety Steering Team, made up evenly of exempt and non-exempt employees, guides our journey to safety excellence. The team meets regularly to examine safety topics and to identify and prioritize continuous improvement opportunities.

After launching our safety initiative, MGE conducted our first Safety Perception Survey to gauge the overall health of our safety culture. We have since conducted follow-up surveys in 2016, 2018 and 2021, with plans for another one in fall 2023, to continue to track our progress and to gain a better understanding of what is working well and where there is room for improvement. All employees across the company are encouraged to participate in these surveys.

The Safety Steering Team oversees the creation of our Continuous Improvement Safety Teams (CI Safety Teams). These employee-led teams include both field and office employees. The Safety Steering Team uses the Safety Perception Survey results and other inputs to identify safety culture and performance improvement opportunities for the CI Safety Teams. Through the Safety Steering Team and the CI Safety Teams, employees have direct involvement in our journey to safety excellence.

Safety vision statement
MGE’s safety vision statement was developed by one of our employee-led CI Safety Teams. The team drafted a statement of safety values that encompasses the business of MGE and creates a positive message that all MGE employees can adopt:

We power safety. Work safe. Home safe. As MGE employees, we power our own safety and the safety of those we work with to ensure everyone goes home safely. Our goal is zero injuries. Every day. Everywhere.

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A logo also was developed consistent with our vision statement. The logo, which includes the “We power safety. Work safe. Home safe.” message, can be found on MGE vehicles, employee hard hats and safety banners across the MGE campus, and it is included with all company safety communications. It serves as a constant reminder of our commitment to and the importance of safety both on and off the job every day.
We power safety. Work safe. Home safe. As MGE employees, we power our own safety and the safety of those we work with to ensure everyone goes home safely. Our goal is zero injuries. Every day. Everywhere.

Contractor safety
MGE takes steps to work with responsible contractors who meet our criteria for health and safety, labor and the environment. In 2022, we launched a new partnership to streamline our contractor data management processes. We partner with ISNetworld (ISN) to help manage contractor qualification requirements. This platform allows us to view important information about contractors, including:

  • Health, safety and environmental programs.
  • Health and safety statistics and citations.
  • A rolling three years of Occupational Safety and Health Administration forms.

With ISN, we can share industry best practices with contractors, benchmark performance, and monitor contractor and supplier risks.

Safety performance
In 2022, while working more than 1.4 million hours, we recorded a recordable incident rate of 2.33. A recordable incident is an event where the injury typically requires a level of care beyond basic first aid. Total recordable incident rate is figured on a per-100-employee average.

Our lost-time incident rate in 2022 was 0.96. A lost-time event is when the employee is unable to perform his or her job because of the injury and must stay away from work to recover. Total lost-time incident rates also are figured on a per-100-employee average.

Additional safety performance information is available in our Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and American Gas Association (AGA) ESG/sustainability reporting templates, which are available online in our ESG Data Center.

Inclusion and empowerment in our safety program
Our Safety Steering Team meets regularly to examine safety topics and to identify and to prioritize continuous improvement opportunities. It also oversees the creation of our employee-led CI Safety Teams.

MGE employees lead monthly large group and small group safety meetings. Field crews hold daily safe-start job briefings or “tailboards” at individual job sites. These briefings, developed by one of our early CI Safety Teams, focus on hazard awareness and job-specific safety. They engage, involve and empower each employee on the job site and establish accountability.

MGE’s Stop Work Authority program, developed by one of our CI Safety Teams, specifically addresses differences utilizing a “Speak Up Listen Up” safety training. This training focuses on respect for each employee’s opinions of whether a job is safe to proceed. Specifically, the training encourages workers to speak up if they are unsure whether a job should proceed. The training also emphasizes that employees need to listen to a coworker’s concerns and respect the idea that each employee has the right and the obligation to use Stop Work Authority if there is a question that needs to be answered. The process trains our workforce to respect the value everyone brings to the job. From the employee with decades of experience to the employee new to the job, all employees have equal authority and responsibility to stop work when a perceived unsafe condition or behavior is reported.

Continuous Improvement Safety Teams
Our employees understand the path of continuous improvement; they believe in it and the results from their safety efforts are proof that they’re committed to it. Our Safety Steering Team oversees the creation of our employee-led CI Safety Teams and determines the topic each team will address.

Each CI Safety Team goes through a Rapid Improvement Workshop to help team members develop the program around the assigned topic. The team shares its plans and explains the implementation process in meetings attended by the Safety Steering Team, executive management and the CEO. This collaboration has demonstrated a strong commitment to employee safety and holds all levels of employees and management accountable for their role in continuously improving MGE’s safety culture.

