Safety at Work Is Must-Win Battle for Offshore Wind Industry

Safety at Work Is Must-Win Battle for Offshore Wind Industry

Samuel Leopold, Executive Vice President of DONG Energy Wind Power, has addressed the issue of safety in the offshore wind industry.

Safety at Work Is Must-Win Battle for Offshore Wind Industry

A2SEA has published Mr. Leopold’s article on this subject:

Safety at Work Is Must-Win Battle for Offshore Wind Industry
Samuel Leopold

The offshore wind industry is facing two must-win battles. We need to reduce the cost of electricity from offshore wind turbines; and we need to improve our health and safety performance.

The two challenges have a number of similarities. In relatively few years, we need to accomplish what other industry sectors have spent many years achieving. Over the next ten years, we need to be at a health and safety level that matches the level that other sectors, including the oil and gas sector, have spent more than 100 years reaching. This is a major challenge. 

At DONG Energy, we have started a journey where we will significantly improve the health and safety performance in our work. This applies to all parts of our business and to our entire project portfolio. The journey starts now and, if you have not already embarked on it, I would urge you to join us now. The destination is a marked decrease in the number of accidents originating from our work.

To me, health and safety is not a project we need to deal with alongside our work on project development, manufacturing, installation and so on. Health and safety should be an integral part of all our work. It is our license to operate. It is our belief that the companies’ and suppliers’ health and safety culture goes hand-in-hand with their ability to perform in all other areas. If a supplier has a strong focus on safety performance it is usually reflected in the process control and quality of their products and services. In other words: Performing well in terms of health and safety proves that you are in control of your business – in all aspects.

I hope that it will not be long before we can say that it is a natural part of the value proposition of our industry. That’s where we are going.

At DONG Energy, we have set clear targets for our safety performance and also described the actions we believe are necessary to take us the next step on our journey. Measured as lost time injuries frequency per million working hours (LTIF), our goal is to go from an LTIF of 3.6 in 2012 to a maximum of 1.5 in 2020. This is an ambitious target that will not be reached without significant contributions from our contractors and suppliers.

A2SEA represents a fine example of how a company is improving its performance and reducing the number of incidents through a clear vision and strategy for health and safety. A2SEA has decentralised parts of the HSE functions in its organisation to create stronger interactions and HSE ownership throughout the company. This, combined with closer cooperation with the company’s suppliers, has supported these efforts and the results have already become visible.

At DONG Energy, we have already been in talks with a number of our partners and suppliers about how we work with safety, and what we expect from them when they work on our projects. If we can support the safety performance of our partners by means of knowledge-sharing and lessons learned, we make both their business and ours not only safer, but also more profitable. In the same way, we appreciate any ideas on how we can improve our performance, making DONG Energy a safer place to work. Good journeys often become better when you share the experience with others.

This journey is a must-win battle for the entire industry, all companies and all employees. Therefore, let me wish you a safe journey. Embrace it and make it a good experience for you and your business so that we may all reach our destination safely. 

Press release, June 10, 2014; Image: Dong Energy