Guaranteeing the health, safety and well-being of our employees is top priority at EDPR. This stern commitment is supported by our Health and Safety policies and initiatives, as well as, a strong track record.
In January 2011 a common Health & Safety policy based on EDP Group’s Guidelines was approved by the Executive Committee. The harmonized policy reinforces prevention of occupational risks associated with our activities as a key priority of the company management.
“At all times and in any situation, (EDPR) is responsible for running its activities with a target of zero accidents.”
Health & Safety policy
Our Health & Safety Policy is available to all our employees and contractors through our website. Our employees follow these guidelines rigorously and strive to achieve a healthy and safe workplace for all those who provide services in our facilities.
Health & Safety Management System
To achieve our zero accidents goal, we have implemented proper management systems of health and safety based on the OHSAS 18001:2007 specification. These systems are also adapted to the specific geography where they are utilized. H&S standards and procedures are also developed based on country regulation and industry best practices.
The health and safety management system is supported by different guides, control procedures, instructions and specifications. To this extent the Health and Safety Management Guide is the responsible for ensuring the effective execution of EDPR’s H&S policy.
OHSAS 18001:2007 Certification
In Europe, in addition to the adoption of the OHSAS specification principles, our health and safety management system is being certified according to OHSAS 18001:2007.
During 2011, we renewed the OHSAS 18001:2007 certification of our previously certified wind farms. Furthermore, we extended the certification to all other wind farms in Spain where we have a stake greater than 50%. As a result, by the end of 2011, 2,127 MW in Spain are OHSAS 18001:2007 certified.
Moreover, in 2011 we developed the management occupational health and safety guides for the different European countries where we operate. As a result, our first six wind farms in France were audited and obtained the OHSAS certificate, totalling 67 MW EBITDA in France, which represents a 22% of the installed capacity in the country.
During 2012 we plan to renew the OHSAS 18001:2007 certification of our wind farms and continue extending it to all other wind farms in France. We also plan to implement our Health and Safety management systems in Poland and Romania.
Employees and Contractors H&S training requirements
As an integral part of our health & safety strategy, we conduct several training courses and risk assessment activities according to the potential risks identified for each job position within the company.
In Europe, EDPR has conducted over 70 training activities related to the prevention of occupational hazards, representing over 2,700 hours of training. The activities carried out include first aid and fire fighting courses, electrical, mechanical specific preparation, chemical and heavy products handling, offshore safety instructions, emergency training, 4×4 vehicles driving and office specific training.
In the US, all EDPR workers attend H&S training designed to address the hazards associated with their job responsibilities, including electrical safety, tower climbing & rescue, crane safety, vehicles/ driving and office safety. More than 2,300 hours of H&S training were completed in 2011. All contractors are required to provide applicable H&S training for their employees.
In Brazil, 100% of the operators’ team was taught in safety measures and electricity services.
“A significant training effort is being made and it is well structured in the area of prevention, effectively covering the risks of the activity.”
In Spain, all EDPR workers have been provided the risk assessment associated with their job position, and a handbook with basic instructions for action. Moreover, we use a specific software tool that allows us to coordinate by sharing information and documentation, including risk guidelines, training of workers, etc. During 2012, we intend to extend the implementation of this tool to other countries in Europe.
Meanwhile, in 2011 we also performed in France and Belgium a risk assessment of each working area in order to define specific action plan to mitigate the most important risks. Contractors are required to present proof of having received the required training. Furthermore, preventive actions have been agreed upon with our contractors to ensure safety. In Romania, Poland and Italy we have already developed the documentation for the Health & Safety Management System and defined the health and safety specifications to be met by contractors that want to work in our facilities.
Emergency plans and safety drills
Each one of our offices and wind farms in Europe and the US has its own crisis plan with contact details and instructions to follow in case of an emergency. In 2011, we continued performing emergency drills to be prepared for crisis situations.
In Spain, EDPR conducted 23 drills in our wind farms and trained over 40 employees from emergency teams. In France, as we enlisted the help of specialized firemen and rescue teams and plan to perform 3 emergency drills in 2012 in other French wind farms. In UK, members of our offshore project team underwent emergency training for offshore specific situations. Additionally, in our offices EDPR also performed emergency drills. In France we have scheduled an emergency drill for 2012.
“In cooperation with our O&M service contractors we conduct periodic safety drills to help reinforce safety procedures. Because you have to know what to do in emergency situations before they happen.”
The implementation of health and safety measures is supported by committees and subcommittees created within the organization. Through these committees we collect information from different operational levels and involve employees in the definition and communication of a preventive plan.
In Spain, the internal commission on prevention is the highest governance body related to health and safety. It is led by the COO of Europe and holds regular meetings twice a year. Internal subcommittees per activity area meet every three months to implement, monitor and control prevention activities in their area of responsibility.
In France, we have established the committee on health, safety and working conditions, which represents all workers and is led by the country manager. Similar committees are intended to be created during 2012 in other European countries.
In the US, there is a health and safety committee for each site that includes both EDPR employees and O&M contractor site managers. There is also a management health and safety committee to communicate industry issues and develop organization objectives in the area.
During 2011, the total number of workers who attended health and safety committee meetings in Europe reached 20% of employees, in representation of 67% of our workers in Europe. In the US, 12% of EDPR NA employees participated on a safety committee, in representation of 100% of the workforce.
Health and safety indicators
The implementation of our health and safety management systems allows us to record and monitor the number of accidents in the different geographies to achieve our zero accidents goal. In 2011, we implemented a near miss system in Europe and North America, to record also near misses in order to proactively prevent incidents in the future.