Industry to Put Offshore Wind Safety in the Spotlight

Photo: All-Energy 2015

Keeping offshore wind workers safe is of paramount importance. What needs to be done to aim for the ‘holy grail’ of zero incidents? Are there lessons that can be learned from the offshore oil and gas industry? Is there guidance, and also safety procedures, already in existence that means there is no need to re-create the proverbial wheel?

Input from those working in the industry as developers, operators, or contractors is of the utmost importance.

With an ever increasing number of offshore renewable energy installations being installed within the United Kingdom Search and Rescue Region, the probabilities of incidents caused by, or impacting on, the industry is far greater than ever before.

“The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is placing more requirements on operators to mitigate against many of these risks and to consider their place in response to potential incidents. HM Coastguard has access to a significant number of rescue resources through understanding their capabilities and limitations is crucial in an effective emergency response provision,” so wrote Peter Lowson of the MCA in a submitted abstract, which was the catalyst to a complete session being staged this week at All-Energy (SECC Glasgow) where the key organisations involved in safety matters in UK offshore waters will come together on 4 May for 90 minutes to talk about the collaboration, and necessary steps required to move forward together to protect the most valuable of resources – the offshore renewables workforce.

Others, in addition to Lowson, airing their views and looking for ways forward are Trevor Johnson, HM Principal Inspector of Health and Safety, Health and Safety Executive (HSE); Stephen Rose, Head of Wind Generation, SSE and G9 Focal Group Leader; John Bradshaw, Technical Adviser, International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA), John Howard, Chairman, International Jack Up Barge Operators Association (IJUBOA).

Chaired by Alan MacLeay, Engineering Director – Renewable Energy, Seaway Heaving Lifting with specialist H&S lawyer Keith MacRae, a Partner at Mackinnons, on hand as a panellist to provide views on what he has heard during the 90 minutes, and to offer constructive advice.

What is also vital is input from developers, operators and contractors involved in offshore renewables, for all the industry has to be dedicated to reaching for that ‘holy grail’ of zero incidents, and all need to be determined to play their part.

Find out more about the session at All-Energy’s website.

With thanks to Judith Patten, JPPR.

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