Wednesday, May 12, 2021


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Lessons learned: Safe transfer of personnel requires a total STOP of the turbine

IMCA recently issued its Safety Flashes for April, describing two near miss incidents in which during the approach of a vessel to a wind turbine tower, the nacelle started moving, with the risk of the vessel being hit or gangway being knocked off by the wind turbine blades. As explained, the incidents occurred during the use of walk-to-work vessels for shipping and transferring personnel to and from wind turbine towers offshore, a procedure that occurs frequently every day, requiring close co-operation between bridge crew and the client’s personnel. The turbine blades at this particular windfarm reach to within 23m of sea level at their lowest point. Thus, when the blades or the nacelle are turning, a ship within the turbine’s safety zone could be struck. Therefore, safe docking and transfer of personnel requires a total STOP of the turbine. In STOP mode, the electric system is switched off, preventing any movement of the nacelle and/or the blades. What happened – Incident 1 A vessel approached a turbine to carry out transfer of personnel and cargo. Before the approach, the responsible person on the turbine tower used software control to lock the nacelle at a safe heading, and communicated this to ...

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