A panel commissioned to examine the harmonisation of health and safety standards in the wind power sector has concluded its study and reported its findings to the European Commission.
The Wind Harmony Consortium, which includes eclareon, The Renewables Consulting Group and WindEurope, were tasked to examine the alignment of health, safety and environment (HSE) standards and best practices across wind power construction to operation and maintenance to decommissioning to improve performance and efficiency, reduce complexity and lay the foundations for global standards.
The assignment encompassed three primary areas: mapping the existing legal requirements and industry standards for health and safety across 28 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway; engaging a broad array of industry stakeholders; and developing and implementing methodologies for identifying and prioritising ‘interventions’ for bringing about greater alignment in health and safety in the European wind sector.
The Consortium concluded that while the European wind industry is performing well – and has in place the necessary regulations and structures - its findings yield several recommendations for building on existing initiatives to further improve performance.
The Consortium made 37 recommendations to the EC across 19 topic areas. Of these, 15 recommendations across 7 topic areas were noted as priority recommendations. The priority topic areas are as follows:
* Training – common standards, mutual recognition and transferability
* Electrical, mechanical and other hazardous energies
* Wind turbine safety design standards
* Fitness to work and medical examinations
* Emergency planning and response
* Critical safety information sharing
* Common regulatory and enforcement approach
Johann Blain, Senior Project Manager, eclareon, said: “It was a great honour to be part of the Wind Harmony project, continuing to make the EU a safer place to deploy wind power. As we now finalised the topics for harmonisation as well as the recommendations on how to move forward, we are very much looking look forward to the further exchanges and follow-ups between all stakeholders to ensure that Health & Safety remain top priorities.”
By Jake Frith