By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The Department of Energy held a consultation with representatives of companies involved in the development and building of renewable energy facilities in the country and other government agencies on its draft Renewable Energy Safety Health and Environment (RESHE) rules and regulations on June 7 here.
Mario C. Marasigan, director of the Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB) of the DOE said that the activity aims to put in place a health safety and environment guidelines crafted to suit the particularities of the renewable energy industry. He explained that renewable energy which includes hydro, geothermal and biofuel plants are technology driven industries and requires specific rules and regulations for some specific situations.
Marasigan added that the different kinds of renewable energy plants encounter different hazardous situations that needs to be addressed. He reiterated that hydro plants deal with water while geothermal plants deal with heat and that needs more specific safety measures to fit the needs of each plant.
“The DOE guidelines will be just the minimum requirement for companies. We are giving companies the liberty to craft their own safety health and environment guidelines but these guidelines must be submitted to the DOE for approval,” Marasigan said. He added that the guidelines companies will craft will be the basis for DOE’s monitoring.
Josefino C. Adajar, safety consultant of the Geothermal Energy Management Division of the DOE further explained that the draft guidelines for renewable energy was based on the occupational health and safety standards of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) with additions and adjustments to suit the energy industry. He added that the guidelines will actually help the companies protect their investments and ensure uninterrupted business.
Adajar further encouraged companies to religiously report accidents in their workplaces so that the DOE can investigate and identify the root causes of the accidents.
“Accidents don’t just happen, they are caused by people,” Adajar stressed. He pointed out that only by identifying the root causes can they find ways to avert recurrences of accidents.
Accidents should not be covered up just to get awards. How can we know if there are accidents if you do not report them, he reiterated.
The guidelines will be finalized after the comments and suggestions of the involved companies and government agencies are incorporated. The guidelines will take effect 15 days after publication in at least two newspapers of general circulation. # nordis.net