Southern Nuclear hosts renowned safety presenter for high school students in communities where it operates
Our top priority is safety and we're preparing our future workforce
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The week of April 18, Southern Nuclear hosted renowned safety presenter Candace Carnahan at high schools near each of its plant sites and the corporate office to educate students on the importance of maintaining safety awareness to avoid preventable accidents.
Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is located in Birmingham and operates Alabama Power's Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant near Dothan, Ala., and Georgia Power's Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant near Baxley, Ga., and Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant near Waynesboro, Ga.
"Southern Nuclear's top priority is the safety of our employees and plant neighbors," said Joe Parham, Southern Nuclear Fleet Safety and Health manager. "We partnered with Candace to promote safety to students in our communities and prepare our future workforce for what will always remain our top priority in everything we do."
Candace Carnahan shared her personal story about a devastating workplace incident in which she lost her lower left leg at the age of 21. She was working in a paper mill during her summer break from college, and while using a shortcut she picked up from fellow workers, her foot became caught in a conveyor belt that had no emergency stop system. A nearby worker was able to stop the conveyor and save Carnahan's life. Now, she uses her experience to share a positive message with audiences on eliminating preventable injuries.
"The first step in not getting hurt is knowing that you can be," she says.
"Our students were energized by Candace. She truly has a passion to promote workplace safety and warn others about the potential dangers of following the crowd," said Sabrina Campbell, Toombs County High School Career Technical Instruction program coordinator.
Burke County High School energy student Ar'nyya Walden said, "She made me realize that I am not invincible." Ali Gilbert added, "I now realize that getting hurt not only affects me, but it also affects my friends and family."
Carnahan's presentation put classroom learnings into perspective for Gabe Chavis, a pre-engineering student at Houston County Career and Technical Center.
"We designed conveyor systems and had to build emergency stops, and now I have a better understanding of why," he said.
Chavis' pre-engineering instructor, Shannon Jimmerson, said, "I love that this story has helped our students make the leap from classroom projects to real-world applications. It's so great when you see a student get it."
"Our students were in awe of Candace's story. Her message of 'if you see something, say something' resonated with them when dealing with workplace safety," said Zac McWhorter, Career Tech resource specialist with Shelby County Schools. "Since situations are always changing, students took her statement to heart about becoming too complacent in the workplace. One must always be aware and focused."
For more information on Carnahan, visit the Candace Carnahan website.
Southern Nuclear and Candace Carnahan tour schedule
April 18 – Plant Vogtle
April 19 – Plant Hatch
April 20 – Plant Farley
April 21 – Corporate
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For further information: Southern Nuclear Communications, Media line: 205-992-5395, Twitter: @SouthernNuclear, Facebook: facebook.com/southernnuclear, www.southerncompany.com/southernnuclear