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Health and Safety of paramount importance to the offshore wind industry.

The Royal Acadaemy of Engineers has published the report which is the summary of proceedings held in March 2011 attended by  representatives of government, industry and other organisations, with the help of Orbis Energy. A key finding is that Health and Safety is of parmount importance to the development of the industry.

The Royal Academy of Engineers has published thier report, Making green growth real: UK offshore wind supply chain, with a foreward by Lord Browne of Madingley, President of the RAE. In his forward Lord Browne says that the UK faces a mammoth task in developing offshore wind. The 13 GW scenario set out in the government’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan requires a tenfold increase in capacity between now and 2020.

The report suggests that offshore wind can help fuflill our energy policy objectives by reducing emissions in line with our international commitments, enhancing our energy security by reducing imports and insulating consumers from the volatility of fossil fuel prices. 

The main thrust of the report is that offshore wind can make a contribution towards our economic policy by rebalancing the sources of economic growth towards engineering and manufacturing, creating high value – added industries to sustain tens of thousands of green jobs and helping to supr economic development across the UK regions.

Health and Safety is of paramount importance to the offshore wind industry, especially as it expands into deeper water, more extreme weather and larger projects. UK offshore wind developers are already bound by the Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations 2007 which apply to all projects involving construction work carried out in the UK and its territorial waters, whether based on land or at sea. The current Health and Safety regime for offshore wind combines these CDM regulations with best practice from the offshore oil and gas industry and the port and marine industries, along with guidance from Renewable UK.

Many people in the industry believe that this situation is unsatisfactory and that the safey of the industry currently relies on self – regulating operators continuning to follow good practice. The report calls on the government to act:

‘- to ensure that the Health and Safey regime for offshore wind is rational, clear and tailored to the specific combination of risks present

–  to consider transferring guidance and enforement responsibilities for offshore wind Health and Safety to the HSE Offshore Division and

– ensure that all operators on UK sites are subject to UK Health and Safety standards, regardless of the distance from shore, the nationality of the developer or the flag flown by the vessel’

To view the entire report, click here.

Originally posted 2011-06-14 00:00:00.

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