Businesses operating in or around windfarms must make sure they have excellent emergency response planning procedures in place if they’re to ensure the welfare of their workforce and maintain business continuity and smooth operations.
No doubt you already know that the remote location of these farms and the structures of wind turbines mean that there are many challenges to overcome, when an emergency does occur. Thinking about these challenges and the risks presented is an absolute must if you’re to react in a timely and appropriate manner.
As such, you need to make sure that your response plans are tested and reviewed regularly throughout the year. There’s no point in having emergency response procedures in place if you don’t know how effective they will be – and, naturally, changes will happen in process, procedures, site layout and staffing on a frequent basis, that you’ll need to be accounted for.
Make sure that you record when your plans were last tested and what lessons you learned from these tests. Check to see if the improvements recommended in the paperwork were implemented. Be mindful that because windfarm locations are becoming increasingly remote, incident response and management response could become more challenging as time goes on.
The only real way you and your organisation can rest assured that your response plans are robust, workable and effective is to test them against credible scenarios. As a matter of course, you should be setting up exercise scenarios based on potential incidents and test all areas of your plans, as well as the tactical response. Record what succeeded, what gaps in your processes were identified and specify areas for improvement, then look at implementing these changes for the future.
It makes sense for you to bring in some external expertise and support, when running these exercise scenarios – but make sure that you pick the right kind of specialist and ensure they not only check your plans are thoroughly tested, but that they give you impartial recommendations for improvement as well.
When choosing a specialist, check their credentials, so you’re satisfied they hold enough experience in responding to and managing real emergencies. You should also check that they have enough resources and infrastructure to recreate your scenarios, and that they have the competency, resources and flexibility to deliver these scenarios in such a way that all areas of your response plans will be tested.
These simulated exercises should include rescues, business continuity, medical intervention, and incident management and more. This will ensure that their reactions under pressure are properly tested.
Here at HFR Solutions CIC, we’ve worked with companies like Siemens, Ecotricity, E.on and Centrica so have far-reaching sector expertise. We have also been involved in multi-agency tests of emergency response alongside Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, so we possess extensive amount of skills, knowledge and experience in this area. Get in touch with us today if you’d like to find out more about what we do and how we can support you and your health and safety procedures and incident response now and into the future.