Wind technicians are being advised to take regular refresher training courses to protect their own health and safety, with new research revealing that within a month of initial training they’re struggling to recall key emergency steps.
The Glasgow Caledonian University study found that these technicians are at risk of fatal accidents and serious injury without this regular training, with union leaders calling for more to be done to safeguard their wellbeing after two workers died last year at Scottish windfarms.
At the moment, guidance from the Global Wind Organisation and RenewableUK requires employees to have accredited training every 24 months (12 months for some European counties). Wind technicians have to carry out maintenance and repairs on turbines that have an average height of between 60 and 100m – so accredited and best-practice training is clearly a must if they are to carry their tasks in a safe manner.
Lecturer and researcher in construction management at the university Dr Kenneth Lawani commented on the findings, saying: “The research shows the level of skill and knowledge drops rapidly after a month and progressively afterwards. Every time you fly in a plane, you receive a full safety briefing to remind you of what happens in an emergency.
“If you work offshore, every time you embark on a helicopter ride, you watch a video of what you need to do in case there’s a crash. Why don’t we have something like that for wind turbine technicians? Accidents don’t happen every day but if something goes wrong, it can be fatal.”
The research team recommends using video technology and mobile apps, as these can be a cost-effective way of delivering this refresher training, focusing particularly on emergency response procedures.
Working at height is incredibly dangerous and those who are highly experienced in this area should most certainly be fully aware of the risks associated with the job. It requires a high level of skill and competency in order to carry out the work in a safe and controlled manner.
Whether you’re a windfarm technician, an engineer in the telecommunications sector or an onsite construction worker, if you’re working at height you need to have suitable and sufficient training and competency levels in order to carry out their tasks.
It would be worthwhile discussing your needs with a company such as HFR Solutions CIC to support your organisation in this journey, where GWO working at heights courses are concerned. They possess the skills, expertise, resources and facilities to provide a range of working at height solutions, helping you to operate safe working practices and ensure your organisation complies with legislation and regulations.
Their working at height training infrastructure provides delegates with first-class facilities and the perfect setting to both retrain and learn the key competencies for working at height, whether that’s at an introductory level or if your workers are more advanced and highly experienced.
If you’d like to find out more about what we do and how we can help you work in a safer way, get in touch with us today.