Central Maine Power Company, 83 Edison Drive, Augusta, ME 04336 (207) 622-NEWS
Corporate Communications - email@example.com
Media Contact: Gail Rice (207) 622 NEWS
CMP Safety Initiative Benefits Local Business
AUGUSTA, Maine, April 24, 2014 — When Central Maine Power Co., a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, sought to address a workplace safety concern last year, the solution was literally in its own back yard. What resulted was a safer workforce, coupled with a spike in sales for a Maine-based manufacturer.
“We were concerned about the frequency of accidents involving slips, trips, and falls, particularly during the winter months,” said CMP spokesperson Gail Rice. “Some of these incidents involved field personnel working outside on icy surfaces, while others happened when people were walking between their vehicles and offices throughout our service area. We wanted a solution that would enhance safety for all employees, regardless of their regular work tasks.”
The solution proved both effective and timely. The utility issued Stabilicers Lite Walkers — manufactured by Biddeford-based 32North — to an estimated 1,000 employees just days before the Christmas week ice storm.
“It was great to be able to help CMP out as they went into a very wintry weekend where the people in the field really needed traction for their footwear,” said John Milburn, president of 32North.
The locally produced ice cleats kept utility employees on their feet through the ice storm and during the months that followed, as Maine experienced one of the snowiest and iciest winters in recent memory. CMP experienced a marked reduction in frequency of slips, trips, and falls during the first quarter of 2014.
The partnership with 32North began last year, when a cross-functional team of employees sought solutions to the high frequency of slips, trips, and falls. The group quickly concluded that issuing ice cleats to all of the utility’s employees would be a cost-effective way to enhance safety. With several varieties of cleats on the market, the group wanted to test several different types to see which one worked the best.
“It was late September, and they didn’t want to wait for colder temperatures to arrive, so they did the next best thing and called the local ice arena,” said Rice. “People at the Bank of Maine Ice Vault in Hallowell were very accommodating — the facility was the perfect place for our people to test the products.”
The employee team unanimously concluded that 32 North’s Stabilicers Lite Walker was the product of choice. Its next task was to get more than 1,000 properly sized sets to employees in time for winter. As it turned out, 32North and distributor N.H. Bragg made sure the ice cleats arrived just in time for distribution to employees on the Friday before the Christmas week ice storm.
CMP President Sara Burns said the initiative produced multiple benefits.
“CMP has always considered safety a top priority. A major part of that involves use of personal protective equipment, so issuing ice cleats to all employees made perfect sense,” she said. “But it is a real bonus when the manufacturer of the product is a valued customer who provides jobs right here in Maine.”
The first pair of Stabilicers was developed in the late 1980s by a New Brunswick man and introduced to the Canadian market. In 1991, Ann and David Gould bought rights to the product and moved manufacturing to their garage in Maine and eventually to the Dana Warp Mill in Westbrook. In 2001, the company expanded operations and moved to its current location in Biddeford. More information on the Stabilicers line of products can be found at 32North’s web site: https://www.stabilgear.com/.
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About Central Maine Power Company (CMP): Central Maine Power Company, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, is Maine’s largest electricity transmission and distribution utility. The company delivers about 9 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually to more than 600,000 homes and businesses, representing about 80% of Maine’s annual consumer sales of electricity. The company has been ranked #1 in customer satisfaction six times by J.D. Power and Associates. For more information, visit www.cmpco.com/.
About Iberdrola USA: Iberdrola USA is the U.S. subsidiary of global energy leader Iberdrola, S.A. The Iberdrola USA companies employ about 5,000 people with operations in 24 states from New England to the West Coast, providing electricity generation, transmission and distribution, natural gas storage and distribution, and energy services. For more information, please visit our website: www.iberdrolausa.com. Follow us on Twitter: @IberdrolaUSA