Media releases

UK onshore wind safety steadfast as sector expands

01-06-2022

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.

Notes for editors

  • For media enquiries, please contact Lauren Armstrong on 020 7467 7173 or larmstrong@energyinst.org
  • The 2021 Incident Data Report can be viewed here.
  • SafetyOn is the health and safety organisation for the Onshore wind sector.
    Providing leadership in health and safety for the dynamic and innovative onshore wind industry, we ensure transparency about the industry’s H&S performance, as well as assisting industry stakeholders to see that key emerging risks are mitigated through co-operation and shared learning.
    Working through the Energy Institute we have established an open network of safety and health experts, professionals and stakeholders to promote a strong, sustainable and continually improving health and safety culture.
    Thousands are employed in the UK’s onshore wind industry, and SafetyOn is playing a part in making sure they go home safe.
  • The Energy Institute (EI) is the chartered professional membership body for people who work across the world of energy.
    Our purpose is creating a better energy future for our members and society by accelerating a just global energy transition to net zero.
    We do this by attracting, developing and equipping the diverse future energy workforce; informing energy decision-making through convening expertise and advice; and enabling industry to make energy lower carbon, safer and more efficient.
    Join us to be part of a global energy community of 20,000 individuals and 200 companies.