Two New River Electrical employees in yellow and green safety equipment holding a yellow pole into a green electrical box outside.

Standards in Safety: Certified Utility Safety Professionals

When we say New River Electrical is committed to safety, it’s more than just talk. Our employees prove that in their actions every day: when everyone comes home from a job unharmed, when we have 100% attendance at safety trainings, and when our safety department takes extra steps to make sure they’re equipped to keep our teams safe.

Safety Specialists Tom Collins and Josh Murray recently completed their training and exam to become a Certified Utility Safety Professional (CUSP). This program is accredited by the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) and is the only program that offers safety credentials for utilities and related contractors.

“New River Electrical is really good at making continuing education a priority,” says Tom. “There’s a certain standard that we strive to have our safety team at and this is just another way we are able to do that.”

Some of the topics that the CUSP certification covers includes leadership in the industry, human performance, OSHA standards, incident prevention, hazard identification, and more. All of these elements are key to building a safer environment for New River Electrical crews to work in.

“Really, the coursework and certification just confirmed a lot of what we already knew and enforced in our safety standards,” says Josh Murray. “It’s a great way of showing our customers that we are truly committed to being leaders in safety.”

In order for anyone to pursue this certification, one already had to have a minimum of 3 years in a dedicated safety or training leadership role.

About Josh Murray

Josh has been in the electrical industry working at New River Electrical for 8 years. After starting out in the apprenticeship program, he became a Journeyman Substation Technician. He spent 6 years building substations prior to transitioning into safety. For the past 3 years he has been working as a Safety Specialist and pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Safety and Health.

A worker wearing safety glasses, gloves, and a hard hat is focused on bending a conduit pipe in an industrial setting.

About Tom Collins

Tom Collins joined New River Electrical as Safety Specialist 4.5 years ago and had previously worked in safety for over 17 years. He works with crews in the upper mid-Atlantic region, from New York to just outside of Richmond, VA.

Two men are presenting in a training session with lifting equipment on the table in front of them and rigging hardware instructions displayed on a screen behind.

“Safety is always evolving,” says Tom. “It’s really important to make sure we stay on top of the latest standards.”

Both Josh and Tom are also Certified Behavioral-Based Ergonomic Specialists. This certification ensures that there is an ergonomics expert on the job site to make sure workers are properly trained in using tools and equipment safely and in ways that avoid injury. It’s just another way that we set the standard.