Renewable energy is booming all across the United States. More people are seeing the advantages of switching to renewables rather than relying on fossil fuels. This is great for the industry, as there are more available jobs for those working in renewables.
However, installing renewables comes with just as many safety risks as other construction projects. Workplace safety is crucial for each employee and the industry. As the industry needs more people for the installation of renewables, safety becomes all the more urgent. Here’s how to improve safety regulation in renewable energy installation.
Identify the Risks at Each Site
Work environments differ from site to site. One day, you might be installing solar panels on the roof of a small house, and the next day, you could be installing solar panels on a large solar farm. These are two different scenarios, so that means the risks at each site will be different.
Before installing solar panels, wind turbines, or any other form of renewable energy, visit the site. That way, you’re not going into the site blind to the potential risks and you can develop a plan to address them. This improves safety because you can remove hazards to keep the installation crew safe and free of injury.
Raise Awareness of the Safety Risks With Employees
Although an entire installation crew is needed to install a renewable energy source, typically, the supervisor or manager is the one in charge of deciphering the safety risks and being aware of them. However, the manager must relay that information to the rest of the crew.
When managers can effectively raise awareness of the safety risks involved in green energy, the entire industry is safer and more efficient. One way to do this is by scheduling regular safety meetings and sending out documents about each site’s safety hazards. Maintaining a safety-minded culture and keeping up-to-date on new developments will help all parties stay safe.
Regularly Inspect the Equipment
In addition to raising awareness about safety risks, you should also inspect the equipment and machinery you’ll use at the site. Sure, the forklift may have worked well at the last job, but you never know if it could malfunction at the new job. Thoroughly inspect each piece of equipment before installing or completing maintenance on green energy sites.
Inspections should be routine, and you or a supervisor should regularly schedule maintenance for optimal safety. It could prevent a severe injury that would cost you more in the long run. Keep a list or calendar of when various pieces need to be inspected and document each task.
Participate in Safety Training
Another way to improve safety regulation in renewable energy installation is ensuring you either offer or participate in safety training. Completing adequate training for installing and maintaining renewable equipment ensures you know how to safely and adequately perform those tasks.
There should also be safety training for emergency situations. This includes things like fires, natural disasters, and severe malfunctions with equipment. Practice drills often for those types of circumstances.
Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
During every installation of a renewable energy source, you should wear personal protective equipment (PPE). It’s an essential part of safety. The employer or manager should assess the workplace for potential dangers and provide the necessary equipment so you can stay safe.
Standard PPE includes gloves, steel-toed shoes, safety glasses, and hard hats. If you’re installing wind turbines, you may need a harness as well. You are responsible for that equipment and maintaining it so it lasts.
Make Incident Reporting More Efficient
Finally, you can make incident reporting more efficient. Of course, you never want an incident to happen, but you need an efficient and effective way to report it and get the help you need at the work site when it does happen. There are many possibilities now to accelerate reporting timelines.
With new technological devices and cloud-based software, the accuracy of reports increases. Additionally, each time someone reports an incident, it’s documented and tracked. The manager of renewable energy installation sites can see the injury frequency and better monitor how to improve risk management.
Make Safety Your Priority
Safety should be your priority on any job. As the demand for renewables increases, so will the need for employment. Ensure that you and your team are equipped to handle any hazards and safety risks.