Wind turbine rescue: emerging skill retention issues and challenges

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


The wind energy sector is becoming an increasingly important one for those involved in construction and with the increasing number of technicians employed in the industry, issues of occupational health and safety becomes of paramount interest. This paper explores the occupational health and safety challenges in the wind energy industry in relation to wind technicians’ safe and competent use of a rescue and evacuation device in emergency situations whilst working at height. The study reported here evaluated the magnitude of procedural skill and knowledge retention over a three-month period after acquisition; the significant factors influencing procedural skill retention during safe rescue and evacuation; and the impact of cued recognition/recall methods on skill retention. Thirty trainees fully participated in the retention study at intervals of 28 and 90 days. The results suggest that refresher participants should undertake rescue and evacuation practice drills between three and six months after acquisition while fresher participants should undergo practice drills within the first three months. The contributing factors influencing the technicians’ procedural rate of retention are the length of time after acquisition and practice, experience, feedback and it is advisable that cues be embedded within the training because with fundamental cues, there is increased retention of procedural tasks. This has implications for the wider construction industry where work at height in harness are carried out in isolated places.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 30th Annual ARCOM Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • competency
  • rescue and evacuation
  • skill decay
  • skill retention
  • refresher
  • cued recognition
  • cued recall


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