Floating Offshore Wind Industry Must Put Health and Safety Up Front


A new report released by the G+ health and safety organization suggests the floating offshore wind industry needs to proactively address potential hazards to prepare for future large-scale deployment.

Supported by The Renewables Consulting Group, Tadek and the European Marine Energy Centre, the G+ Floating Offshore Wind Hazard Identification (HAZID) report identifies specific risks associated with a typical commercial-scale floating wind farm and recommends best safety practices and tools for its members and the broader offshore wind industry.

To evaluate critical areas and potential bottlenecks for a commercial-scale floating wind farm, the study assumed a wind farm of circa 50 semi-submersible platforms with 15 MW wind turbine generators. In collaboration with the industry, risk items were identified for the three periods of operations during a typical floating offshore wind project lifecycle.

Notably, the study highlights key gaps in current industry guidance for constructing and operating  floating offshore wind projects. These include the risk of the novel technology being deployed in  markets with no offshore experience and regulatory frameworks.

The report cautions that the relatively small-scale floating offshore wind deployment to date has meant that, where there are industry-specific requirements, they mostly focus on design considerations (such as structural requirements) rather than occupational health and safety. Therefore, a significant  opportunity exists to proactively develop guidelines covering occupational health and safety as early as possible in the design phase.

“By combining health and safety data, insights from existing projects and our in-depth understanding of health and safety in the global wind industry, we have been able to consider the risks and challenges associated with the deployment of floating offshore wind projects,” says The Renewables Consulting Group’s Dan Kyle Spearman. “As floating wind projects ramp up globally, the industry needs to proactively tackle the health and safety challenges to prepare effectively for future large-scale deployment.”

The full report can be access here.

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