New onshore wind group to champion workforce health and safety

SafetyOn, the health and safety group for the onshore wind sector, was officially launched on 30 April, a group that supports placing health and safety at the forefront of all onshore wind activity and development.

A not-for-profit, member-led collaboration, SafetyOn brings together industry leaders, health and safety experts, regulators and supply chain organisations across the UK onshore wind sector.

Facilitated by the Energy Institute, which is providing the project management and secretariat for the group, SafetyOn was unveiled to industry attendees at the RenewableUK Wind & Emergency Response 2019 Conference in Birmingham.

The group will provide visibility about the sector’s health and safety performance, as well as assisting industry stakeholders to ensure key emerging risks are mitigated through co-operation and shared learnings.

Lindsay McQuade, SafetyOn Chair and Chief Executive – ScottishPower Renewables said:

“The Onshore wind sector is a story of success in the UK – its delivered investment of £35bn, employs thousands and underpins the UK’s position as a leader in decarbonisation.

“With that success comes responsibility to ensure that every single employee has a safe and healthy working environment. I’m delighted to see the industry coming together to form SafetyOn to support this ambition.

“Over the next year I will be working with industry leaders to ensure that the message of health and safety is at the heart of the onshore wind renewable industry.”

Keith Wallace, SafetyOn Vice Chair and Service Director UK & Ireland – Vestas Celtic Wind Technology Ltd said:

“I am in no doubt that the formation of SafetyOn will be instrumental in the positive progress of safety performance for onshore wind in the UK.

“Through SafetyOn we can drive collaboration and accountability as a team to leverage this experience for the wider benefit. We must take the lead by solving common problems together, setting high standards and deliver on our commitments.”

Louise Kingham OBE FEI, Chief Executive – Energy Institute said:

“With thousands of people employed in the UK’s onshore wind industry, SafetyOn is playing a part in making sure they return home safe.

“As a global partner to the energy industry, the EI is pleased to support the work of SafetyOn in ensuring inclusivity across the whole sector using its tested collaboration model, working in partnership with the HSE and other regulators to uphold safe and responsible operations.”

SafetyOn’s primary objective for 2019 is to develop a means of collecting industry wide health and safety performance data and statistical analysis of industry trends to drive empirical decision making in areas of health and safety improvement.

Other key good practice work programmes include switchgear safety in the wind industry, integrated onshore emergency response and working under suspended loads.