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Health and Safety Mitigation Measures

Mitigation measures to avoid or reduce health and safety impacts from biomass energy development.

The following are examples of mitigation measures that could be applied to reduce health and safety impacts of a project depending upon site- and project-specific conditions. Many impacts can be reduced or avoided when considered during the siting and design phase.

Develop a final set of mitigation measures for the project in consultation with the appropriate federal resource management agencies and stakeholders. Conduct these consultations early in the project development process and preferably prior to final project siting and design.

Siting and Design Mitigation Measures

Siting and design considerations that mitigate impacts include:

  • Conduct a safety assessment to describe potential safety issues (site access, construction, work practices, security, transportation of heavy equipment, traffic management, emergency procedures, and fire control and management) and measures to mitigate them.
  • Develop and implement a health and safety program for workers and the public, addressing all of the safety issues identified in the assessment and all applicable safety standards.
  • Consult with local planning authorities regarding traffic and traffic hazards. Address specific issues (e.g., school bus routes and stops) in a traffic management plan.
  • Develop a fire management strategy to minimize the potential for a human-caused fire and establish fire safety evacuation procedures.
  • Identify all applicable federal and state occupational safety standards and establish safe work practices for each task.
  • Fence the site to prevent public access.

General Mitigation Measures

General mitigation practices and principles that could apply to any or all phases of biomass energy project include:

  • Follow the health and safety program.
  • Train workers in the early detection of fires.
  • Establish fire lines between process areas and forested areas.
  • Institute proper training protocols for employees working with dangerous materials (e.g., sodium hydroxide).
  • Install appropriate pressure-relief devices on all pressure vessels.
  • Install adequate insulation on all hot surfaces to minimize the potential for casual contact burns.

Project Phase-Specific Mitigation Measures

Mitigation measures specific to a particular phase of a biomass energy project include:


  • Use appropriate procedures for storage and transportation of blasting equipment and explosive materials, including appropriate signage indicating their location.
  • Secure construction sites at the end of the workday to protect the equipment and the general public.