Health and safety now part of UK offshore technology assessments
The Offshore Wind Innovation Hub (OWIH) has announced that it is making health and safety an important criterion when assessing new technologies for use on UK offshore wind farms.
The OWIH is a partnership with the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult and the Knowledge Transfer Network. They assess innovative technology to see whether it can reduce costs. The new initiative means that if new technology makes wind farms more efficient but has a health and safety risk, it will not be used.
The OWIH is looking for technology that enables workers to spend less time offshore. This will both reduce safety risks and save on wind farm operating costs. Stephen Wyatt, innovation and research director of ORE Catapult, said:
“Health and safety must continue to be at the heart of our sector and should be a key factor in the types of new innovations being embraced by the sector.”
Many industries are looking at ways new technology can make their operations more efficient and how it can save operating costs. OWIH’s approach highlights that innovation should not be introduced at the price of decreased worker health and safety. Some innovations such as embedding sensors in PPE (personal protective equipment) can actively protect workers from risks such as hazardous conditions and temperature extremes.
Automated robots are increasingly been used in workplaces. In areas where robots and humans work, safety systems need to make sure that no human worker is harmed by a collision with automated equipment.