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UK onshore wind safety steadfast as sector expands


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Against a backdrop of increased hours worked, the UK onshore wind sector saw a decrease in lost work day incidents in 2021, according to new data published today by SafetyOn.

SafetyOn's 2021 Incident Data Report recorded 593 incidents in total across just over 7 million hours worked last year. This equates to a 20% reduction in lost work day incidents from 2020 levels, and a decrease of over 50% for incidents requiring an emergency response or medical evacuation over the same period.

While the report findings demonstrate progress, SafetyOn and its members remain vigilant to upholding the highest safety standards, particularly given the 5% increase in incidents categorised as high potential.

Don Mackay, SafetyOn Chair and Director of Operations at EDF Renewables, said:

"The progress made is testament to the hard work of SafetyOn and its members.

This is the second year SafetyOn has collected and analysed data, allowing industry to benchmark its performance accurately across several critical safety metrics.

Despite the progress made, our focus on safe operations remains resolute as we work in collaboration with others to provide leadership and guidance on industry health and safety."

Energy Institute Chief Executive Nick Wayth FEI welcomed the report, saying:

"I'm proud of the role SafetyOn is playing to drive collaboration and ensure a safer sector for all.

Onshore wind is a growing industry and a vital component of the UK's journey to net zero. As the sector scales up, SafetyOn is ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of the workforce remains our primary focus."

Based at the Energy Institute, SafetyOn brings together 64 member organisations and other industry stakeholders to mitigate key emerging risks through cooperation and shared learning.

The 2021 Incident Data Report highlights that of the 593 incidents, 134 (23%) caused direct injury to a person, of which over half required first aid. A total of 6 incidents required Emergency Response Medical Evacuation (EMRE), with no fatalities occurring in the sector.

New for 2021, SafetyOn collected data on fallen and dropped objects, which presents significant potential for fatality and major injury. As with last year, routine maintenance, working with electrical systems, and incidents during access or egress remained the top three process where incidents occurred.

Established in 2019, SafetyOn works to tackle health and safety issues in the industry through four main work programmes: incident data reporting, good practice guidelines, safe by design and learning from shared incidents.

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