“Repower leads by example”
Repower has a workplace safety policy in place to safeguard its employees. The person responsible for compliance with precautionary measures and the appropriate training is Armin Gerber, a specialist in health and safety at work.
“Under the terms of Article 6 of the Swiss Employment Act, employers are obliged to take all measures necessary to safeguard the health of their employees,” explains Armin Gerber. The 54-year-old, has been Repower’s health and safety at work specialist for the last five years. He’s keen to ensure that this legislation is applied at Repower.
Fewer accidents at work
Gerber explains that Repower, the biggest energy company in Graubünden, invests a great deal in safety of its staff. For example he and his colleagues provide a comprehensive range of training attended by an average of around a thousand people, internally and externally, every year. Gerber himself led 45 courses last year. In addition to this, as he does every year he carried out several internal controls and internal system audits at all hierarchical levels to ensure that the requirements of the ISO certifications are also properly met in practice. He’s convinced this effort is worth it: for years the number of workplace accidents at Repower has been falling; according to accident insurer SUVA, Repower’s average is also better than the industry average.
The number of workplace accidents has been falling for years
“Repower leads by example,” says Gerber. For this reason, Repower has also been offering its in-house safety training days for electrical and installation specialists and certified first aid courses externally for the past four years – with great success. “Made by the pros for the pros”, this training has been well received in the industry and is used by more and more energy utilities.
Thorough analysis of accidents
A look at Gerber’s CV shows that he’s a good person to be in charge of electricity, safety and the workplace. After an apprenticeship as a television and radio engineer he joined the cantonal police, after which he spent several years at the Graubünden labour inspectorate before moving to Repower. He’s never regretted switching to the private sector. “My work at Repower is very exciting and varied." Gerber’s tasks include analysing accidents. If an accident occurs despite all the courses and controls, he’s one of the first on the scene. In situations like that he feels it’s particularly important for the company to take good care of the person’s relatives, and for the right conclusions to be drawn from each accident. What went wrong, and what do we have to do better? “Repower analyses accidents very thoroughly, and makes sure the necessary measures are implemented, as set down in Article 6 of the Employment Act.”