Working in the wind energy business can be an exciting career. Imagine beginning your workday by climbing 300 feet into the air to service a wind turbine generator or traveling to far-reaching locations all while knowing the work you are doing is providing clean, sustainable energy to power the planet. However, along with the excitement and pride of the job come many risks. Besides the inherent dangers of climbing wind towers, working with heavy-duty equipment, electrical hazards and others, even common things like changing weather conditions, insects, and operating motor vehicles all have the potential to cause injuries.
With these things considered, we are especially proud of the phenomenal safety record our North America Renewables team has achieved. Across our Installation & Commissioning (I&C) and Services segments, the combined team has reached an impressive milestone of one million hours worked with no OSHA recordable injuries, all of this since Q4 2020. On top of that record, our NAM Services team has worked more than two years (more than 1.2M hours) without a recordable injury. (A recordable injury is defined as an injury that requires more than first aid treatment or results in days lost from work).
This achievement is a testament to how every single employee stands behind our Core Value of Safety. At FieldCore, everyone is empowered as a safety leader and shares in the ownership and commitment of seeing that every employee goes home safely every day.
Building a strong safety culture
After suffering two major incidents in the I&C segment in June of 2020, the team took a critical look at the EHS culture to understand where the shortcomings were. The entire team put a renewed focus and resources toward improving and strengthening the safety culture.
An overarching Vision Safe strategy was recently introduced in partnership with GE Renewable Energy to harness the power of our collective teams and guide our thinking so that everyone at a site or project is operating with the same mindset of
- One Team – everyone working together
- One Goal – Zero Harm
- One Standard – World-Class Execution
This Vision Safe strategy, coupled with the lean mindset that runs throughout the entire business, is all about putting people first. It is inverting the organizational pyramid and empowering the teams in the field. This leads to a stronger focus on the challenges employees face in doing their jobs each day, which then results in more meaningful conversations and better feedback which lead to stronger results for the business and our customers.
As part of these actions, new targets and standards for Concern Reports, Hazard Hunts and site audits were established to ensure that safety and quality issues were identified and corrected before causing an injury. Each month, the employees who submit the most impactful concern reports are recognized and rewarded. This further promotes and cultivates the safety culture FieldCore is committed to achieving.
“It’s important for the people working at the site to report any concerns or issues they see that could lead to a safety event or a quality miss. Their eyes and ears at site are the best and most important tool we have to preventing incidents,” says Chris McKee, NAM Renewables EHS manager. “The number of concern reports and hazards hunts that are done at the site are proof that our employees understand this and also take that responsibility seriously.”
Our last line of defense is our Stop Work protocol. Employees learn from their first days in new-hire orientation that they have the authority to Stop Work until a problem can be fixed. Stop Work is encouraged any time someone thinks something doesn’t look right or if they don’t have the proper tools or equipment to do the job safely.
“We know that we can never claim victory in the fight for a safe, accident-free workplace,’ says Rafael Amaral, the North America Renewables Region Leader. “Every day we have to go to work thinking about what could happen, and more importantly, what am I going to do to make sure that everyone goes back home to their family safely at the end of the day.”