GRI 403: Occupational health and safety
GRI 103: Management approach (103-1, 103-2, 103-3)
Alpiq considers occupational health and safety (OHS) as well as the protection of the physical and mental integrity of its employees and third parties to be values that must be protected at all costs. Alpiq therefore constantly strives to take all necessary measures to achieve this goal.
This report reflects the current status of OHS management, which is implemented at the local level for every location
Management approach and assessment
A common management system for OHS currently does not exist at group level. However, the national companies that operate the gas-fired combined-cycle power plants in Italy, Spain and Hungary all have management systems that have been certified in line with OHSAS 18001 or ISO 45001.
Other power plant companies manage occupational health and safety concerns based on a non-certified management system.
As part of their general obligations, the employers in all countries in which Alpiq operates are required to conduct risk assessments on work safety and bear the overall responsibility for identifying, assessing and controlling risks. As a result, location- and technology-specific risk assessments have been prepared in accordance with the local regulations. Moreover, additional risk assessments are conducted with regard to interference risk with external companies as necessary.
The risk assessments are prepared by competent persons who employ external consultants if necessary. The documents are regularly revised when new equipment, machines or production materials are introduced, when work processes change that could lead to hazards or as a result of findings obtained from an accident or a near miss.
All locations report incidents and unsafe conditions in line with the local procedures, which are defined in the respective management system. The general goal is to improve the reporting culture across the entire Alpiq Group, including the reports by workers of external companies.
All incidents, including near misses, are investigated. The aim is to determine the underlying causes and take corresponding corrective actions in order to prevent a similar incident from occurring again. For Alpiq it is important to note that the investigation of an accident is not intended to apportion blame, rather it aims to identify failures in the safety process.
The year 2020 was primarily shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. The protection of the health of employees was the absolute priority and all necessary protective measures were consistently implemented. Work at all power plants was carried out in line with the emergency plans and in compliance with the regulations enacted by the local authorities. Besides the usual hygiene regulations, additional measures were introduced where necessary: among other things, the strict separation of the teams, the mandatory use of protective masks with safety standard FFP2, the installation of devices for measuring body temperature or regular testing of the operating personnel. Most events were cancelled or replaced by online conferences. The measures taken kept employee infections within narrow limits and the vast majority of these occurred as a result of private contacts.
GRI 403-3: Occupational health services
Health monitoring in the power plants is carried out by occupational health professionals in line with the national legislation. In addition, managers must ensure that the general physical condition of employees is monitored and considered suitable for performing the respective tasks at the power plants. For example, all affected Alpiq employees are required to undergo an occupational medical check-up for “Working at heights with risk of falls” to ascend a wind turbine, even where this is not required by law. In addition, Alpiq ensures that every employee receives adequate training on OHS topics.
A large number of workers who are not employed by Alpiq work at Alpiq operating sites. As a result, contractors are carefully selected in consideration of the occupational safety criteria and most of them have certified safety standards (e.g. HYDRO Exploitation, Vestas, Gamesa, etc.).
GRI 403-9: Work-related injuries
No consolidated form of accident reporting has been introduced at the group level to date. The reports are submitted by the national organisations in line with the requirements of the relevant local accident insurance companies.
As a result, only absolute accident figures are reported for 2020. In addition, Alpiq is currently not able to collect official information on accident numbers for operating personnel of third-party companies. However, Alpiq is not aware of any major accidents with downtimes at Alpiq plants.
In 2020, there were 5 workplace accidents within the Alpiq Group. No serious workplace accidents were reported. This low number of workplace accidents reflects a high level of safety awareness. We will continue to strive to keep the number of workplace accidents at this low level.