Wind Power: Safety

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 27th February 2020.

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Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Labour, Stockton North

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Health and Safety Executive has taken since 2016 to assess the compliance of (a) basic safety training and (b) basic technical training standards required by employers in the offshore wind industry with domestic health and safety regulations.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

In 2012, in response to the emergence of the offshore wind industry, HSE created a dedicated team to regulate the offshore renewable energy industry. In addition to carrying out planned inspection and investigation of injuries and incidents, HSE’s dedicated team has worked with a range of stakeholders to encourage the development of good standards for health and safety. This has included working with industry bodies including the Global Wind Organisation (GWO), G+ Global Offshore Wind Health and Safety Organisation (G+) and RenewableUK (RUK).

In November 2015, HSE hosted an industry leaders’ event where a commitment was made by those organisations to further improve industry leadership, increase engagement across the supply chain, develop a common risk reduction programme for the industry and develop and deliver good practice. The industry created a steering group to ensure the effective delivery of improvement. In April 2018, HSE and the industry reviewed progress and were broadly satisfied that progress had been made with a desire to do more.

Since 2012, one of HSE’s priorities has been worker competence to ensure that people work safely. Although HSE does not approve training standards, it has been involved in discussions about the GWO training standards for basic safety. HSE sees the benefit in industry minimum standards of training as it facilitates worker mobility, reduces unnecessary bureaucracy and costs without reducing health and safety standards. However, they make clear to industry that this should be supplemented with an individual training needs analysis to determine the additional training needs for specific tasks required to be carried out safely.

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