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The wind energy industry is a relativity new in comparison to other parts of the energy business. So the industry has been lucky to have had the opportunity to really target the training requirements by taken a broad risk based approach from global best practice. Quality targeted training has been identified as one of Meridians critical risk controls and VHNZ have always been onboard to ensure that they can deliver quality training that can really make difference.
Meridian adapted the GWO Global Wind Organisation training requirements 8 years ago by committing to anyone working in a wind turbine having had to complete as a minimum Working at Height, First Aid, Manual Handling and Fire awareness/extinguisher or the higher or equivalent standard. VHNZ supported this from the start and maintained the journey Meridian has been on to ensure global best practice was being met and our request for targeted training was kept front of mind. Meridian has put a hefty focus on the uniqueness set of problems a wind farm and a wind turbine poses. These problems range from limited access, weather, limited access to external medical assistance, limited rescue team members, height, restricted space, response time, limited coms, pain medication and working at height to name a few. By means of a course evaluation by both Meridian and VHNZ, we received data from the trainers at VHNZ and a skill fade was quite apparent in both first aid and working at height advanced rescue. With this data, Meridian agreed to go over and above the standard GWO refresher time of two years.
In collaboration with VHNZ we designed a 5 day refresher annual course. This comprised of a crawl, walk, run philosophy. ½ day manual handling or fire awareness (alternate years) , 1½ day advanced first aid training, 1 day familiarization and basic rescues followed by 1.5 days complex rescues with scenario based exercises included all of the modules.
We also increased the first aid training to the advance level based on PHEC (Pre Hospital Emergency Care) and targeted it to the wind requirement.
Our goal was to increase our emergency response capability and have a trained and competent team of working at height rescue champions. Confident first aiders who can step up to any emergency situation that may arise in and around a wind turbine whilst keeping their own health and safety at the forefront.
The trainers, office staff and managers at VHNZ have always been an absolute pleasure to deal with, they’re professionalism is second to none and New Zealand is very lucky to have such an amazing industry training organisation (ITO) to meet the wind industry’s organisational needs.
We look forward to continuing this relationship in the future.
Bobby Ball, Health & Safety Business Partner - Wind
Meridian Energy Limited
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