Complete training packages - Rescue teams and remote casualty care on operational offshore wind farms
2, Catherine Whyman1, Gail Clark3
1CWind, Colchester, UK, 2NWFTC, Colchester, UK, 3Global Marine, Chelmsford, UK
The safety of staff on operational wind farms is of course taken very seriously, especially considering the nature of the locations. Emergency preparedness is key to achieving this, but what should be in place? A paramedic or dedicated rescue professional is not always essential (or a realistic option within the constraints of the incident) and there are situations beyond the remit of first aiders with basic rescue training.
Upskilling existing personnel to a more advanced level of emergency response is arguably a prudent solution to ensuring wind farm emergencies are dealt with safely and efficiently. After all, they know the environment as well as anyone else and are most likely to be first-on-scene.
NWFTC have designed and delivered a complete package that develops existing wind farm staff to a level that enables them to competently deal with a wider range of emergency situations. Which could potentially involve them or their fellow workers. The vested interest is clearly a strong motivation to participate fully.
The advanced end of the package involves bespoke rescue training and a strong focus on casualty care, with a syllabus born from best practice and analysis of the site and equipment. This is combined with an accredited First Person on Scene course, tailored to wind farms. Delivered by healthcare professionals and inclusive of realistic ‘at-height' scenarios.
The benefit of the ‘complete package' approach, is that wind farms can take part-ownership of all stages of development. Shaping an emergency response resource, suitably prepared for their environment.
Initial Safety Training: Including the practical unification of personal safety, rescue techniques and casualty care. Ensuring that; assertiveness, and the basic practices for dealing with emergency situations, are developed properly at an early stage.
Environment Specific Analysis: An essential site visit, with a review of any current practices, equipment and competences, give a clear picture of the precise requirements. This forms the basis of additional training design and equipment selection.
Tailored Emergency Training: Extensive practical rescue experience and casualty care training bespoke to the environment. Delivered by trainers with sound knowledge of the industry and equipment, along with experienced healthcare professionals.
Implementation, Trial and Review: Adaptation of current procedures and equipment. Plus realistic on-site scenarios to consolidate training and regular reviews to maintain preparedness.
A recognisable increase in staff confidence for participation in emergency response. Evident as the training progressed and during subsequent trial rescues.
Clients finished the joint-approach process with; equipment, procedures and trained staff suited to the specifics of their wind farm.
The method was to develop all-round incident response skills. In doing so, a more complete understanding of the best practices for rescue and casualty care was gained. Enabling a broader application of techniques, evidently demonstrated in staged ‘curveball' scenarios.
By using the untapped resource of; capable, technically minded individuals, operating within proximity of potential incidents. Not only have the wind farms maximised their emergency response capability, they have created a positive and inclusive environment for their staff to be able to protect each other.
In conclusion, the aim of this paper is to provide wider awareness of the opportunities for wind farms to shape and increase the emergency response capabilities of their existing staff, equipment and procedures. And, by doing so, create an environment where everyone is engaged and involved in the process from the start.
Wind farms are becoming increasingly more isolated and, by developing all capable personnel to a higher level, a more self-sufficient emergency resource is created with less reliance on third parties.
There is of course the potential for incidents to be beyond the capability of advanced rescue and first responder teams, however this is an excellent opportunity to fill the gap between basic response and professional response for incidents on offshore wind farms.
Based on the aims of the abstract. We expect the delegates to be able to engage fully in open discussions about the benefits of upskilling existing staff in tailored advanced rescue and medical techniques.
They will also be able to demonstrate an understanding of the range of development opportunities available for casualty management in a remote environment. Including better knowledge of how to identify the most suitable equipment to suit the requirements of their wind farm.In addition, delegates should be able to undertake better analysis of their current wind farm operations and identify the adequacy of their existing emergency resources.
Ultimately by adopting this approach on their site, they will be providing a safer and better prepared environment for their staff to work in.