Two divisions of RENEW Energy were recently named as recipients of the South Dakota Safety Council: Governor’s Awards.
The South Dakota Safety Council is an organization that, since 1949, has provided programs and services to employees and workers, as well as entire communities, to prevent injuries and keep people safe.
Per the SDSC website, the organization provides “information, education, and training in workplace and traffic safety, as well as programs and resources for home and community.”
While primarily based in Sioux Falls, SDSC offers on-site and regional training sessions.
“We place particular emphasis on helping our members reduce injuries and costly claims, increase productivity, and stay competitive,” the website continued. “Our members know that protecting their organizations and protecting their people go hand in hand – and that we are here with them for the long haul.”
The SDSC provides a variety of services, including motorcycle safety training, workplace safety training and consultation, First Aid/CPR/AED training, traffic safety training, family/community safety resources, and more.
They also put on annual conferences and partner with the Governor of South Dakota to present the annual Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards, which recognize South Dakota employers for excellence in Safety.
RENEW Energy was one of those employers.
“As a contractor that’s based out of Sioux Falls, we are a member of the South Dakota Safety Council, which is a chapter of a larger national organization known as the National Safety Council, or NSC,” said Kyle Bernhardt, the Director of Safety, Health, and Environment for RENEW Energy. “Every year, the SDSC offers the Governor’s Awards and we apply based on our location and by our industry classification.”
RENEW is also based out of Sioux Falls, so they applied using that location. But they also applied via their industry classification. This is known as an N-A-I-C-S Code, and RENEW submitted applications for two different entities – RENEW Energy Maintenance and RENEW Energy Electrical.
Both sectors won the Outstanding Achievement Award.
These awards are given based on a number of different criteria focusing on safety statistics. SDSC reviewed the past three years of safety data, focusing on RENEW’s statistics from 2020, 2021, and 2022.
“We have a very comprehensive safety program,” Bernhardt stated. “The industry that we work in, the wind turbine industry, is a highly hazardous industry. With that, we have to have a good, comprehensive safety program, as well as a good, strong, comprehensive safety culture. I believe that we have that. And these awards proved it.”
Bernhardt was quick to acknowledge the RENEW Training Department, which, he said, played a pivotal role in this accomplishment.
“Without proper employee training, we would all be at a greater risk,” he stated. “The culture at RENEW is really important as well. One of the really great things about RENEW is that the COO, Travis Harkins, really holds his frontline managers and service line managers accountable. He also holds his employees accountable when it comes to working safely. And he is always there to allocate resources in order to support the safety functions of the organization.”
Safety, Bernhardt said, is one of the most critical aspects of the organization.
“Our employees are our most important assets,” he shared. “Not because of what they provide to the company, but because they are actual human beings. As an employer, we are ultimately responsible for providing them with a safe and helpful working environment.”
Safety is at the forefront of each and every project that RENEW Energy takes on. Because of the company’s commitment to safety, it came as no surprise to anybody that they were honored with these Outstanding Achievement Awards.
“These awards reflect RENEW’s stance that we are the best in class,” Bernhardt said. “Not only in what we do and what we offer to our customers, but also in terms of safety and quality. So the fact that we’re winning these awards is just indicative of a larger picture – that we’re promoting a safe culture, and we’re keeping our people safe.”
RENEW Energy will continue to distinguish itself as a company that is committed to safety. These awards will continue to come in, simply because RENEW providing a safe workplace for its people is the most important thing that it does. That commitment to safety, that commitment to excellence, is something that reverberates from the top of the company right down to the bottom. Every single person under the RENEW label, under the TAKKION label, knows how important safety is, and they will not settle for anything less than the best.
“Here’s the thing,” Bernhardt shared. “I got up there and accepted the award, but this award really goes to our frontline people that are out there performing the work. Because without them, RENEW doesn’t exist. So this award is really for them, at the end of the day. Obviously, our management team, our stakeholders, and our customers share recognition for accepting this award, but I really believe this award is for our technicians who climb the towers every day. RENEW, and TAKKION as a whole is committed to protecting our employees and providing them with a safe work environment while also delivering the best possible product to our customers.”