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FEATURE SPONSOR


WORKING AT HEIGHT FE ACCESS SS WIND INDUSTRY


The wind turbine industry is no different to any other sector when it comes to the risks of working at height. As new inexperienced technicians move into this demanding workplace, standardised safety practices and the need for continuous improvements and regular reviews, has never been more crucial.


The growing use of rope access as a means of maintenance and inspections of wind turbines is no exception when it comes to working at height safety issues. When entering a wind turbine, a rope access team will initially employ standard fall arrest equipment to access the nacelle and rotor. Then using specialist ropes in the same way that they might use them to work on a chimney stack or offshore oil rig, the rope technician can make preparations to begin their maintenance task.


GETTING DOWN TO DETAIL After connecting the double ropes to anchor points and then isolating the rotor, the technician is able to safely descend down the tower or traverse around the turbine blades using standard techniques. If this all sounds somewhat precarious, then consider how it feels to be undertaking work on Big Ben or working inside a cooled waste incinerator utilising confined space practises. All of these tasks are routinely and regularly dealt with by rope access engineers. For the well-trained and experienced IRATA rope access worker, the wind turbine holds no surprises.


TRAINING AND SUPERVISION It is without doubt that the extremely high level of training and supervision must be continually given to the rope access workforce within wind energy companies (without compromise), this will maintain our safety record that is unrivalled throughout the working at heights industries.


WORKING TO ESTABLISHED INDUSTRY PROCEDURES Just as rope access technicians clean the windows of the largest hotels across the world, they also routinely carry out maintenance on windfarms that are becoming increasingly more widespread on the UK landscape, both offshore and on land. They do this in the knowledge that a skilled rope technician is trained to work safely and efficiently to a set of established industry procedures. A recognised procedure that is statistically safer and not as restrictive or expensive as the use of access platforms and baskets.


Rope access is undoubtedly the way forward!


Phil Turner Managing Director


Windtex Engineering Limited Click to view more info


www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


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