Impact of experience and non-practice in the use of wind turbine rescue device RG9A

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The trend of onshore wind energy is gradually tending towards more maintenance and less construction due to the rapid development of this energy sector over the last decade. With maintenance taking centre stage in the near future, wind technicians will be exposed to hazards and risks and as such, it is expected that they are trained in safety and emergency procedures above the basic competency currently set out by the regulating bodies. The rapid development of the wind sector is creating severe skill shortages of appropriately qualified staff (trained and experienced workers especially in operation and maintenance activities). Therefore, safe working at height all of which requires robust procedures will involve training, practice and experience; as the learners become expert, they can apply their understanding to other situations, while also evaluating its appropriateness. The essential aim of this paper is to establish the occupational health and safety challenges in the wind energy industry in relation to wind technicians’ experience and non-practice in the safe use of a rescue and evacuation device (Constant Rate Descender RG9A) in emergency situations. Longitudinal assessment was adopted in order to track changes over time. The findings suggest that experienced technicians performed better in skilled tasks over the three month test period as compared to less experienced technicians and that longer non-practice led to decay in performance and proficiency. Results from this study are currently being considered for implementation by industry partner in the design of rescue device and for height safety training. Limitation to these types of studies is the lack of intensive 'in-situ' real life long term assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings CIB W099 Belfast 2015
EditorsMike Behm, Ciaran McAleenan
Place of PublicationDownpatrick
PublisherEEI Publishing
ISBN (Print)978-1-909854-01-7
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • wind turbine
  • maintenance
  • competency
  • onshore


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