Offshore wind-related injuries decline in 2017

HAMBURG 2018: Fewer injuries are being reported during wind farm construction and operations and maintenance (O&M), despite more hours being worked, according to a new report published at the Global Wind Summit in Hamburg.

Ørsted, which commissioned the Gode Wind I and II projects last year, is one of the G+ group's core members
Ørsted, which commissioned the Gode Wind I and II projects last year, is one of the G+ group's core members

This shows the offshore wind industry has maintained its focus on health and safety as the sector expands, claimed the G+ Offshore Wind Health and Safety Organisation, which comprises nine leading operators.

Despite 5 million more hours being worked by G+ members in 2017 — an increase of 23% year on year — 46 fewer "high potential incidents" were reported than in the previous year.

The frequency with which work time was lost to injury also declined by 8%, and the number of days on which work was restricted due to "health and safety incidents" was down 14%.

However, the number of injuries requiring medical treatment increased 86% in 2017 compared with the previous year, according to the group’s incident data report.

A spokesman for the Energy Institute, which provides the secretariat for G+, advised such injuries were generally ‘low impact’, and included muscle spasms and injuries requiring sticking plasters. Life-changing injuries, meanwhile, have reduced in number, he added.

The spokesman suggested that the overall increase in the number of injuries requiring medical treatment could be explained by "more comprehensive reporting".

There were no deaths last year, the report revealed.

Given the growing deployment of offshore wind and the increasing height of individual turbines, G+ warned that further improvement and vigilance is required.

EDF Renewables, EDP Renewables, E.on, Equinor, Innogy, Ørsted, ScottishPower Renewables, SSE and Vattenfall are members of G+. Associated members include Siemens Gamesa, MHI Vestas, Van Oord, Macquarie and the Green Investment Group, along with Transmission Investment and its Transmission Capital Partners joint venture.

The organisation also released a guideline for best practice when working at height in the offshore wind industry.

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