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New Partnership Launched To Improve Offshore Wind Farm Safety

Posted: 29/11/2018

A new four-year research partnership has been launched to help reduce the amount of time that workers need to spend offshore, dubbed the Stay Ashore programme.

Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and GE Renewable Energy have teamed up to form the £9 million partnership, which is expected to improve operating costs and the health and safety records of offshore wind farms.

The programme is to be built on three pillars – the use of robotics for planned maintenance events, using advanced digital functionality to enable full remote operability and troubleshooting of turbines, and reliability by design, focusing on validation of key wind turbine components.

The collaboration between the two organisations will also see technology innovation challenges launched for small to medium-sized enterprises and the academic community, including blade and tower inspections, repair processes and robotics.

President and Chief Executive of GE’s Offshore Wind Business, John Lavelle commented: “By eliminating unplanned offshore human intervention through increasing productivity with digital and robotic tools, in addition to our Haliade-X 12 MW performance and design features, we will contribute significantly to the cost of offshore wind energy.”

Andrew Jamieson, Chief Executive of ORE Catapult, made further comments, saying that the strengthening of the relationship between the two groups will see “significant investment in nationally important [research and development], growing not only our expertise but providing opportunities for the UK supply chain to capture domestic and international market share in an offshore wind market expected to be worth £30 billion per year by 2030”.

During October the Health and Safety Report 2018 from Oil & Gas UK revealed a 67 per cent drop in the number of incidents reported in 2000/2001 – the lowest figure ever.

This industry reported 225 incidents to the Health and Safety Executive during 2017, while there were also no work-related fatalities on the UK continental shelf last year.

Trevor Stapleton, Health and Safety Manager with the organisation, did note however that the industry hasn’t become complacent despite this downward trend and improvements in health and safety, saying that it is still a “major hazard” sector, one that has a “clear duty to protect the health and safety of our people”.

Although organisation’s operating in this sector should ensure their offshore personnel have undertaken the relevant GWO training courses, as well as other capabilities such as advanced rescue and advanced medical response, such as the ones on offer here at HFR Solutions CIC.

We deliver our workplace safety courses from purpose-built training venues based around the Humber and Lincolnshire regions as well as at customer sites. Get in touch with us today to find out more.