February 5, 2021

Safety Training Update During the Pandemic: Stay the Course

Four control measures deliver safety in training

In May 2020, the training center of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) in Orlando, Florida reopened with a series of control measures to take on the pandemic and deliver its programs safely.  

What has changed since the opening and what has been learned? The answer: Stay the course.  

According to Christopher Spring, SGRE safety training manager, there have been no reported cases of the virus passed from one trainee to another while at the center – and the number of technicians through training is nearly 700 since May.  

It is like the control measures in place for months, such as wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing.  

At the SGRE training center, these four control measures are among those in place:

  1. Travel guidelines, such as no contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patient 15 days prior to training and automobile travel versus flights.
  2. Check-in procedures, including a range of familiar actions like assigned arrival time 15 minutes apart and temperature checks.
  3. Facilities sanitizing, with cleaning daily and common touch items decontaminated several times each day.
  4. Equipment usage, such as mannequins in training for working at heights and equipment isolated for 72 hours after use.

What has changed? The center is no longer on a seven-day per week operation since SGRE has caught up on its training backlog. It is back to Monday through Friday. Another change is the ratio of instructors to trainees – this has returned to 4:1 from the previous level of 3:1. Some equipment is modified for more efficiently hoisting mannequins for the GWO working at height module.  

“It is important to point out that the wind industry is expanding rapidly, and all GWO training centers have a healthy backlog of companies and individuals who want and need safety training,” said Simon Hayes, Vice Chair of the GWO North America Committee and Head of HSE North America QHSE Offshore for Ørsted. “They have designed repeatable best practices in delivering safety training safely.”