A Beltrami Electric Cooperative employee was recently recognized for his commitment to safety.
According to a release, Trevor Gwiazdon, a staking engineer with BEC, prevented a severe accident and ensured that everyone went home safely that day.
While checking on the construction of a new service, Gwiazdon recognized a dangerous situation with an energized primary underground cable.
A construction crew had excavated around the cable, poured footings, elevated the energized cable and ran it across the cinder block into the building, mistakenly thinking it was a lower-voltage cable.
For context, the wall outlets in most residential homes receive 120/240V while the primary underground cable carries 7,200V.
Gwiazdon immediately stopped work and explained to the crew the dangers of handling a cable at that voltage.
The cooperative then safely took the line out of service.
“The LIFEguard on Duty Award honors those who have saved lives or prevented serious injuries. Not only do their actions have a lasting impact on others, but recipients also find ways to turn those experiences into teachable moments,” said Lidia Dilley Jacobson, the Minnesota Rural Electric Association’s director of safety and loss control.
“Trevor’s actions and willingness to speak up when he recognized a life-threatening situation saved lives,” said BEC president and CEO Jared Echternach.
“His actions are a testament to our culture of safety and we are a better cooperative for it.”