Wind Energy Update Releases Offshore Wind Health and Safety Information Pack

Wind Energy Update Releases Offshore Wind Health and Safety Information Pack

The info pack, including news and podcasts, is made in conjunction with the Offshore Wind Health and Safety Summit 2012. The summit, focusing on safety culture and access, will hear from Dong, RWE Innogy, Gamesa, Siemens to name a few, addressing your biggest issues in the offshore wind health and safety industry.

The offshore wind industry is in a state of growth. Whether it is through the operations of current wind farms or the construction of new wind farms, creating a cumulative installed capacity of over 2,910 MW, health and safety is more important than ever. It is the job of project directors and health and safety executives to control the risks offshore; most importantly the risks to personnel, the environment and the assets themselves. In every situation, safety must take precedence over production. It is important that emergency plans are adopted for all foreseeable events.

The way to foresee these events is to pay attention to all elements of health and safety, including: communications, personnel tracking, specialised training in using equipment and thorough risk assessments. But there has been a lot of developments in the offshore wind industry of late. Peter Finn, the EHS manager of GE Energy, explains that the larger turbines further offshore will create new issues i.e. the need for onsite accommodations, better emergency response and logistical spare part delivery. This will result in ‘More turbines, more technicians, more transfers and thus an increased risk of incidents’.

Companies are now adopting a safety culture to ensure that no problems occur on their offshore wind projects. Preserving life and revenue are the two biggest priorities for any enterprise. A lot can be learnt from the experience gained from other offshore industries. The EHS manager for Statoil says “the number of serious incidents and accidents in the offshore wind industry are too high when compared to offshore oil and gas”. She explains that the offshore experience from Oil and Gas can be applied in offshore wind with a special focus on risk assessment.

In an attempt to control the risks to those working offshore, legislation and regulations have been created. However, even in the UK where the offshore industry has blossomed, the political framework serving as HSE guidelines is lacking. CDM regulations may appear to be a solution but Chris Lawson(2011) explains that there is no guidance. There is a call for a unified system to develop an offshore wind HSE standard throughout Europe. However Claus Rose, the chairman of the GWO, wants to avoid excess regulations. He explains that “the GWO was created to ensure uniform H&S in the wind business. If the industry doesn’t get its act together, then it could face over bearing regulatory requirements.

All of the issues above have been addressed in an exclusive offshore wind health and safety information pack provided by Wind Energy Update. The info-pack made in conjunction with the Offshore Wind Health and Safety Summit 2012, Copenhagen, 5-6th December 2012, will provide some of the answers to your health and safety issues. Download the infopack for the full presentations from GE Energy, Statoil and GWO and understand exactly how they are facing the current offshore industry and ensuring health and safety is at the top of their agendas. Alongside these three podcasts, the info-pack includes up to date news stories from the offshore wind health and safety industry.

Offshore Nieuws Staff, August 16, 2012; Image : vattenfall