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Performing Safe O&M Activities in Challenging Environments

A look back at our legacy in planning and performing safe O&M activities in challenging environments

Being leaders in predictive maintenance also makes us experts in identifying & solving problems and when it comes to the wind industry, the scope and size of maintenance projects can be vast. For us, a successful project is one which prioritises the health, safety & well-being of our team through meticulous planning and delivery, leveraging our years of experience. This starts with training throughout the organisation and making use of our learnings from a wide range of scenarios.

Winning the project

Health, safety & well-being is a group-wide priority and it is for this reason that we continue to win and safely execute plans that other O&M providers either cannot or will not attempt.

Our reputation played a pivotal part in the selection process when we pitched for and won a commission by Donkuk S&C to replace one of the three main bearings at its Shinan project in South Korea. By acting quickly and recommending an immediate halt to operations on the turbine in question, we were able to begin work on the complete main bearing replacement and avoid a catastrophic turbine failure.

The work itself was particularly intricate, involving cranes to remove the part in question, transporting and repairing it off site, then replacing it. Factoring in contractual logistics including crane rental, technically capable tractors, public liability insurance and employee training and well-being, there were many moving parts to co-ordinate.

Predicting and managing these commitments effectively resulted in reduced overall down-time and early project completion which, consequently led to cost savings for the operator. Most importantly for us, the project resulted in zero incidents, due to careful planning and expert project execution.

From land to sea

Project locations themselves have a significant impact on the planning process. While, from an engineering perspective, the job may be similar, the process in training and deploying a team to work offshore has its own important safeguarding considerations. The intricacy and scope of projects such as these often mean that less experienced O&M organisations do not have the means to attempt them.

Our expertise meant that when presented with some specific rotor lock issues at Rampion and Humber gateway farms, we were confident that we could safely fulfill the work requirements by taking some considered safety precautions. With employees travelling by boat for long periods of time, and with additional requirements being reported back daily, we used a systematic and collaborative approach with the client which resulted in successful completion with zero harm.

High-risk environments

There are other times when it’s not only the engineering work that presents the risk. When working on a project, deep in the south of Mexico, the environmental challenges here were localised and required careful consideration. Getting employees safely to and from the site was a key priority for us. Personal safety was paramount and as such, we employed strategies to ensure our engineers remained safe and were never travelling alone.

Another aspect that, up until this point, we had less experience with, was preparing for the local wildlife.  We had to actively consider the impact of animals and insects on our employees in the field. In order to navigate this, we liaised with another business with prior knowledge of the region in order to ensure we had all the resources required to train our teams and mitigate against any potential harm. The extra care taken to safeguard employee well-being once again resulted in a zero-harm project completion.

Ultimately, what sets us apart is our strong engineering expertise, prior knowledge from similar projects, and frankly, nerve. We also understand that ultimately, it is our employees who are our greatest asset, and their well-being needs to be at the fore-front of everything we do.

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