American Electric Power - Aim for Zero Harm

Aug 25, 2011 4:00 PM ET

Is it possible for a company to reach zero harm…. a year without incidents and injuries? We believe it is and strive to achieve zero harm every day. 

A large part of working safety is based upon our own set of beliefs and knowledge. For example, imagine you need to replace a light bulb in a ceiling fan. A chair is located near the fan, but it has wheels. Do you use this chair and risk falling or do you take the time to locate a stepladder? It may save you time by using the chair with wheels, but how much time would it save if you fall and suffer an injury? Those extra minutes you took to locate a stepladder would be time well spent.
People are fallible and even top professionals with years of experience make mistakes. This is one principal of human performance. The other principals include: 
  • Error-like situations are predictable, manageable and preventable

  • Behavior is influenced by the Organization

  • Behavior is influenced by reinforcement

  • Events can be avoided by applying lessons learned

Human Performance Improvement (HPI) is a practice used to raise the individual’s attention level in order to minimize error. HPI is an important tool we use to help get us closer to zero harm. 
HPI has to be driven from the site leadership and needs to be included in the pre-planning stages of each project. To learn more about HPI and access other safety resources, go to:
AEP ranks among the nation's largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S.  AEP also owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.
AEP's utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia, West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas).