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Creating transparency around offshore wind’s neglected hazard

Mike Rice, Commercial Director, Dropsafe

This week, the offshore wind energy industry will gather in London at Renewable UK’s Global Offshore Wind conference, and for the first time, the threat of Dropped Objects will be addressed on a health and safety panel at the event.

The offshore wind industry has always prioritised safety, but on Tuesday the industry will hear directly from G+ about its guide to eliminating dropped objects, hear from DROPS on lessons learnt from the oil and gas industry and analyse industry-specific incident data.

In 2016, G+ reported incident data showing that there were 69 dropped object incidents which occurred in 2015. Of these, 6 resulted in lost work day incidents, and a further 73% were classified as near hits.

HSE UK has since reported that Dropped Objects are in the top three causes of UK workplace deaths in 2017/18. However, statistics publicly available are often out of date, and most companies are reluctant to share this sort of information – or simply report it in different ways. Indeed, transparency and consistency in reporting are the biggest obstacles to improving the prevention of dropped objects in the wider energy industry.

Manufacturers of safety systems are continuously investing in research and development projects to provide the industry with the most robust Dropped Object prevention solutions, but without full visibility on the issues that offshore wind operators and technicians face throughout the  construction, operations and maintenance phases, and the causes of these Dropped Objects, this development may be restricted.

More accurate and transparent reporting of near misses and incidents is vital for the offshore wind industry to proactively mitigate the threat of Dropped Objects.

At Dropsafe, we are determined that Dropped Objects do not remain a neglected hazard as the offshore wind industry matures and expands into new markets.

Our recent whitepaper ‘The Neglected Hazard’ details the extent of the challenge, what the regulatory situation is and how offshore wind can learn from other industries such as oil and gas when it comes to the best practice methods for mitigating Dropped Objects.

You can download your copy here: