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9 ElectriCities Members Earn National Award for Outstanding Safety Practices


The American Public Power Association (APPA) presented Safety Awards of Excellence to nine ElectriCities of North Carolina member utilities for safe operating practices in 2023.

The award recognizes a utility’s comprehensive approach to safety, including its incident rate and the state of its safety program and culture.

Recipients of 2023 Safety Awards of Excellence are:

Group B (systems with 15,000 to 29,999 worker-hours of exposure)

  • Gold: City of Shelby, N.C.

Group C (systems with 30,000 to 59,999 worker-hours of exposure)

  • Gold: Wake Forest Power (N.C.)

Group D (systems with 60,000 to 109,999 worker-hours of exposure)

  • Diamond: City of Gastonia, N.C.
  • Gold: City of Rock Hill, S.C.

Group E (systems with 110,000 to 249,999 worker-hours of exposure)

  • Diamond: City of Concord, N.C.
  • Diamond: City of New Bern, N.C.
  • Diamond: Wilson Energy (N.C.)

Group F (systems with 250,000 to 999,999 worker-hours of exposure)

  • Diamond: Fayetteville Public Works Commission (N.C.)
  • Gold: Greenville Utilities Commission (N.C.)

“Safety is the top priority for ElectriCities and for our members, and creating and maintaining an exceptional safety program goes much deeper than ensuring employees wear the right equipment each day,” said Craig Batchelor, ElectriCities Manager of Safety and Training. “It takes developing an organization-wide mindset and culture of safety and then doing the work each day to maintain it. I commend these public power providers for their dedication.”

According to an APPA news release, 147 utilities nationwide earned Safety Awards of Excellence for 2023 out of the 160 utilities that entered.

To determine award winners, APPA first categorized entrants according to their number of worker-hours. APPA scored each entrant based on leading indicators—proactive, preventative, and predictive measures; lagging indicators—the occurrence and frequency of past events; and the overall state of their safety programs and culture during 2023.

For 2023, APPA evolved its safety award program “to provide a more comprehensive and holistic approach in highlighting the definition of safety,” according to its website. Scores now result in certificates being awarded in three levels: Diamond, Platinum, and Gold. APPA members can find more information on 2023 updates and scoring in APPA’s Safety Awards of Excellence Application Guidebook.

“In our industry, safety has to be top of mind all day every day,” said Scott McKenzie, Chair of APPA’s Engineering and Operations Conference safety track and Senior Director of Member Training & Safety at AMP Inc. “These honored utilities have demonstrated a commitment to safety that runs through every aspect of their organizations.”

See the national list of 2023 Safety Awards of Excellence honorees at

Visit the Awards and Accolades page on the ElectriCities website for a list of awards ElectriCities member utilities have won during the past few years.