Department name

BayWa r.e. Operation Services Limited

Bullet number

Rev B2

Target audience

Alert to all involved on any sites where HV activities are, or may be, taking place.


NB: This is an update (rev B2) on previous version of alert BUK/SHE/A/002-2020 sent on 26/06/2020.

This alert is being sent in conjunction with the attached report – High Voltage Incident Report following an incident on 23rd June 2020 – document reference BOK/S/RP/001.

This important SHE Alert form has been created to alert both internal (BayWa r.e. Operation Services Limited and BayWa r.e. UK Limited) and external persons of an identified Safety, Health or Environmental issue that may affect their people, plant, process or performance.

The details of the alert are found in the subsequent sections below, along with the recommended actions that BayWa r.e. are undertaking to deal with the findings. This SHE alert should be considered by those interested parties who may be affected by a same or similar issue as part of their own review of appropriate action to take to manage the issue.

BayWa r.e. cannot take responsibility for the implementation of any instructions given in this alert by 3rd parties. At all times, the client, owner, operator, employer must ensure that their teams are applying an effective safe system of work, which has been based on a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.


On 23rd June 2020 a 33kV flashover event took place on a Wind Farm, whereby a BayWa HV technician sustained injuries and subsequently a RIDDOR report was submitted.

The immediate cause of this incident has been investigated and the outcome determines that the incident appears to have occurred as a result of the Site Nominated Competent Person (HV Controller for the site – not BayWa r.e) setting the contractor (BayWa r.e. employee) to work on the incorrect apparatus.
While the initial BayWa r.e. Safety Alert maintained confidence that our processes and HV rules are robust and well managed, we also explained that we were taking this opportunity to review them. We anticipated that this would take no longer than 1 week to fulfil.

As a result of this review, below is a summary of the key steps which BayWa r.e. have taken to allow a phased return to HV works:

-Review of BayWa r.e. HV Safety Rules - this included an initial toolbox talk following the incident. An update of the HV Safety Rules and toolbox training have also been prepared and delivered to ensure that at all times personnel are provided with the approved documents. Those personnel have confirmed receipt and understanding of the updated HV Safety Rules, process amendments and Safe Working Methods;

-A check over the robustness of working both to BayWa r.e. HV Safety Rules and under 3rd party HV Safety Rules has resulted in a change to BayWa r.e. process which would prevent a similar incident from occurring under BayWa r.e. HV safety rules. This review concluded with the following actions being addressed;

-Implementation of mechanical interlocks on sites where increased risk identified, based on site specific Risk Assessment of the HV system set up, where BayWa r.e. operate or provide HV services;

-Risk assessment of each site to identify where improved signage and labelling on apparatus would reduce risk of behavioural error;

-Increased administrative control through process, whereby transfer and suspension of works is mandated when multiple feed switching operations are to take place; and

-A full review of HV Risk has been undertaken in association with a professional SHEQ consultant, resulting in agreement to align all HV Risk Assessments to the BayWa r.e. Risk Assessment template. All hazards identified through existing Risk Assessments have been considered and robustly revised, with the updated Risk Assessment templates for HV in place and to be implemented as part of phased approach to return to HV working.

Phased return to HV

BayWa r.e. Operation Services Limited’s primary consideration is for the safety of personnel involved in all work activities. This extends to any safety concerns raised which result in works temporarily halting until an agreed and approved safe work method is agreed and can be implemented, at which point, works will recommence where safe to do so.
As a result of our HV Safety Rules review, BayWa r.e. Operation Services Limited are pleased to confirm a phased return to HV Operations will now commence. This will incorporate a diligent review of safe working, providing assurance to employees and clients,
whilst ensuring that works under BayWa r.e. HV Safety Rules continue to be safe and robust. Alongside this, we are also reviewing the requirement to upgrade client sites to assist in the prevention of recurrence of such an incident on these sites where BayWa r.e. or other HV service providers may be operating under a 3rd parties’ rules.

Phase 1 (completed)
▪ Documents are reviewed and approved changes are being implemented which included an added section on reproving of not live at the point of work.
▪ Site HV systems will all be risk assessed to identify hazards.
▪ Initial phase: Return to work to complete G59 Resets and Single feed switching operations only.
▪ This will take place from 03/07/2020, upon verification of understanding of these process updates.

Phase 2 (to be completed by end of July 2020)
▪ Second phase: Return to multi-feed switching operations.
▪ This is dependent on site-based risk assessments reviewing HV set up.
▪ Risk assessment will identify the need to implement mechanical locks and improved signage which would remove the risk of behavioural error.
▪Where the risk assessment identifies the need for mechanical locks that cannot be fitted immediately, full substation isolation may be needed to  remove the risk from multiple equipment types of the same design so work can continue until locks are fitted.

Further Information

This updated alert provides some further information related to an incident that is currently undergoing HSE investigation and as such further information about the incident itself cannot be shared by the BayWa r.e. Operation Services Limited business.
This alert is for guidance only and should be reviewed in association with your companies approved safe systems of work.

General Note

Acknowledgement: This information was provided by BayWa r.e. and shared with SafetyOn for circulation to members