Delivering reliable power to over 500,000 customers requires hundreds of expert contractors and staff operating across multiple locations.
Ensuring this workforce maintains the highest levels of expertise is what helped make Genesis Energy New Zealand’s largest energy retailer, but this commitment to capability is only part of the industry-leading picture.
Recognising that the health and safety of employed and contracted workers on its sites is equally vital to its operation, Genesis collaborates with other NZ power generators through the ‘StayLive’ initiative to establish industry standards and benchmarks around health and safety.
Louisa George is one of three Safety & Wellness Specialists employed by Genesis Energy. Having been with the company for over 17 years, she has a deep understanding of how important worker health and safety is to the success of such a large and varied organisation.
“We have established an inclusive approach to health and safety where all staff and contractors are responsible for identifying hazards or risks and are equipped with the knowledge and tools to report them and mitigate them in their day to day work on our sites,” she says.
Genesis Energy has recognised that the industry standards associated with health and safety are a minimum requirement and not a target to be hit.
“Due to the constantly evolving nature of our technologies and processes our people receive training on a consistent basis and are vigilant against known risks as well as being able to identify new challenges to health and safety as they appear.
“This is doubly true for our large network of contractors who are often at increased risk of injury due to a number of factors, such as safety culture, and the types of work that they undertake for us. They receive similar training and are measured to ensure ongoing health and safety competency. We’re proud to acknowledge that this approach extends beyond their work for Genesis Energy and they take these skills and awareness to other work locations and to their life outside work,” says George.
View from the other side
UPS Power Solutions are one such contractor, recently winning a tender to supply, install and commission the replacement battery systems at Genesis Energy’s Tokaanu, Rangipo, Mangaio and Tekapo Power Stations.
These battery systems, and their associated chargers and UPS equipment, are an integral part of Genesis Energy’s systems, providing backup to power station controls, emergency lighting and communication systems.
“We were selected after a rigorous process that evaluated, not just our engineering capabilities to deliver the project compliant with New Zealand regulations and standards, but our ability to meet Genesis Energy’s stringent health and safety processes and requirements,” says UPS Power Solutions’ General Manager Nicky Blackmore.
As part of the pre-qualification process, UPS Power Solutions’ health and safety systems and processes were externally audited. Twelve areas of health and safety processes were examined and evidence of those processes being used in the company’s operations was required. From this an overall score was generated and UPSPS achieved a 4 star out of 5 safety score.
Louisa George says that Genesis Energy’s approach to health and safety maintains clear expectations for any person coming onto a Genesis site and assures safer workplaces for all its people.
“Through our health and safety programme we have established stronger relationships with contractors like UPS Power Solutions and are assured that we have the right people working with us and the best outcomes for the business.”