For those working alongside Michigan’s roadways, a work zone can quickly become a danger zone. As you hit the road this summer, remember to “slow down and go around” in all work zones, including where utility workers are present.
The June 22, 2012 death of our own journeyman lineworker Jeff Creel is a reminder of the dangers faced every day by our field employees. According to authorities, Creel was struck and killed by a vehicle as he was responding to a report of a downed power line near Jonesville. The driver was charged with a moving violation causing death in a work zone – a felony carrying a maximum of 15 years in prison and fines up to $7,500.
Family, friends and colleagues of Creel have worked tirelessly to honor his memory by increasing the public’s focus on work zone safety. Late last year, at the urging of individuals and employee groups, including Consumers Energy’s Hastings Service Center Grass Roots Safety Team, the Michigan House of Representatives passed Resolution 330, recognizing Dec. 6 as Utility Worker Safety Awareness Day.
“Drivers need to slow down as they go around utility workers and other personnel working in and along roadways. They’re doing this work to serve us. This is their work area and it needs to be kept safe,” said Michele Kirkland, Consumers Energy Vice President of Energy Operations.
In the past year, we have spent approximately $5 million to outfit field vehicles with special warning lights to draw even more attention to passing motorists. Employees also place cones and flags in work areas and wear reflective vests.
Thanks for your help in keeping Michigan roads safe for everyone.