Since the energy crisis in 2022, there has been a significant increase in investments in renewable energy. This has resulted in a higher capacity for renewable energy production and an increase in the number of people working in this sector.
While there have been improvements in safety measures, there has been little progress in addressing work-related health issues. According to the Health and Safety Executive, the renewable energy sector has one of the highest rates of occupational ill health in the economy.
In the UK, 2020 marked a milestone as renewable energy made up the majority of electricity generation for the first time, with 43%* coming from wind, solar, bioenergy, and hydro sources. This led to increased investment in the sector, resulting in the growth of employment in the low carbon and renewable energy economy. As the sector continues to expand, more workers are retraining and refocusing their careers in this field, highlighting the importance of health and safety training.
Lone workers in the renewable energy industry face unique challenges when it comes to safety and communication. These workers often operate in remote locations and can be exposed to hazardous conditions, which can be heightened when working alone such as slips, trips, and falls, medical emergencies, aggression from the public, lack of oversight, and communication difficulties. These factors can all increase the risk of accidents or incidents occurring.
Communication and supervision are crucial aspects of ensuring the safety. Without supervision, individuals may not have access to necessary guidance to prevent injury, and it may be challenging to garner assistance quickly in the event of an accident.
More than 500 incidents were reported for onshore wind farms
in the UK in 2022, according to SafetyOn’s report.
To address these risks, employers must prioritise health and safety training for their employees, including risk assessment, use of personal protective equipment, emergency response protocols, and communication procedures.
Don Mackay, SafetyOn Chair and chief technical officer at EDF Renewables, said: “The tragic loss of a life in our industry focuses our shared determination to minimise hazards, improve practices and make our workplaces safe.”
Regular check-ins and monitoring systems should be implemented to ensure the well-being of lone workers, and clear lines of communication should be established for emergencies. By implementing these measures, employers can mitigate the risks associated with lone working in the renewable energy sector and safeguard the health and safety of their employees.
In the renewable energy industry, lone workers face unique risks and challenges that require specific safety measures. It is not only a legal obligation but also an ethical responsibility for businesses to ensure the well-being of these workers. Prioritising safety and communication is crucial as it allows for quick response in emergencies and facilitates seamless coordination.
In this section, we will explore how communication devices and software can support safety policies for lone workers in the renewable energy industry. The solutions Radiocoms recommend combine advanced, resilient wearable devices with real-time data analytics and reliable network connectivity to provide an all-encompassing support system. Features include:
1. GPS tracking allowing employers to be monitored in real-time, ensuring their safety and enabling a prompt response in an emergency.
2. Devices equipped with emergency alert features to allow lone workers to quickly notify authorities or colleagues of emergencies.
3. Two-way communication capabilities for easy communication with other local team members, supervisors, and remote experts.
4. Real-time data analytics to provide valuable insights into lone worker activities, health, and environmental conditions, allowing for proactive safety measures.
By recognising the importance of safety and communication for lone workers in the renewable energy industry, businesses can create a positive work environment that promotes employee well-being, reduces risks, and ultimately leads to operational excellence. Investing in advanced safety solutions and communication systems not only fulfils legal obligations but also showcases a commitment to worker welfare, earning the trust and loyalty of both employees and stakeholders.
ScottishPower Renewables, a renewable energy company, has partnered with Radiocoms to provide a lone worker and man down solution for their employees. The solution, which utilises the MOTOTRBO DP4801e radio and SmartPTT software, enables monitoring and protection of workers who may be working alone in hazardous situations. The system automatically detects impacts, falls, and inactivity, providing an affordable and robust solution for worker safety. Additionally, the solution offers a full history of device usage, including entry and departure from locations.
Re-shape how your team is connecting
Whether you are considering a new way of connecting your team, or need to improve on a in-situ system – Radiocoms are here to support you on that journey.
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