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Safety passport scheme in renewable power industry

01 October 2008

Safety Pass Alliance (SPA) has launched a new scheme to help reduce accidents in the growing renewable power industry

Ray Gibbs, managing director of SPA, said his company had successfully introduced safety passport schemes in several business sectors from general manufacturing to quarries, and from the construction industry to the petroleum sector.

Gibbs added: “We have achieved solid results in all sectors. In underground railways, for example, the division of Metronet responsible for upgrading underground stations and maintaining civil assets reported recently that the safety passport scheme – an essential part of Metronet’s health and safety initiatives – had led to a 75% reduction in accident statistics in only 18 months.”

Gibbs said that many large companies in other business sectors were embracing the safety passport culture and were now insisting that visiting contractors’ employees held passports developed by the
Southam-based company.

“The passport scheme benefits the bottom line of both the client and contractor as it reduces the time needed to be spent on site inductions. It also provides the peace of mind that only a common, recognised
and validated standard of training can provide,” said Gibbs.

The scheme has been introduced at Infinis, the UK’s largest purely renewable power company, where so far over 100 employees have successfully completed the two-day course. The first day covers general health and safety issues and the second day has been specifically tailored to meet the industry’s needs.

“Our company harnesses renewable power from landfill sites. Organic matter rots and gives off methane gas which we collect and burn and turn into electricity,” said Ewan Campbell-Lendrum, Infinis’s head of health, safety, quality and environment. “About half of our operational staff are involved in collecting the gas, and the other half are involved in managing the large engine and alternator sets that make up our power stations generating the electricity.”

Campbell-Lendrum said the safety passport scheme covers key issues like explosions risks and fire hazards, as well as the mechanical hazards associated with the engines. Environmental subjects such as
waste disposal, oil spills and energy efficiency are also included.

Campbell-Lendrum added: “I introduced safety passports into the company following my experience at Metronet where the impact of safety passports was very positive in helping to reduce accidents, and I am convinced their introduction will make a similar significant contribution within Infinis.”

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