Wind Energy Update: Breaking News from Offshore Wind Industry Focus Group on Health and Safety

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Leading turbine manufacturers GE and Siemens have come out in full support of a family approach to offshore health and safety today in London. With an estimated 40GW of offshore wind set to be installed by the end of the decade in Europe alone, the potential for employee accidents and projects put at risk due to a poor culture of HSE is great.

Wind Energy Update’s research director, Carlos Marquez spoke today of his great concern for the industry, particularly posing the question “Is enough being done to look at the HSE problems encountered in offshore wind construction and installation? Are there tangible steps being taken by the leading developers, contractors and wind turbine OEMS? Current research we’ve undertaken cites HSE as one of the top five concerns for project managers in European offshore wind today.”

The challenge posed by these farshore, multi turbine offshore wind farms is focused very much on the construction and installation. Although many people current employed in this industry are highly skilled and capable, their day to day experience of even stepping foot onto an offshore turbine is minimal. Compare this with the offshore oil and gas skill set and you will find experienced heads who have been in the field for over 30 years.

The Offshore Wind Construction and Installation report, produced in April 2011, addresses the problems faced in four leading offshore wind farms Ormonde, BARD 1, Thorton Bank and Greater Gabbard. The issues of cable lay, cable installation, foundations and skills shortages are all covered from a comprehensive practical perspective not just theory.

For more information on any of the challenges that one can expect to encounter in offshore wind construction, as well as a comprehensive overview on the kinds of solutions that have been employed, you can get the selected findings of the report from this webpage: http://www.windenergyupdate.com/offshorereport/preview.shtml

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