DNV – a global provider of risk management services, headquartered in Norway – along with five industry partners, is developing a specific safety standard that will include structural and functional design; fire and explosion protection; access, transfer and escape; and emergency power. Other safety recommendations include internal communication and communication with shore, rescue and recovery, as well as standby vessel. The standard is expected to be published in October 2009.
The existing offshore standards for equipment, provisions, layout and safety requirements relating to design are currently based on offshore oil and gas installations. But given that wind farms do not produce hydrocarbons, the associated risks are different. The rules for oil and gas installations, therefore, may not apply to or be cost-effective for an offshore wind farm.
‘At present, turbines and transformer platforms are only manned during maintenance and inspection activities,’ says Tove Feld, head of the project. ‘However, some new developments propose having permanently manned accommodation platforms. So, there is a need to understand and manage the associated risks for people working in offshore wind farms.’
The project participants include StatoilHydro, Vattenfall, Dong Energy, E.ON and Energinet. A number of other companies have also expressed interest in getting involved, and the project is still open to participants. The technical review group currently consists of a U.K. health and safety executive and the Danish Energy Authority. DNV will also provide recommendations to the Norwegian, German, Swedish and Dutch authorities.