EI enters offshore wind arena


Courtesy of Energy Institute (EI)

The G9 Offshore Wind Health and Safety Association (G9) was formed in 2012 to provide leadership on health and safety issues in the offshore wind industry. The G9 brings together nine of the world's largest renewable energy developers Centrica, DONG Energy E.ON. RWE Innogy. Scottish Power Renewables. SSE. Statkraft. Statoil and Vattenfall - to form a group that places health and safety at the forefront of all offshore wind activity and developments. The group aims to create and deliver world-class safety performance across all of its activities from construction through to decommissioning. By working closely together. G9 members have committed resources from their own companies, and work to lead this sector of the industry in finding solutions to the health and safety challenges that the offshore wind industry faces.

The work of the G9 is funded by its founder members and its main activities cover engaging with stakeholders across Europe, sharing learning from incidents and developing good practice guidance for use by the entire industry. The G9 is governed by its Board, which is made up of senior representatives from each founding member. The responsibility for delivering its work programme and meeting its aims and objectives lies with the Focal Group, populated by experienced health and safety professionals from each founding member.

The aims and objectives of the G9 mirror those of the Energy Institute (El) and as such, there was a strong case for working in partnership. Much of the guidance already developed by the El, with roots in other sectors, is also highly relevant to G9 members. The partnership provides an opportunity to ensure knowledge is efficiently transferred from one industry sector to another. In addition, the El is able to assist the G9 in delivering against its specific objectives of providing leadership in the offshore wind community, and in particular in delivering good practice guidance aimed at improving performance across developers and the supply chain.

The experience and leadership of G9 members, as major operators, and the independence and experience of the El, will be combined during the development of this good practice for the benefit of wider society. With the El acting as an honest broker, this means it is possible to engage with a broad membership and other interested parties and stakeholders to provide the most comprehensive guidance to support this growing sector of the energy industry.

Areas of initial focus for the G9 have been informed by experience on the ground, and through the collection and analysis of health and safety data on incidents collated collaboratively through the Focal Group. This has ensured that the programme of work is evidence-based and focuses attention on issues of key importance.

Working areas

Initially there are three topics that have been identified as priorities for the development of guidance -working at height, marine operations and lifting operations - and with support from the El, the G9 members have established three working groups to address these topics. Member resource for the working groups has been provided by the G9, each providing appropriately experienced and skilled topic experts in each field. Each working group reports into the G9 Focal Group which has devolved responsibility from the G9 Board for addressing the key health and safety issues and delivering on the G9's objectives. It is important to note that the activity is pan-European in focus, and as such the composition of the working groups is made up from personnel across Europe, including members with operational experience across Germany. Norway and Denmark, as well as a number from the UK.

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