Invenergy Services and Safety
Over the past 15 years, Invenergy Services has grown from a single-project service provider to one of the leaders of innovative renewable solutions in the field. Much of our success stems from our emphasis on innovation, whether it be implementing new technology or how we structure our operations, and that forward-thinking mindset also applies to how we approach jobsite safety.
Behind Invenergy Services’ progressive safety culture are a few simple points: instilling good safety practices, staying vigilant, and maintaining a safety mindset. In practice, this means thoroughly preparing for any job and encouraging anyone to stop work whenever we see or sense an unsafe condition or potential hazard. The Invenergy Services motto is that all are “Alive and well at the end of the day.”
We instill this rigorous safety-mindedness into our team from their first day on the job. We conduct all our safety training in-house, which gives our technicians the chance to learn on their own equipment, and we host numerous onsite safety drills throughout the year. Our quarterly crisis rehearsals are big productions, involving local emergency responders and life flight helicopters, because we want our teams to be fully prepared to respond to any safety event that takes place.
Additionally, a central safety system compiles safety suggestions and observations, as well as tracks other leading key performance indicators (such as pre-job safety meetings, inspections, and the use of personal protective equipment). Taken together, this ensures we are meeting the strict safety metrics we have in place at our sites.
Our onsite vigilance is supported by the work we do behind the scenes. Invenergy’s Safety Team and Operations Management uses robust data analytics tools to conduct on-going reviews of safety performance and the root causes of any potentially unsafe event at our sites. Some questions that we have asked of our data include, “What type of abrasions are most common?”,” Do injuries tend to happen at the beginning, middle, or end of the week?” Bringing together our data analytics capabilities and safety culture in this way enables our team to uncover otherwise invisible patterns, which further helps us address safety issues onsite and prevent them in the future.
“Based on discussions we have with trade associations and people who do what we do for a living, we can rub elbows with anyone in the industry when it comes to data collection,” says Invenergy’s Vice President of Environmental Health and Safety Len Tully.
Site pilot program
Our most valuable resource for safety suggestions are our technicians and managers in the field. All techs are required to submit a safety observation and safety suggestion each month as a matter of continuous improvement. As a result, everyone keeps a constant lookout for ways we can do better.
These safety suggestions are the foundation of our Site Pilot Program, established in 2012, which is designed to fast-track technician ideas to leadership. Hundreds of tech-proposed ideas have been implemented since the launch of the program and have addressed many of the recurring challenges of the job. The ideas span all aspects of our work, from adding grip tape to stairs to using different length of bolts, and the solutions have become a routine part of our technicians’ workdays.
Recently, for example, we began replacing lead acid batteries in wind turbines with ultracapacitors. Ultracapacitors are hardier than batteries and work longer, making for fewer replacements. Fewer replacements mean less climb time for the techs and fewer opportunities for strains and sprains. They have also helped with minimizing down time due to failures which ultimately results in higher production and availability.
Another idea involved the use of roll-out conveyors on the backs of trucks. Techs can slide their gear bags right onto the conveyor, which takes the equipment to the hoists in the turbines. This minimizes the amount of time techs have to carry heavy bags and the number of trips necessary to get equipment to a repair site.
Overall, our approach to safety has allowed for a robust program of lessons learned and continuous improvement company-wide. In the following weeks, we’ll share some behind-the-scenes content from our safety drills to show you firsthand what these practices look like.
We will continue to prioritize the health and wellbeing of our teams around the world as clean energy plays an even bigger part in our shared future. We are proud of the work we do at Invenergy Services, and we’re especially glad to #staysafewithservices while doing it!