All employees are regularly informed about workplace-specific hazards and the measures they can take to avoid them. Training for operational staff across our regional centres is delivered six days every year. Staff who work in our offices are given training at least once per year.
In cases where staff are required to wear PPE to protect them from falls from a height, such staff must complete annual practical exercises related to the use of PPE and rescue missions being carried out at height. The content of annual training related to lines and transformers is determined on the basis of the 50Hertz rescue concept: a uniform level of knowledge is promoted amongst employees, alongside the exchange of knowledge across sites.
Occupational health and safety measures are not simply aimed at protecting our own employees. 50Hertz’s stringent standards also apply to external subcontractors working across all of our sites. We ensure that subcontractors comply with our strict safety-related requirements through the tendering process and through the IT-supported monitoring of our projects, which is carried out by specially trained 50Hertz employees. The “Instructions for guaranteeing occupational safety when working with external companies on the transmission grid of 50Hertz” (OAFN) document sets out transparent and binding rules for our subcontractors to follow. An Agreement on Quality Assurance on Construction Sites is included in new subcontractor contracts. This agreement includes clauses that stipulate that 50Hertz has an unrestricted right to inspect these sites. In the reporting year, 538 construction site inspections were carried out (compared with 933 in 2020). In 2021, the quality of construction site inspections was improved and their number reduced through the introduction of an IT system and by concentrating inspection tasks on the work of operational quality assurance officers at each individual site. Safety and environmental protection incidents that involved external companies working on behalf of 50Hertz were analysed with the external companies concerned in accordance with a defined process. Measures to avoid similar accidents and incidents were defined, implemented and documented in line with guidance delivered by a central evaluation committee. In accordance with this process, a total of 69 environmental incidents, accidents, near-accidents and safety-related incidents were evaluated in the year under review.
In July 2021, in response to an increase in accidents (see below), the managing directors of all overhead line construction companies working for 50Hertz were invited to a “Dialogue about Occupational Safety” in order to share their views about accidents and their possible causes (including difficulties linked to dealing with subcontractors, promoting a culture of safety and awareness-raising measures). Further regular events of this kind are due to take place in future. In addition, safety instructions from 50Hertz are due to be distributed directly to its subcontractors; moreover, the number of subcontractors checks it undertakes are due to increase.
* Number of occupation accidents with lost time (≥ 1 day) x 1,000,000/number of hours actually worked ** Number of days lost due to occupational accidents in calendar days x 1,000/number of hours actually worked
There was an increase in accidents involving subcontractors (involved in overhead line construction projects) from the middle of 2021 onwards. These subcontractor accidents included 27 accidents that caused minor injuries (involving reversible health damage, such as minor cuts, bruises, etc.); 2 accidents that caused moderate injuries (involving probable reversible health damage, such as bone fractures); and 1 accident that caused a severe injury (involving irreversible health damage, such as the amputation of a limb).
Within the framework of ActNow, from 2022 onwards, reporting relating to accident rates will be widened to include subcontractor accidents.