The health and safety performance of the offshore wind sector is improving.
A new report from the G+ Offshore Wind Health and Safety Organisation highlights despite offshore wind energy capacity continuing to grow, the total number of health and safety incidents among its members fell last year.
There were no fatalities recorded for either year but the 2018 Incident Data Report found that ‘high-potential incidents’, which are those defined as having the ability to cause a fatality or a life-changing injury, were 13% less frequent than in 2017.
It notes there was a 17% decrease in the number of lost time injuries compared to the previous year – although the rate of hours worked also fell by 4%, the rate of lost time injuries fell more sharply as safety performance increased.
The report also highlights a 22% cut in the total recordable injury rate, which gives an indication of how many incidents occur, how severe they are and how much work is taking place overall.
The UK’s recordable injury rate was 4.43, significantly lower than many other nations, such as 10.96 in Denmark and 31.07 in Sweden.
The number of overall medical treatment injuries in the UK also fell year-on-year, dropping from 78 to 45.
The report says several factors enabled this improvement, including a safety culture that shares lessons learned, more advanced technologies being introduced across the sector, more focussed attention on high-potential hazards and better working methods being continually adopted.
Paul Cowling, G+ Chairman and Managing Director Innogy Renewables UK, said: “2018 has been a positive year for the G+, as our commitment to improve the health and safety in the offshore wind industry with programmes such as our two yearly Safe By Design workshops, have contributed to our ever improving health and safety performance.
“Our efforts continue to reduce injury frequency, further internationalise the G+ and increase collaboration with other organisations, in promoting our shared goal of improving the health and safety performance of the industry on a global level.”