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Last year falls from height were responsible for an estimated 750,000 working days lost in the UK according to the HSE, combined with slips and trips the number raised to a shocking 2 million.

In a sector where working at heights in excess of 75 metres is a daily occurrence for many, the training of the wind energy sector’s workforce in height safety has never been so important.


In this emerging industry new height safety challenges are rapidly becoming apparent, as well as familiar hazards presenting themselves in new situations. Nationwide safety training provider Safety Technology Ltd is one company striving to

combat these hazards and ensure the safety of technicians working at

heights on wind turbines across the UK and Europe.


As a RenewableUK and Global Wind Organisation (GWO) accredited training provider, Safety Technology delivers training courses specifically designed for individuals working at heights in the unique and dangerous setting of onshore and offshore wind turbines.

The RenewableUK and GWO courses have been developed through meticulous analysis of the risks and hazards encountered in wind turbines and ensure individuals are trained in safe work practice as well as rescue and evacuation. Through working closely with leading wind turbine manufacturers, operators and owners in the development of course content, this industry-specific training guarantees end user safety requirements are met.


Safety Technology’s Work at Height and Rescue (WAHR) training covers the core safety issues that technicians will face when working in turbines. The course is broken


MeteoGroup recently won the contract to provide critical lightning information services to Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm off the Norfolk coast. Scira Offshore Energy Limited selected the company to provide comprehensive lightning forecasting, consultancy and monitoring services.


Lightning poses a serious risk to the maintenance personnel who travel daily to and from an onshore base to work on the inherently exposed 80 metre high wind turbine towers.

Therefore, accurate detection and forecasting support is crucial for safe and efficient operation on the site which is located between 17 and 23 kilometres off the UK’s Norfolk coastline and operated by Statkraft - Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy.

LIGHTNINGTRACKER WEBPORTAL At the heart of MeteoGroup’s service is the LightningTracker webportal which provides precise, real-time lightning detection data. This is supported by customised longer

range 24 hour and five day forecasting for the Sheringham Shoal area.

Once lightning is detected within a given radius of the site, forecasters will contact the operation and maintenance base to ensure the appropriate people are alerted to the potential danger. The company’s expert meteorologists are also available 24/7 if further assistance is required.


The objective is to ensure the wind turbines operate at maximum capacity whilst keeping engineers and technicians safe by clearly identifying either potential hazards or safe weather windows. Accurate and reliable data will help the company make day-to- day operational decisions and fulfil its duty of care to personnel working in such an exposed environment.


Chosen based on quality of service, the company is well established in the offshore sector and provides bespoke services for many different types of offshore operations. It has also invested in the best possible 17

down into nine modules which includes extensive practical training, as well as theoretical elements such as legislation, accident reporting and risk assessments.

Their mock nacelles, purpose built training towers and scenario based courses, ensure candidates are trained to cope with the real life hazards they are likely to come face-to-face with on-site, on wind farms.


With the wind energy hot spots in mind, Safety Technology has located its specialist training facilities in the North, South, East and West of the UK, as well as having international centres in Ireland, Germany and the USA. This ensures trainees will never have too far to travel, minimising the impact training can have on their clients’ operations.


With turbine technology developing at a rapid pace, the spotlight on safety shows no signs of wavering. The importance of accessible safety training which has evolved with the industry will be paramount in securing this industry’s success and training providers such as Safety Technology will continue to play a vital role in the supply chain.

Katie Dawes Safety Technology

lightning data from a high density network of sensors which, due to advanced detection technology can locate even relatively weak lightning signals. A second, complementary detection network guarantees resilience and optimal European coverage.


The 317MW Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm has 88 wind turbines and Statkraft expects it to generate around 1.1TWh of green energy per annum - enough clean energy to power almost 220,000 British homes. Compared to fossil fuels this represents an annual reduction of around 500,000 tonnes of CO² emissions.


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