This is a short risk assessment guide focusing on wind turbines.

In 2019, I had 2 requests for suggestions on how to carry out a risk assessment for wind turbines.  After a few emails back and forth this developed into somewhat of a “tome”. And then it struck me….why not share what I suggested as an article…voila!

Start with some basic questions

Like all good risk assessments processes, I started with some basic questions along the following lines related to “wind turbines“:

  • Has a Risk Profile Analysis been conducted relative to phases…Construction, Commissioning, Operational etc, as applicable? Ideally, this will include a matrix of activities relative to the operations or phases.
  • Is there a Risk Management Framework (Ref: ISO 31000)?
  • Have any Risk Criteria been established relative to acceptability/ tolerability?

This list can go on but I think you will get the drift.

Gather as much info upfront as you can regarding activities, phases, risks etc.

What about those Risk Profiles?

It’s important to recognise that there are various phases involved (i.e., Design, Build, Construct, Commission, Operate etc) and as such we need to be clear on the various risk profiles.

Consider the following as examples:

Carrying out maintenance of the wind turbine after its commissioning.

The following Risk Assessments could be considered:

  • Weather Condition
  • Working on Hydraulic System
  • Electrical Maintenance
  • Confined Spaces work (Hub, Yaw & Blade)
  • Manual Handling
  • Working at Height
  • Lone Working
  • Working in the Nacelle
  • Hot Work (Welding, cutting, grinding etc)
  • Use of Hand Tools
  • Use of Tension and Hydraulic Tools
  • General Service & Maintenance Activities
  • Live Electrical Work

Wind turbine is located on your site but you are not carrying out any works

Then the following Risk Assessments could be considered:

  • Lightning
  • Ice & Snow on Blades
  • High Winds
  • Public Access
  • Road Conditions
  • Wild Life / livestock
  • Lone Working on site
  • Electrical Maintenance while taking meter readings
  • Noise/Vibrations
  • Exposure to hydraulic fluid & lubricants
  • Manual Handling
  • Inadequate light in turbine when carrying out works
  • Fire
  • Environmental risk

In Conclusion

This is really just a “top level” summary and is intended to get movement in the risk management direction.  

During my research, I also found a good article that you may find helpful: “Risk Assessment of Hazards Due to the Installation and Maintenance of Onshore Wind Turbines” by the IEEE.

More than happy to provide further guidance…just contact me.

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