Wind Energy Safety Tops Priorities as GWO Reports Record Year for Training


The Global Wind Organisation’s (GWO) Annual Report 2021 shows a record year for wind energy safety, with 82 new training providers becoming GWO-certified, bringing the global community to a total of 444 centers, spread across 48 countries.

Meanwhile, GWO training grew particularly fast in Asia, North America and South America relative to Europe.

“This has been another year of successes for GWO and our growing community,” explains Jakob Lau Holst, CEO of Global Wind Organisation. “Despite the challenges well faced in the continuing pandemic, safety training in the wind industry has continued to thrive. Our 2021 Annual Report tells just a small part of the global story created by the many people from our members to the individual technicians who together make real the promise of the green energy transition.”

“With 82 new GWO-certified training providers in 2021,we depend a lot on GWO training providers to deliver training that will keep our technicians’ safety skills updated and fulfilling, and I am happy to see GWO training providers have really stepped up when our industry needed the most,” adds Paul Robbins, chair of the GWO’s executive committee and chief H&S specialist at Vestas. “This resulted in almost 320,000 GWO courses being completed last year, an amazing feat that I would like to thank and congratulate the entire network for their work in achieving.”

The interim goal for 2021 was set to reach a GWO-trained workforce of 150,000 people by December 31, 2021. During 2021, the pattern of the 21% growth in trained workforce over 2020 was impressive, and increasing at a high rate with a new total of over 122,500 individuals.

The GWO-trained workforce is a number representing course participants holding at least one valid training record in GWO’s WINDA database. At the end of 2021, the GWO-trained workforce was 122,573, who hold between them a total of 557,462 valid GWO training records. Among those valid records, 85% have an expiration date (usually 2 years) and will need to be refreshed within the next 24 months.

GWO also tracks the increase in the number of participants trained over time. Between 2020 and 2021, this rose from 61,318 to 80,489 in 2021, an increase of 31%. During the same years, these participants completed 225,347 training records rising to 316, 833, an increase of 41% year on year.

The countries with the largest proportions of total GWO-trained workforce are the United Kingdom (17,016 participants with at least one valid record), Spain (13,188), Germany (12,193), Denmark (11,424), United States (8,134) and Brazil (7,139).

In 2021, GWO saw a return to the seasonal profile of safety training seen in 2019 and earlier with a pronounced peak in March related to the milder weather prevalent in the northern hemisphere and the burst of onsite construction activity during the following six months.

Similar to previous years, the training records most commonly issued were Working At Heights (41,554 training records in 2021), Manual Handling (39,316), Fire Awareness (38,335), First Aid (37,716). Each of those training records saw an average increase of +40% compared to 2020.

The training records that grew the most in 2021 were: ART-NR (1,115 records issued, +271% versus 2020), ART-HR (1,270, +173%), SART-N (5,544, +114%), SLS (3,241, +114%), SART-H (6,540, +105%). The growth of these training records shows how the GWO community is expanding the availability of more GWO courses across the world. In particular, the courses on Advanced Rescue and the Slinger Signaler/ Rigger Signal Person training standards.

With 82 newly GWO-certified training providers joining the GWO community, 2021 was the most successful year for the growth since the start of WINDA (+23% over 2020). At the end of 2021, 444 GWO training providers from 48 countries were certified to deliver GWO courses, with five countries newly represented in the network: Columbia, Croatia, Egypt, Russia and Ukraine.

Several markets saw a higher number of new certifications including Brazil (+10 new training providers), Spain (+9), India (+8), France (+8), China (+7), Poland (+6) and United States (+5).

Read the full report here.

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