G+, the health and safety organisation for the offshore wind sector, recorded that incidents in the sector were down in the UK during 2022, however, nearly 350 were reported.
The organisation based at the Energy Institute found that the UK’s injuries were significantly higher than the next highest country Taiwan, which had “a significant increase in reporting of incidents and hours”, according to G+.
The UK reported 348 incidents while Taiwan reported 185, however, this could be explained by the United Kingdom’s strong ambitions for offshore wind.
According to a recent report from RenewableUK, there are 97 GW of offshore wind in development in the UK, an increase of around 6 GW from a year ago.
Nick Wayth, Energy Institute chief executive, commented: “Offshore wind continues to be a global success story, beating generation targets and driving us closer to a fully decarbonised energy system.
“Complacency causes injuries, which is why G+’s reporting role is so vital in embedding a culture of continuous improvement through its work programme.”
High-potential incidents up in 2022
Overall, the report shows that incidents in the sector were down while the number of hours worked in offshore wind went up by 38% when compared to figures from 2021.
G+ says that 44.6 million hours were worked globally in the offshore wind sector throughout 2022.
However, a total of 225 high-potential incidents were reported in 2022, which is a 10% increase on 2021 levels.
The organisation found that there were 868 reported incidents and injuries last year, with 325 of these taking place on a vessel, 298 on a turbine and 185 taking place onshore.
The top three processes in which injuries occur were found to be during lifting operations, manual handling, and access/egress.
Compared with the 2021 data, there was a 69% decrease in the number of emergency response and medical evacuation incidents, from 62 in 2021 to 19 in 2022, marking an improvement in the sector’s safety.
G+ chair, Jakob Nielsen, said: “You can’t improve what you don’t measure, which is why G+ plays such an indispensable role in reporting, monitoring and steering industry to make our sector as safe as it can possibly be.”
The group chair added: “What’s non-negotiable for us as operators is to grow in a way that protects our people in often hazardous environments with the highest safety standards.
“I’m pleased to see genuine progress as a result of the work G+ and its members are undertaking – but we are under no illusion as to the importance of constant vigilance to uphold and improve safety performance.”