Enhancing local skills while improving safety performance in Ethiopia
Creating large-scale projects such as hydropower plants in developing countries poses significant challenges. These range reaching remote, rural areas with support for production activities and services such as accommodation, food and basic amenities, to ensuring that the workforce has adequate skills for the work in hand
In Ethiopia, Salini Impregilo is involved in the construction of two major hydroelectric projects that are set to transform Ethiopia into the renewable energy hub of the African continent.
Gibe III will have an outgoing power of 1,870 MW and a generation capacity of 6,500 GWh per year, while GERD (Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam) will have a power of 6,000 MW with a production of 15,700 GWh per year.
We engaged nearly 15,000 people to participate in the projects at the end of 2015, 97% of whom come from rural communities nearby. While this represents an important contribution to the local economy, it also presented substantial training challenges.
Health and safety training
Health and safety training was a key priority, particularly for all those who would be using complex machinery and large vehicles. In this way, we sought to keep both our new recruits and existing colleagues safe on site.
We have therefore opened two Driving Training Schools at our Ethiopian sites to provide theoretical and practical courses for local drivers and machinery operators. At the GERD site, in 2015 we delivered safety training totalling 29,149 hours to 445 employees, an average of 65 hours per trainee. Drivers’ safety performance improved significantly as a result, with the number of vehicle and machinery-related incidents decreasing by 61% (compared to 2014), despite a 10% increase in the number of vehicles and machines in use.
By improving safety conditions at our sites and helping local people gain new skills, together with our other efforts to support the local economy - by spending on local suppliers and develop community initiatives, we aim to pave the way for further sustainable development in Ethiopia.