For the first time in years the number of those lacking electricity in Africa rising to more than 590 million people in 2020, an increase of 13 million people, or 2%, from last year, according to analysis in the World Energy Outlook 2020.
Access to electricity is closely correlated to economic development and a range of social opportunities and benefits. As a result, the electric power transmission and distribution (T&D) industry is highly impactful.
There is growing recognition of the significant opportunity that T&D companies and investors can play in the delivery of assets that are developed and managed to deliver more reliable, clean power to businesses and households. In doing so, they can help to alleviate poverty and contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), including SDG7: affordable and clean energy.
However, in emerging markets, investments in the sector can present complex challenges including Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) and Community Health, Safety & Security (CHSS) risks. While there are common issues, there is no simple solution to these challenges, since each investment is unique as asset conditions and availability of human and technical resources can vary significantly. Some assets may have also been subject to historic under-investment, which further increases risks to the workforce and the public.
This good practice note- based on the first-hand experiences of the partners and other T&D investors and companies – aims to support companies and investors to improve OHS and CHSS processes. It provides practical guidance and good practice examples with the aim of achieving good international industry practice over time.
The partners involved in creating this good practice note are committed to producing a breakthrough in safety performance in their investments by applying rigorous standards, building a strong safety culture, and developing competent and experienced safety leaders.
As investors we know the importance of power to development, and how critical it is for the sector to develop good health safety and security practises in order for it to improve more lives and deliver greater impact. We hope the note will be used by engineers, OHS and environmental and social specialists within investor institutions, and T&D companies across the spectrum of the industry.