Social dimension

Occupational health and safety

Why is this important?

Health and safety, including the protection of the physical and mental integrity, are values that must be protected at all costs. Alpiq constantly strives to take all necessary measures to achieve this goal for both the Group’s own employees and for third-party personnel.

Many of Alpiq’s employees are involved in hazardous activities such as operating electrical installations which have the potential for high-consequence incidents. These workers are exposed, among others, to electrical risks, ionising radiation, working at heights or explosion hazards, which may end in fatalities or severe injuries. To adequately manage all risks is not only a legal obligation, but also a moral duty and therefore Alpiq’s declared commitment.

What are we doing?

To date, health and safety at Alpiq has been organized at a country or unit level. No common health and safety management system for the entire Group is currently in place. Going forward, Alpiq wants to be sure that the optimal level of centralization governance is in place in terms of common goals, reported and aligned KPIs and minimum standards applied across Alpiq Group including construction sites Alpiq has in the project pipeline. The current Group Health & Safety Policy sets out the key principles that will guide the work of the coming years.

How do we track the effectiveness of our approach?

As a first step, regular reporting has been introduced. The Executive Board is informed on a bi-weekly basis about accidents and near misses. The Executive Board has agreed to focus even more on developing the Health & Safety culture and increasing the general awareness. It has included Health & Safety as one of the Strategic Sustainability KPIs.

In 2023, the central reporting system will be still improved, on the top Alpiq plans to gradually introduce both leading and lagging KPIs to monitor and measure health and safety performance and increase in general the H&S awareness in the company. The effectiveness of these measures is expected to be validated as part of regular Pulse-check employee survey (see section “Corporate culture”).

Milestones in 2022 

- In 2022, the power plant of San Severo (Italy) joined the Workplace Health Promotion (WHP) programme with the goal of working on the promotion of proper nutrition and road safety. The purpose of the WHP programme, sponsored at the European level, is the prevention of chronic diseases through the promotion of organisational changes in workplaces to make them environments conducive to the conscious adoption of healthy lifestyles. 

- In the reporting year, the fourth “Small Hydro HSE Workshop” took place. The yearly event is addressed to managing directors and third-party operational staff working at various small-scale hydro power plants owned by Alpiq throughout Switzerland. The main purpose is to share Alpiq’s expectations and raise awareness for health and safety. During the one-day workshop participants had the opportunity to exchange on health and safety challenges and lessons learned. This year the focus was on near miss reporting. In the afternoon all participants went to the nearby small hydro power plant for a hazard hunt. 

- In the reporting year three lost time injuries (LTI) occurred among Alpiq employees, which leads to a lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) of 1.3. As a consequence there was 21 lost working days. 

- Currently Alpiq is not yet able to provide detailed information on accident numbers for operating personnel of third-party companies. However, Alpiq is not aware of any serious accident at Alpiq facilities in the reporting year. In isolated cases, small work-related incidents with minor downtime were reported. 

- At the nuclear power plants in which Alpiq holds shares, there were no radiation doses to employees above the legal limits in 2021 and 2022. Further information on radiation doses can be found in the ENSI Radiation Protection Report 2021 (ENSI-AN-11280) and 2022, to be published mid-2023. 

- This low number of workplace accidents reflects a high level of safety awareness. Alpiq continues to strive to keep the number of workplace accidents at least as low as this.


- 21 – number of working days lost to injuries in 2022

- 0 – serious accidents (deaths / losses of larger part of the body / immediate hospitalizations)

- 17 – share of Alpiq employees involved in potentially hazardous activities (%)

“We consider the health and safety of our employees - as well as their mental and physical integrity - as values to be protected at any cost. We do our utmost to ensure that anyone performing activities on behalf of our company comes home safely and healthy every day.”

Antje Kanngiesser, CEO Alpiq

Frameworks/guidelines 

- ISO 45001 

- Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI)

- Swiss National Accident Insurance Fund (SUVA)

GRIs 

- GRI 403-1: Occupational health and safety management system 

- GRI 403-2: Hazard identification, risk assessment and incident investigation 

- GRI 403-3: Occupational health services  

- GRI 403-5: Employee training on occupational health and safety 

- GRI 403-7: Prevention and mitigation of occupational health and safety implications directly related to business relationships 

- GRI 403-8: Employees covered by a management system for occupational health and safety 

- GRI 403-9: Work-related incidents

Sustainable Development Goals 

- SDG 8

Diana Crespo: Committed to health and safety

Diana Crespo, Deputy Operations Manager, is responsible for health and safety at the Plana del Vent gas-fired combined cycle power station in Tarragona, Spain. The plant covers the annual electricity consumption of around 2 million households. She tells us about the further development of safety standards, the prevention of occupational accidents, and what her work at Alpiq entails.

What exactly are your tasks and what does your daily routine look like?
I am not only Deputy Operations Manager, but also EHS manager. So, my daily work consists of supporting, advising and accompanying my colleagues in their tasks regarding occupational health and safety.

What is Alpiq doing to ensure the safety of the power station’s 30 employees?
At Alpiq Spain, we introduced the “Improving with Safety” project several years ago to improve and develop the safety culture in all our processes. Within this framework, we regularly have external audits and assessments of the safety conditions carried out. Based on these assessments, we create action plans aimed at further strengthening the awareness and commitment of all employees to safety and health.

To what extent has safety and health work changed in recent years?
In recent years, health and safety work has changed a lot, with the general well-being of employees playing an important role, without neglecting the whole area of occupational health and safety. Employee wellbeing is important so that we all see ourselves as part of a common project, feel valued and thus achieve a better working environment for all. It is also an important point for the prevention of health risks.

What are the most common accidents and how can they be prevented?
In general, falls are the biggest risk of accidents. It’s crucial that we carry out campaigns specifically addressing these risks and eliminate them before they lead to an accident. At Alpiq Spain, we work on the safety culture of our company every day, for example with daily cross-divisional meetings for all teams, reactive and proactive monitoring of KPIs, audits on the work carried out at the facilities, and internal and external training. We also promote proactive awareness of potential risks in the power plant through “hazard hunts” and conduct at least two exercises per year together with external safety organisations such as the fire brigade.

Does the fact that you work in a male-dominated environment influence your everyday work?
Men and women approach problems and challenges differently – in terms of what we focus on to solve them or what resources we think are needed to do so. This different perspective has often made the path to problem-solving much more enriching for me, and I’ve been able to use this diversity of thinking for my personal development.

Why did you choose Alpiq as your employer?
Alpiq has given me the opportunity to develop professionally by offering me an exciting and innovative role in the energy sector. In my work I can learn something new every day. This pushes me further, which is very motivating. And that’s exactly why, after 12 years, I’m still very happy to be at Alpiq.

How does your work contribute to Alpiq’s success?
There are various aspects. By helping to create a healthy and safe working atmosphere in the team, understanding the concerns of the various teams, showing empathy, and responding to their needs in the best way. In addition, I strive to keep my knowledge up to date and regularly exchange ideas with colleagues from the different areas.