OPITO Launches Vital Lifting Operations Standard for the Wind Industry
OPITO, a global safety and skills organization for the energy industry, has announced a new lifting standard to drive competence in the global wind sector following extensive consultation with wind turbine OEMs, offshore wind developers and safety bodies.
The Lift Planning for Basic Lifting Operations in the Wind Industry Initial Training has been developed to meet a globally recognized requirement to enhance competency in lifting operations in the onshore and offshore wind sector supply chain. Under formal collaborative agreement with major industry players including wind turbine OEM SGRE, OPITO have provided technical specialists, product development expertise and facilities to run two comprehensive pilot programs in support of the global wind industry.
According to the 2020 incident data report from the G+ Global Offshore Wind Health & Safety Organization, lifting operations represented the highest number of reported incidents, reinforcing the need for a consistent approach to lift planning for the industry workforce.
Building on OPITO’s heritage of delivering standards for lifting operations offshore, the training standard also provides upskilling opportunities for those working between oil & gas, wind and wider renewables, thereby enhancing workforce mobility across different parts of the energy sector.
Andy Williamson, Head of Energy Transition, OPITO, said: “Today’s launch is evidence of our long-term commitment to collaborate with the wind industry and utilize OPITO’s experience in delivering robust, industry led solutions in a timely manner without compromising on quality.
“The support from key industry stakeholders and global lifting specialists who have approached OPITO for help, has been pivotal to the development of this standard, which will allow for greater understanding of lifting operations across the wind industry and ensure high-quality training for wind turbine OEMs, project developers and those in the supply chain providing lifting operations. The support from our two approved center partners – EnerMech and RelyOn – has been pivotal and now means the workforce has immediate access to this important training.”
Andy Williamson, Head of Energy Transition, OPITO
The initial training is delivered via a 22-hour program and will provide learners currently working, or planning to work, in the wind industry with knowledge and practical skills to plan and organize basic routine lifting operations.
Danny Travis, Global Lifting Operations Risk Specialist, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, said: “Lifting operations remains a work activity with one of the highest numbers of recorded incidents across the renewables sector, with many of these incidents occurring during basic operations.
“OPITO is providing, for the first time, a tailored global industry training solution to ensure the wind industry can upskill their employees to effectively plan and manage basic lifting operations, enhancing safety and reducing incidents across the sector.”
John Brooke, Mechanical Safety Engineering Specialist, Iberdrola said: “As the offshore wind industry grows, it is essential that we all build the expertise to address the risks of routine activities such as lifting operations.
“This standard, developed in consultation with leading industry experts, will increase competency across the sector, allowing for more careful planning and review of lifting operations, significantly reducing risk to operators and their employees.”
Rob Stebbings, Global Lifting Operations Technical Authority at Iberdrola said: “Lifting operations remains statistically one of, if not the highest work activity with recorded incidents in the offshore wind industry. Historically, offshore wind lifting plans lack the consistency and detail that is needed to enable safe, basic and routine lifting operations.
“The release of the OPITO Basic Lift Planning in the Wind Industry, developed in collaboration with key stakeholders is potentially just the tool the industry is needing to bring understanding and industry consistency to standards that is currently missing”.
There are currently two training centers, EnerMech in Great Yarmouth and RelyOn in Teesside, approved to provide this training. OPITO is now working with additional training partners who wish to gain approval and offer this lifting standard across the UK and globally.