The Spanish company Ence – Energía y Celulosa has completed all the scheduled maintenance shutdowns at its facilities for this year with zero accidents in its own and external personnel, and zero infections by coronavirus, which represents a milestone in health and safety for the company and for the sector. This success has been achieved both in the Navia (Asturias) and Pontevedra biofactories, as well as in the renewable energy plants with biomass located in the provinces of Huelva, Jaén, Córdoba, Ciudad Real and Badajoz.
In fact, health and safety have been Ence’s priorities since the beginning of the pandemic, with the early application of strict protocols that have been constantly updated and that have included specific measures for these maintenance tasks, actively involving both its own personnel and to members of collaborating companies.
These results show the success of the model that Ence has applied in the shutdowns that all its plants must periodically undertake for proper operation and legal compliance. These are highly complex actions due to the high number of people involved: up to a thousand external collaborators per day, in addition to the usual Ence team, at the plants. Also, due to the very nature of the work to be carried out, for which coronavirus prevention measures have been reinforced and safety has been prioritized at all times.
Among the specific measures applied to bus stops is the establishment of isolated work groups (bubble model), each with its own services, tent-type dining rooms and outdoor rest areas, which has made it possible to minimize personal contacts . Also, the organization of meetings to coordinate the teams in the open air, the staggered entrance to the facilities to avoid crowds at the entrances, the use of stations for communication, always complying with the distance between people, and the use of innovative anti-fog glasses.
To all this are added the measures applied in the general protocol of the company, which includes the distribution of FFP2 masks, the temperature measurement at the entrance of the plants and the access control through the digital tool “Covid Passport” , which manages a questionnaire on aspects related to Covid and the performance of periodic tests.
In this sense, during the biofactories stoppages, 8,000 antigen tests have been carried out and 20,000 masks have been distributed jointly, while in the renewable energy plants there have been 12,000 tests and 34,000 FFP2 masks. The data shows the effort that Ence has made during the stops to guarantee the health and safety of both its employees and external companies: more than 20,000 antigen tests and 54,000 masks in total.
Finally, and in line with what has been applied by the company since the beginning of the pandemic, all security measures in the biofactory environment have been supervised in the field, through a robust campaign of Preventive Safety Observations by part of the command line. And it has also been encouraged that all people have been equally prudent in their behavior outside the plant.