Peter Tattersfield
Independent Consultant
Axis Renewable Group
View from the Top

Safety Must Be a 365/24/7 Mentality

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 18:53

Q: How is Axis fostering wind power in Mexico’s energy mix?

A: Wind power has been generated for decades and plays an important role in the energy mix in the US, where our core business is located. But in recent years, political changes in the US, Mexico’s Energy Reform and the government’s target for clean energy generation created a very attractive environment for an outsider to invest and participate in that growth. In Mexico, we bring our knowledge and experience to train local technicians and offer a market-competitive service. 

Q: How does Axis provide the best safety and security solutions for Mexico’s wind farms?

A: Safety is a value. It does not start when you come to work, but rather when you wake up and make it part of your culture, adopting a 365/24/7 mentality. Safety has to be the first and foremost value of a company working in renewable energy today and Axis’ safety track record speaks for itself. All our technicians are continuously trained and must be certified to work. In addition, they must dress appropriately, wearing the mandatory safety gear and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We perform regular audits with our own health and safety quality staff to ensure that all our technicians are compliant with these imperatives. Axis wants to share in that growth with highly experienced technicians, who will appreciate the value of safety and the work environment  they are in.
Q: How is Axis developing highly qualified personnel? A: We have started conversations with the Universidad del Istmo, which has developed programs to train technicians in an academic environment. When they graduate, we put them through an internship. If they exhibit a value for their own and their co-worker’s health and safety, they will be eligible for full-time employment in Axis. 

Q: What is your assessment of Mexico’s regulations for health and safety practices applicable to wind power plants?

A: While you might have regulations with particular requirements and federal regulations that must be followed, we believe the toughest regulation has to come from inside. A company’s internal regulations are used to make sure the on-site technical workforce is safe and their tools are properly certified, correctly calibrated and duly inspected. Axis’ first line of defense is its internal regulations for its workers and we welcome and encourage the challenge of tougher processes.

Q: How does Axis deal with potential accidents in remote locations?

A: As part of a safety culture, especially considering the remote locations of wind farms, you can overcome safety challenges by regularly undergoing evacuation drills in a wide array of scenarios to address the situation as quickly and efficiently as possible. You do not wait for it to happen, but plan ahead to confront it. Local authorities and nearby hospitals must be included in those simulations to know who to call and to have the relevant helicopter coordinates for effective air hospital operations.

Q: What is the comparative advantage of Axis’ Quality Management System?

A: Axis believes the greatest quality process you can exert on  technicians to ensure they are doing their work in accordance with the company’s standards is through internal audits. Key performance data is regularly captured and constantly monitored to ensure high-quality work and products are a constant for all processes to ensure the customers' satisfaction.

Q: What are Axis’ objectives for 2018?

A: Axis has been successful in penetrating the Mexican market and it has landed several contracts to operate and maintain wind farms in Mexico, South America and Jamaica. To date, 40 Axis employees are working in Mexico and we expect to double that before the end of 2018. Our objective is to become a key player in the O&M market in Mexico. Replicating the same track record of success we have experienced in the US. Mexico’s tremendous number of opportunities are at the center of Axis’ growth potential