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Record 7.5 million hours worked in UK onshore wind industry last year


SafetyOn, the health and safety organisation for the onshore wind industry, has today released their 2023 Incident Data report, highlighting a year of growth for the UK onshore wind industry.

For the fourth year in a row, members of SafetyOn saw a record number of hours worked in the sector, rising by 3% to over 7.5 million hours in 2023.

However, against this backdrop of rising activity, 606 incidents were reported, a 16% increase from 2022. As such, the Total Recordable Injury Rate (TRIR) rose slightly to 0.48 from 0.44 in 2022, signalling the need for continuous industry vigilance as the industry continues to ramp up.

Encouragingly, despite the increase in incidents, the volume of high potential incidents fell by 7%, and the number of incidents requiring an emergency response dropped by 22%.

Heather Chambers, Chair of SafetyOn and Head of SHEQ at BayWa r.e., commented:

“The 2023 Incident Data report marks nearly half a decade of SafetyOn providing industry leadership through the reporting of onshore wind incidents.

“Against a backdrop of rapid industry growth, SafetyOn plays a crucial role ensuring incidents are monitored and mitigated, helping members to shared lessons learned and drive good practice.

“Areas of previous high concern, such as incidents arising from working with electrical systems fell by a quarter in 2023, showcasing the effectiveness of our targeted work programmes. I look forward to expanding our workstreams to see more progress to this effect.”

Dr Nick Wayth CEng FEI, CEO of the Energy Institute, the home of SafetyOn, comments:

“Our recent Statistical Review of World Energy revealed that global renewable electricity generation reached a record high in 2023, increasing 13% to 4,748 TWh.

“Onshore wind will play a vital role in the global energy transition, providing safe, clean and green energy in the UK and further afield.

“The work of SafetyOn is integral to this journey, ensuring a safe work environment for this growing workforce.”

Key figures from the 2023 Incident Data report are:

606 reported incidents, distributed in the following areas:

The incidents include:

The top three work processes where incidents occurred are:

Based at the Energy Institute, SafetyOn has published Incident Data reports for four years in a row, informed now by 19 full members and a vast array of associate members, spanning the UK onshore wind industry.

Looking towards upcoming workstreams, SafetyOn will collaborate with G+ Offshore Wind Health and Safety body to address incidents resulting from manual handling spanning across both industries, with the aim to produce a video campaign to provide digestible and transferable safety lessons for frontline workers.

Guided by the data, SafetyOn has also recently published electrical safety good practice guidelines to determine minimum training and competency in this work area and are moving ahead with phase two of their electrical safety workstream.

Notes for editors