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Renewable energy engineers onsite discussing risks

Renewable energy plant disasters, what’s your plan?

Every industry has their own need for risk management; the renewable energy sector is no different. Are you confident that your plans have everything covered to help protect your plant?

A good risk management plan will:

  • identify all of your potential risks (no matter how big or small
  • record the steps you as a business have taken to avoid your risks
  • provide actions you need to take if an identified risk happens.

Nine things to consider when creating your risk management plan

Risk training for employees

Make sure your employees have thorough, up to date training for the equipment they use, as well as how to move around the site.

Schedule and record plant maintenance

Make sure you have a maintenance schedule so everything keeps running as it should. And, if a fault is found, ensure there is a repair/replacement process in place.

Identify your plant exposures

Is there a watercourse nearby? Are you close to a third party property? Are there any footpaths nearby? All of them will need special considerations.

Project manage your plants development

Work with your construction company to ensure measures are in place to protect you. For example, make sure they understand the impact of certain actions, such as the position of drainage systems. Don’t forget that when the construction is over, you’re liable for your plant and its impact. This means you need to have a plan in place to divert/stem drainage if there’s an incident.

Make a disaster recovery plan

If your plant stopped functioning or there was a major incident, you need to have a disaster recovery plan. Make sure it covers common incidents for your type of plant, as well as how to manage and deal with negative PR.

Plan to deal with hazardous material

If there’s an incident involving hazardous material or damage to the natural environment, do you know how quickly experts like the Environmental Agency can get to you? Do you know what to do whilst waiting for them to assist?

Plan for recovery after an incident

Develop a management plan for the period following an incident, so that no matter how long it takes to recover, your employees are prepared.

Assess site access

Consider site access to your plant. If emergency services are needed, how easily and how quickly can they get to your site? Make sure that part of your risk management includes maintaining safe access to your plant and the immediate surrounding area.

Prepare for negative PR

Don’t focus on just internal factors. Negative PR can affect your plant too. With increasing public and political awareness around environmental matters, there is always a danger of incidents hitting the headlines. Protecting your plant from negative media attention and enabling its recovery from an incident are equally important.

The benefits of a risk management plan

Having a risk management plan means you are prepared and able to take control of adverse situations, as well as;

  • giving your stakeholders the confidence to know you’re looking after their investment
  • helping you and your employees react in a suitable manor to any negative media attention
  • reducing any long term reputational damage by resolving an incident as quickly as possible
  • reducing the risk of threats your plant is exposed to which can save time and be cost effective
  • ensure that your employees are working in a safe environment and visitors are protected.

Insurance can offset some risks but having to make a claim is not ideal. By having the right risk management plan in place, you can ensure risks are identified and managed, which in turn will help to prevent losses and insurance claims.

Need expert advice? Get in touch with our renewable energy experts.

The information contained herein is based on sources we believe reliable and should be understood to be general insurance and risk management information only. The information is not intended to be taken as advice and cannot be relied upon as such.

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