Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) has signed a licensing agreement with Spain-based Ynfiniti Engineering Services (YES) and U.K.-based Safety Technology authorizing GRCC to become the first training center in the U.S. to offer the globally recognized YES/Safety Technology (YST) safety certification program for the wind energy industry.
GRCC, which is located in Grand Rapids, Mich., will serve as the North American training hub for YST program instructors and the Great Lakes hub for individuals seeking certification.
‘Wind farms present unique safety concerns for the individuals who work there,’ says Steven Ender, president of GRCC. ‘Some individuals will work in confined spaces that are hundreds of feet off the ground near extreme amounts of electricity, while others tie themselves to the hub of the turbine and repel down the exterior of the tower in order to make safety checks or repairs. We'll teach people the skills to do these activities safely.’
GRCC will begin offering the 80-hour certification program in May. Students will learn fall protection, Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules regarding working in confined spaces and what they need to do to rescue themselves and others if they get in trouble on the site.
Many wind farm developers, wind farm maintenance companies and insurance agencies that insure companies with individuals working on a wind farm site, require the certification. GRCC expects 300 to 400 students to complete the safety program during its first year.
A location for the training center will be finalized by GRCC in the coming weeks. The center will house training equipment that consists of scaffolding, lifts and simulations of the kinds of confined spaces found on wind farms.
SOURCE: Grand Rapids Community College Â