“Make the offshore workplace incident-free”

Tuesday, 16 June, 2015 - 13:45
Benj Sykes is Chairman of the G9 Board of Directors, and Head of Asset Management at Dong Energy Wind Power. The G9 provides leadership on health and safety issues in the offshore wind sector. Their HSE statistics are important in promoting wider engagement among operators and to share good industry practice. (Photo: Dong Energy)
Benj Sykes is Chairman of the G9 Board of Directors, and Head of Asset Management at Dong Energy Wind Power. The G9 provides leadership on health and safety issues in the offshore wind sector. Their HSE statistics are important in promoting wider engagement among operators and to share good industry practice. (Photo: Dong Energy)

The G9 Offshore Wind Health and Safety Association has published its ­second annual incident data report for the offshore wind sector.  OWI spoke to Benj Sykes, Chairman of the G9 Board of Directors, about his vision to get the offshore wind workplace incident-free.

OWI: The new HSE statistics published by the G9 show that the overall Lost Time Injury Frequency (LTIF) decreased by 34 % in 2014 compared to the previous year, while the Total Recordable Injury Rate (TRIR) increased by 3 %. How does this fit together?

Benj Sykes: LTIF and TRIR are well established metrics which are used to assess safety performance in a number of industries. For example, IOGP, IMCA and others use these to assess safety performance of their members. LTIF is a function of hours worked, lost work days and fatalities. TRIR is a function of these plus restricted work days and medical treatment injuries. The reason why the LTIF has decreased and the TRIR has increased is that there have been a higher number of restricted work days and medical treatment cases in 2014, and a lower number of lost work day cases – proportional to the hours worked.

G9’s HSE statistics
The second annual incident data report for the offshore wind ­sector provides the latest statistics on reported incidents in 2014. It is pub­lished by the G9 Offshore Wind Health and Safety Association and supported by the Energy Institute.
Since the first data report was published in 2014, the G9 have ­expanded the amount and type of data collected to include hours worked, dropped objects, medivacs and emergency response, and also high ­potential (HiPo) incidents. The hours worked data has also been used to calculate Lost Time Injury Frequency (LTIF) and ­Total ­Recordable Injury Rate (TRIR), which can be used to benchmark ­offshore wind industry performance with other sectors.
This report shows there were a total of 959 reported incidents in 2014. The reported incidents for last year are categorised as follows:
>    44 lost work days
>    14 restricted work days
>    54 medical treatment injuries
>    95 first aid incidents
>    655 near hits
>    97 hazards
You find a link to the report on www.g9offshorewind.com/hse-statistics

OWI: How are accidents recorded, and do the statistics include all accidents that occur at European offshore wind farms and their construction sites, or are there additional unreported cases?

Sykes: Accidents are recorded using a pre-defined template – this is populated by G9 members and provided to the Energy Institute at the end of each quarter for collation and analysis. Within the G9, the data is reviewed and analysed throughout the year and also each year’s analysis is made publicly available in a report. The report covers G9 member sites only, and so does not contain information on incidents which have happened on non-G9 member sites.

OWI: Are there certain procedures during which accidents occur notably more often?

Sykes: According to the 2014 G9 data, the work processes resulting in the most lost work day incidents are manual handling (23 %), transfer by vessel (18 %) and civil works (11 %). Further investigation of the annexes in the report can identify how many incidents occurred during which work process and the consequence (e.g. near hit, medical treatment case) which resulted.

OWI: What needs to be done in order to reduce the overall number of accidents?

Sykes: A number of things, although detailed root cause analysis of the G9 data is not feasible, it can identify trends and hot spots of particular work / certain areas of a wind farm project which are resulting in injuries to personnel. These can then be assessed to see whether procedures have been correctly followed, the right equipment has be used, whether personnel were fully competent and trained, etc. Tools like the G9 Good Practice Guidelines, safety campaigns and tool box talks are important parts of the measures which can be used to reduce the overall number of incidents.

OWI: Unfortunately, work always goes hand-in-hand with accidents. In light of this, how well does the offshore wind industry’s rescue pro­cess work and where is there room for improvement in this regard? How is the G9 active in this area?

Sykes: I do not agree that accidents are inevitable in the workplace; we should – and do – strive to make the offshore wind workplace incident-free...

You can read the complete interview conducted by Katharina Garus
in OFFSHORE WIND INDUSTRY 2/2015.

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