We have had 10 CI Safety Teams so far. They have worked to:

  • Improve the quality of our safety meetings by creating a process that portrays safety with a positive approach, creates a safety culture driven by employees, and encourages participation and accountability throughout all levels of the company.
  • Develop a job briefing process for our operations crews that identifies and addresses hazards on the work assignment, encourages discussion and engagement, and promotes accountability at all levels.
  • Create a proactive, trust-based, non-disciplinary near-miss/good catch reporting process that identifies, documents, addresses and allows everyone to learn from safety issues.
  • Develop our Stop Work Authority process that empowers and provides employees with the responsibility and obligation to stop work when a perceived unsafe condition or behavior may result in an unwanted event. 
  • Design a process that provides employees with positive recognition and reinforcement of positive safety behaviors. 
  • Uncover the key influencers that may cause employees to take risks on the job, identify existing tools for managing risk and develop recommendations for mitigating risks. 
  • Support office personnel to ensure they are informed about, aware of and involved in safety activities that are relevant, are meaningful and add value. 
  • Improve safety communications and provide a safe and effective work environment for everyone.

Impact on safety performance
The efforts of our CI Safety Teams are making an impact. In 2022, MGE received the inaugural Leading Indicator Safety Award from the AGA. It recognizes companies for being proactive in preventing fatalities, injuries and illnesses as well as driving behavior change among their workforce when it comes to employee safety. Much of the criteria for the award was focused on areas in which MGE has made progress through our safety culture initiative and CI Safety Teams, including:

  • Near-miss/good catch
  • Safe-start job briefings
  • Employee safety observations
  • Utility contractor safety management
  • Stop Work Authority
  • Proactive ergonomics and strain prevention
  • Safety culture surveys

Bring Safety Home supply cabinet for MGE employees.
Bring safety home
Our tenth CI Safety Team introduced an at-home safety platform designed to reduce injuries by helping employees bring safety home. The newly launched Bring Safety Home SharePoint site is an online tool available to all employees and serves as a central location to share at-home safety information, tips, training, checklists and other resources. The site also includes videos from employees sharing their safety experiences, and it features discounts for safety maintenance at home.

Our Safety Steering Team saw an opportunity to strengthen our safety culture by extending it to our homes and loved ones. Safety at home is universal to every employee, and this topic provides an opportunity for safety engagement throughout the company.

Safety communications
Our eighth CI Safety Team developed and implemented several initiatives to improve safety communications. Among the work done:

  • Some minor changes to our job orders have helped improve communication among our engineering team, operations supervisors and the field crews completing the work.
  • Improved knowledge of and ability to use Microsoft Office 365 tools on their MGE smart devices allow MGE field crews to communicate more efficiently with engineering, planning, scheduling and other employees who might not be on the job site with them.
  • The team helped develop a dedicated page in our online learning tool, The Learning Center, for communications training. It is available to all MGE employees.
  • The team improved accessibility to the Safety Action Items library for all employees, developed an easier way for employees to submit and track items, and provided better visibility into open and closed action items. (Safety action items were established by our first CI Safety Team in 2015.)

Near-miss/good catch
MGE’s near-miss/good catch reporting process continues to be successful. This proactive process, developed by an employee-led CI Safety Team in 2017, is non-disciplinary and designed to encourage reporting that identifies, documents and addresses safety issues and allows everyone to learn from the reports. The reporting process establishes accountability at all levels of the company to ensure it is implemented in a safe, no-blame environment. In six years of using the process, about 200 near-miss/good catch reports have been filed. Sharing reports with employees is designed to help all employees learn about safety issues and to help prevent incidents.

Proactive safety observations
Our Safety Proactive Observation Team, an employee-led CI Safety Team in 2018, developed a process that provides employees with recognition of positive behaviors. While many companies stopped performing safety observations in the field during the COVID-19 pandemic, we remained committed to our safety goals and conducted 275 on-the-job safety observations in 2021. By the end of 2021, all operations employees experienced at least one proactive safety observation. From 2018 through 2022, employees have recorded nearly 875 proactive safety observations.

Working to keep our communities safe
In addition to the safety of our employees, the safety of our customers also is a top priority. We strive to keep customers well informed about the potential dangers of electricity and natural gas and what to do in an emergency, using electric and natural gas safety advertising and information included with our bills, on our social media channels and on

Safety in the classroom
MGE partners with schools throughout our service territory and offers a wide array of classroom lessons, including electric and natural gas safety. From sharing materials to making classroom visits, MGE provides important energy safety lessons to students.

One of the most popular programs is MGE’s Switch to Safety. In addition to discussing gas safety, an MGE representative uses a tabletop electric safety model to illustrate and simulate potentially dangerous outdoor electric safety situations. MGE reaches hundreds of Madison-area students annually through the Switch to Safety program.

First responder training
MGE works closely with police and firefighters who respond to emergencies within our service territory. MGE’s Electric and Gas Operations departments conduct safety training with first responders within the communities we serve. MGE also conducts drills with the Madison Fire Department periodically at both of our Madison power plants.

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