Safety, health and environment
Landsnet has always placed a high premium on safety, health and environment, all of which have been integral to our safety culture right from the outset. We have a zero-injury approach, the key objective of which is to ensure that all our staff and others working on our projects return safe and sound to their homes after each day’s work.
One lost-time injury event
One lost-time injury event occurred at Landsnet in 2015, which was a case of an employee falling on slippery ground while travelling to work. This is the same number of lost-time injury events as in 2014. However, because of the reduced number of hours worked at the company, the injury frequency went up slightly year-on-year after steadily decreasing for a number of previous years. The Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) was 0.79 at year-end 2015 based on 200,000 hours worked, compared with 0.68 in the previous year.
Our employees’ safety training is improving year by year. They deserve praise for their performance as no lost-time injury event occurred in the company’s core activities in 2015. This performance far exceeds that of other Icelandic companies with a similar operating environment.
A never-ending story
Despite this good performance, our employees are mindful that we can always do better still. We place great emphasis on recording all safety incidents, however minor, to be able to react with preventive measures. The recording of safety incidents has grown year by year, which is positive as more and better information will facilitate injury prevention.
Safety manuals and standards
One of the most important tools in our ‘safety toolbox’ is the Landsnet Safety Manual. The Manual is in constant development based on the latest information and developments in safety culture, and is a cornerstone of the company’s robust safety management.
A number of companies have used it as a model for their own safety manual. We have responded positively to all such requests, not least because of the wider societal importance of co-ordinating safety procedures and terminology to the extent possible.
We have also had a positive experience with the instructional manual That’s the Way We Do It, issued in 2014, which sets out requirements and co-ordinated safety procedures and arrangements at Landsnet premises. This publication provides designers and operators with harmonised criteria for the operation and construction of new structures.
Over two years have now passed since we adopted the OHSAS 18001 safety standard. Its use has given good results by sharpening our staff’s safety awareness and delivering an improved safety performance. A new safety standard will replace the OHSAS 18001 in October 2016. This is the ISO 45001 Occupational health and safety management systems – Requirements, the first ISO standard for OHSMS. It is very much in line with the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.
In co-operation with the utilities federation Samorka, we worked on a safety training programme for contractors’ employees leading to a certificate confirming their participation in the programme. Samorka’s member companies and the aluminium companies intend to adopt this system, which will require all those working for Landsnet to hold such a certificate.
Landsnet Emergency Management
The organisational structure of Landsnet Emergency Management (LEM) underwent major changes last year, the aim of which was to make LEM’s activities as effective as possible. LEM provides resolution of numerous issues, discusses possible emergency scenarios and looks for solutions. The geologic activity in the northern part of the Vatnajökull ice cap involved a significant amount of work for LEM, while also increasing its knowledge and capacity to deal with any emergency.
Exercises are a major part of emergency management training, making it all the more important to organise them effectively and engage as many participants as possible. One positive development is that interest in Landsnet’s exercises is growing among energy companies and government agencies. Such co-operation strengthens ties and increases mutual understanding between companies in emergency situations.
In light of the volcanic activity in the Vatnajökull ice cap in recent years, Landsnet decided to stage an emergency exercise as a follow-up to the exercise held in the autumn of 2013 in dealing with a possible eruption in Vatnajökull. The 2015 exercise went several steps further in that the government authorities’ participation was requested and various new scenarios were tested.
The exercise, which took place on 12 November, was very challenging for co-operation and co-ordination within the electricity sector to deal with enormous damage to the electricity system in southern Iceland and a resultant emergency situation due to an eruption in the western part of Vatnajökull. Almost 200 people took part. The exercise included extensive video broadcasts with news of the latest developments and interviews with participants.
In addition to Landsnet and the Ministry of Industries and Innovation, most member companies of the Electricity System’s Emergency Partnership (ESEP) took part, as did the Civil Protection Department, the Icelandic Meteorological Office and many other government bodies and companies. The participants were unanimous that the exercise was a great success, as it revealed several areas in need of improvement to ensure an even faster and more effective response by all involved when such an emergency occurs
ESEP – the Electricity System’s Emergency Partnerships
About a decade has passed since the Electricity System’s Emergency Partnership (ESEP) was first formed. Its activities have grown steadily ever since.
ESEP is a co-operation forum for Landsnet, generators, distributors, power-intensive consumers and public bodies to deal with emergencies affecting power generation, transmission or distribution in Iceland. Iceland’s infrastructure is highly dependent on secure power, making ESEP’s role a very important one in co-ordinating emergency preparedness and sharing information between the participants. The year’s largest single event for ESEP was the participation of its member organisations in the 1511 Exercise in November.
The ESEP members have expressed wishes to increase the partnership’s co-operation still further. This will require a review of ESEP’s regulatory framework and the earmarking of a revenue source for its activities.
NordBER is the contingency planning and crisis management forum for Nordic TSOs and energy authorities. The participating countries share knowledge, provide cross-border assistance and hold joint emergency exercises. The activities are largely centred on three annual consultation meetings. NordBER operates a number of working groups, participation in which has been an important source of knowledge for Landsnet.
Lost-time injury events are accidents that lead to absence from work for more than one day from the day of the accident.
LTIFR stands for Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate.