Taking Standards Further

2021 has been a busy year for the Training Development team at the GWO Secretariat. GWO strives to achieve the highest quality for its training standards and reviews its portfolio frequently to maintain its effectiveness as a risk mitigation. 

During the year, several training standards and modules were reviewed and updated to respect safer practices. Here is a list:

GWO Sea Survival update 

The most significant changes included a simplification of some lessons which are covered by other course modules within the GWO Basic Safety Training Standard and the addition of some learning objectives to reflect the risks and hazards that course participants might encounter when they are working offshore .

Summarising the changes, Thomas Grønlund, Senior Project Manager at Global Wind Organisation, explained: 

Every alteration we have made is to improve the learning experience. For example, one of the lessons is on how to release and inflate the life raft. We used to train this by throwing the self-inflating raft into the water during a practical lesson but realised this wasn’t achieving the learning objective as fully as it could. We adapted the lesson and switched to the domain of knowledge so instructors might decide to explain the procedure in class with a video rather than with one time exercise in the water. The reason is to have the possibility to pause and repeat the video as the instructor is describing the lesson, with the possibility to point out details to all course participants that otherwise might be missed during the in-person simulation.

Further updates included changes to the exercise of donning the sling while the course participants are in the water during a helicopter rescue simulation also becomes a skill that all course participants need to train. The motivation behind this change was to mitigate the risk of panic in case of the absence of a rescue swimmer.

The required equipment for Training Providers was also updated and three more items will be necessary to organise a GWO Sea Survival course module. Training Providers need now to have a ladder simulating a WTG boat landing suitable for practicing safe transfer between ladder and boat, a boat suitable for practicing safe transfer to and from WTG ladder and boat landing, and an emergency descend device.

Other smaller changes are described in the change log in the document.

Read more here

Safety critical updates made to Advanced Rescue Training Standard

The GWO Advanced Rescue training standard was updated following input from GWO members and SMEs who raised concerns over the descriptions of the use of "spine boards", plus a trio of other clarifications. Certified training providers were encouraged to immediately update their lesson plans to reflect the following changes:

From spine board to transfer board – a change in wording.

The term ‘spine board’ leads to more misunderstandings than intended – a key reason behind these misunderstandings is that a spine board is designed for immobilisation of an injured party with a trauma, but that is not the intended use of a spine board in the ART and RT-R standards.

Rather, the intended use of the ‘transfer board’/‘spine board’ in the two standards is not for immobilisation, but to transport an injured person. Therefore, it was agreed to change the term throughout both standards from ‘spine board’ to ‘transfer board’ and add a definition of ‘transfer board’ in the terms and definitions section of the two standards.

Added emphasis on the horizontal lowering of an injured person, whenever possible

A second concern was raised in connection with packaging an injured person on a spine board in a vertical configuration. Here, it was agreed to add a note to a suitable amount of the 12 applicable aims and objectives throughout the ART & ART-R standards.

Clarification regarding attachment points

A note has been added to a suitable amount of the 14 applicable aims and objectives throughout the ART & ART-R standards specifying that ‘the injured person must always be attached to an approved attachment point’.

Seeking medical advice before securing an injured person to a transfer board

A note has been added to a suitable amount of the 12 instances, where fitting a harness onto an unconscious person is described in ART & ART-R standards.

Read more here

GWO Blade Repair Training Standard update

Led by GWO Training Project Manager, Christian Munck Jørgensen, the Working Group delivered a handful of changes which helped training providers instruct technicians to a clearly defined level upon completion of the ten-day course.

Munck Jørgensen explains: 

Blade repair is by nature a highly specialised role and like any GWO standard, it is important for training providers to understand precisely what is in scope of the training and what is not. We have updated the section on the limitations of the Blade Repair Standard in section 9.1 to clarify this element.

Other substantial changes to the standard included the removal of redundant learning objectives and the associated time allocation of element 28.3 on trailing edge repair, reducing that lesson’s duration by one hour. However, rather than losing these 60 minutes, it was switched to provide participants with more contact time in lesson 24 on grinding skills, a key skill identified by the working group.

Finally, the standard was updated to include more commonly used terminology, particularly in relation to the tools and adhesives which blade repair technicians handle.

Read more here

New GWO Training Standards Released in Draft Version

In October 2021, GWO released the draft version of three upcoming training standards: GWO Control of Hazardous Energies, GWO Lift Commission and Inspection Training Standard and Lift Commission Inspection Installation and Maintenance Training Standard. The draft let the GWO community have early access to the draft content of the standards while they were still being developed and it gave the opportunity to send feedback to GWO before the official release.

The GWO Control of Hazardous Energies consists of three modules: 

  • Basic Safety CoHE 
  • Electrical Safety 
  • Pressure Fluid Safety 

The new GWO Lift standards, Lift Commission and Inspection Training Standard and Lift Commission Inspection Installation and Maintenance Training Standard, will complete the lift package which initiated by the release in April 2021 of the Lift User Training Standard.