Evaluating wind technicians performance on safety critical rescue steps

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

E-pub ahead of print


View graph of relations

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of ICE: Management, Procurement and Law
Early online date12 Jun 2018
StateE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jun 2018


Purpose: This paper reports the results of an analysis of a subset of data from a larger study on skill decay. It evaluates the performance levels of wind technicians at one and three months on safety critical steps using Situational Judgement Tests (SJT) and Job Knowledge Tests (JKT) to assess their emergency rescue and evacuation proficiency. Design/methodology/approach: The research design is a repeat measures study (longitudinal), using SJT and JKT to assess job-specific knowledge; the extent of knowledge technicians acquired regarding effective and ineffective courses of action in job-related situations; assessing a variety of situations; and measure various kinds of procedural knowledge such as critical decision-making situations. It measured procedural knowledge in addition to aspects of declarative knowledge and fluid abilities and this was considered as a good predictor of performance for wind technicians. Findings: The results show that rescue and evacuation skills decay at one and three months after the wind turbine rescue and evacuation training with 47% and 20% of technicians experiencing such decay in their skills and knowledge. However, relying only on the high knowledge proficiency gives a false sense of security in terms of overall procedural competence of the technicians. This study demonstrates to what extent new technicians struggle to sustain their competence without any form of practice. Practical implications: This study reaffirms that the commonly used rescue device lack task steps that are cued by the previous sequence of steps or by the equipment. Therefore, technicians tend to easily forget some of the procedural and safety critical steps that are inherent to the device. These findings have practical implications for activities involving rescue and evacuation of workers, e.g. crane driver rescue. Research implications: The implementation of SJT and JKT in this study indicates that skill decay takes place within the first four weeks after acquisition. Likewise, job knowledge is more resistant to decay as compared to skill tasks over the three months retention time frame for both refresher and new wind technicians. Originality/value: The results of this paper build on existing knowledge by extending SJT and JKT theory to field-based applications within the wind energy.Keywords: Health & safety; Knowledge management; Education & training; Safety & hazardsPaper type: Research paper


  • health & safety; knowledge management; education & training; safety & hazards