An Ever-Evolving Safety Mindset
A Safe Culture Is a Successful Company
Methodical growth is in Apex’s DNA.
Since the company’s founding, Apex’s sole focus on advancing utility-scale wind energy has expanded to include utility-scale solar, battery storage, distributed energy resources, and green fuels.
As is often the case, growth begets challenges—in this case, maintaining an unwavering focus on Apex’s core values, which have both guided and enabled the company’s growth so far. Amid an evolving culture and expanding business lines, protecting these values is crucial, particularly when it comes to safety.
Since Apex’s early days, safety has been ingrained in every aspect of its work, across every team—evidenced by a near-spotless incident record and numerous industry awards celebrating Apex’s dedication and leadership to integrating safety with its business operations.
“The Apex safety record is second to none, and from a project’s inception, we take a very proactive approach to safety to ensure we have policies in place to prevent incidents from happening before anything actually occurs,” said Natasha Montague, Apex’s senior community relations manager. “This requires the whole team’s collaboration to cultivate a culture of safety that’s continually refreshed and implemented in our day-to-day operations.”
Even with the records and the recognition, there will always be opportunity to improve; fostering this culture of safety requires continual assessment and evolution with input from every level.
Secure, Empower, Engage
Apex’s safety program encompasses three core pillars—secure, empower, and engage—and begins with a secure workplace. At operating facilities and corporate offices alike, the fundamentals of safety are established and supported. The company meets—and often exceeds—safety standards, communicates regularly and effectively on safety matters, and strives to ensure the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of everyone who works for and with Apex. This first pillar is the critical foundation of the safety program; the others serve as true differentiators.
“You could say that safety is a priority, but priorities change; safety at Apex is something that remains constant—it’s a value.”
Apex empowers each of its employees and contractors to be an active participant in safe outcomes by taking a collaborative approach to initiatives and incidents. With safety tips highlighted in daily and weekly meetings, universal stop-work authority, an expectation of vigilance and transparency, and both required and elective training opportunities—from de-escalation courses to CPR and first aid certification—safety is constantly top of mind.
“At Apex, safety is very inclusive. We solicit feedback and buy-in from everybody, whether that’s leadership or in-the-field employees. Everyone needs to understand what their roles and responsibilities are, the hazards that they could be faced with, and the mitigation put in place to keep themselves and others from getting hurt,” said Jason Conley, manager of health and safety. “You could say that safety is a priority, but priorities change; safety at Apex is something that remains constant—it’s a value.”
This culture extends well beyond the walls of Apex offices and the boundaries of projects. Through close coordination with everyone who steps foot on a project site, Apex ensures its partners and contractors share the same values and match its safety standards.
“Apex creates a safe environment for contractors through team building. There are no lines between the company and the contractor; we’re all one team bought into the same safety culture,” said Curtis Radke, project coordinator. “Once you’ve built that culture, you have to work hard to maintain it, and we do that through everything from real-time learning opportunities to site-specific weekly safety meetings.”
Secure, empower, engage means everyone—Apexer or not—goes home safe and healthy each day.
From Day One Through Decommissioning, Relationships Reign
Beginning with early outreach during the initial development of a project, Apex works to engage the communities we operate in, starting a dialogue that continues throughout the facility’s lifetime. Apexers build relationships with landowners and community members, facilitate safety trainings, and perform collaborative drills with local first responders. During development, Apex’s team of safety experts attends open houses and public hearings, offering perspective and ensuring concerns are addressed.
“Very early on, we make sure that we start developing relationships with community members and emergency responders alike. We’ll reach out to local volunteer fire departments and other emergency responders so that they know who we are, who to get into contact with, and that we’re starting to develop our safety protocol before the project is even built,” said Montague. “That means once we enter the construction phase, we already have our safety plan in place, and once we start operations, we have our emergency action plan.”
The trust and understanding established at the start are essential for when a project advances into construction and operations. To maintain those relationships, Apex continues to prioritize communication with landowners, and annual workshops are conducted at each site with key stakeholders and first responders. These strong ties, both internal and external, enable a proactive approach to operating a project safely and effectively throughout its lifetime. The success of Apex’s program, after more than a decade of existence, is evidenced by zero recordable incidents at its operating sites.
Delivering Results in Apex’s Core Business
Achieving a culture of safety requires true discipline and effort—breaking down tasks and processes, identifying risks, and seeking out opportunities to mitigate those hazards. Apex pursues continuous improvement in its safety approach—meaning that these processes must be constantly reanalyzed.
“Safety means everything at Apex. It’s our way of life, and it’s what we do each and every day on every single task,” says Marco Pineda, director of operations. “We create a plan and break it down to ensure that we identify all potential risks for anything that we do—and then, as a team, we develop a plan to eliminate those risks and complete the job safely.”
This continual analysis allows Apex to identify and correct operational inefficiencies, thereby offering significant collateral benefits. Safety is a driver of strong business outcomes—not just because of its inherent benefits, but also for these ancillary benefits to the core business. In Apex’s line of work, the safety of the organization is the success of the company.
Since Apex’s early days, safety has been ingrained in every aspect of its work, across every team—evidenced by a near-spotless incident record and numerous industry awards celebrating the company’s dedication and leadership to integrating safety with its business operations.