The Montana Renewable Energy Association is dedicated to expanding the use of renewable energy across the state of Montana. Greater adoption of renewable energy technologies by the public requires a well-trained workforce; without trained individuals using best practices in the field to produce code-compliant installations, renewable energy systems are bound to perform poorly and/or become a hazard to the property and its occupants. Of equal importance is the need for this workforce to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety regulations for the construction industry. Non-compliance with OSHA safety standards on the jobsite can result in business-ending fines, life-altering injuries, and even death – all of which represent a step backward for the renewable energy industry and the broader adoption of its technologies. For these reasons, in late 2007 the MREA created a Safety Committee, and its first accomplishment was to establish a strategic partnership with local OSHA officials in order to provide MREA members with the best information on safety available for the development of their internal safety programs. Additionally, in conjunction with NorthWestern Energy officials, the MREA Safety Committee worked to establish an annual series of safety trainings held at various locations around the state, free of charge and open to all Montana renewable energy installers.
Vested in safety as the MREA is, the organization and its Board of Directors expects each of its member companies to seek regular safety training in the areas of the four major occupational hazards as defined by OSHA: falls, electrical shock, caught-by/in-between, and struck-by hazards. First aid and CPR training is also expected of MREA member companies so that they are fully prepared to respond to an accident. Further, the MREA and its Board of Directors expects all of its member companies to comply with OSHA safety standards and regulations while performing work in the field, which includes the use of OSHA-certified personal protective equipment such as roof anchors, ropes, and harnesses for fall protection and gloves and eyewear for protection from electrical shocks and arc-flash burns.
Lastly, since MREA member companies are expected to represent the organization as one that is committed to safety by complying with OSHA safety standards in the field, it follows that MREA members are to publish only OSHA-compliant installation photographs to the web, newspapers, magazines, and other public media. It is of critical importance to the MREA and its Board of Directors that the public perception of MREA member companies is one of great respect for their commitment to excellence not only in the areas of work quality and customer service, but also, and most importantly, safety.
Should member companies or their employees demonstrate non-compliance with this Safety Statement, they may receive a written warning from the organization’s Board of Directors. Continued acts of non-compliance by a member company may lead the Board of Directors to revoke its membership, as authorized by the bylaws of the organization.
Adopted September 27, 2012 by the MREA Board of Directors
Conor Darby, President
Ben Reed, Vice President
Dave Ryan, Secretary
Patrick Judge, Treasurer