RIVM research shows that companies working with large amounts of hazardous materials are not always well-prepared for power failures, which can lead to accidents. Due to the transition to sustainable energy, ever more factory processes are using electricity. Consequently, the demand for electricity is growing, and hence also the chance of accidents. It is important that high-risk companies consider how they can prevent accidents caused by power failures.
Increased chance of power failures and accidents
Ever more companies that work with large amounts of hazardous materials (high-risk companies) are electrifying their processes. Since these companies now require more electricity, this can increase both the chance of a power failure and the impact it may have. If an accident caused by power failure leads to the release of hazardous materials, this can lead to unsafe situations for employees and for the surroundings.
In order to ensure their supplies, and also in view of rising prices, companies are increasingly generating and storing their own electricity. This can, for instance, be achieved through solar and wind power together with batteries for storage. This often involves new processes, which themselves lead to new risks within the company.
Cause of accidents
The RIVM study shows that when power failure leads to an accident, the cause often lies within the company itself. The electrical installation and the internal electricity network are not always maintained properly. Furthermore, faults in design and construction of the electrical installation may be the cause.
This means it is important for high-risk companies to consider how they can prevent accidents occurring as a result of power failure. To do this, they must first be aware of the risks of power failure and take appropriate measures. This can involve inspection and maintenance, as well as employee training. Or ensuring that they have a properly functioning emergency power system as a backup.