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Health & Safety in Offshore Wind

in Offshore Wind

Health & Safety in Offshore Wind


with Alan Lowdon

Calendar Next available session starts Oct 13, 2022 at 8 am

The U.S. Department of Energy forecasts the industry will employ 43,000 people along the East Coast by 2030, and as a result, will create thousands of jobs in southeastern Massachusetts, providing area residents career opportunities in the emerging 21st-century global economy. The U.S. offshore wind industry is emerging in the North Atlantic near the Massachusetts coastline and Bristol Community College is leading the way in workforce development.  

Course Description:

Health & Safety in Offshore Wind will provide an introduction to offshore wind health and safety and will contrast the requirements of the sector with its onshore equivalent as well as the oil & gas sector. The course is aimed at students looking to understand more about the safety aspects of the offshore wind sector, with the intention of becoming part of the supply chain to, or an active offshore wind professional in, the industry. The course will provide students with a broad overview of the importance of developing a safety culture in offshore wind. In particular, understanding the “Essential Health & Safety Requirements” across all stages of an offshore wind farm’s life i.e. installation – operations and maintenance – decommissioning – disposal is important, as each stage poses different risks to those active in it. The course will discuss the key health and safety considerations, including materials and their handling, construction, ancillary hazards such as those related to machinery, visibility, ergonomics, and environmental factors. The importance of standardization of components, working practices, operational activities, procurement, etc. also plays strongly into the health and safety agenda and facilitates a safe working environment where mistakes and their impact are minimized. The course will take each of the 4 stages highlighted above and look at the health and safety issues associated with each. The approach of the G+ global offshore wind health and safety framework will be introduced and discussed based upon its 4-component process of:

  1. Incident data reporting,
  2. Use of practical guidelines based on operational feedback,
  3. ‘Safe by Design’ workshops, and
  4. Learning from incidents.

Lastly, there will be a high-level review of the contents of the GWO Basic Safety Training (BST) course – a prerequisite for anyone wishing to go offshore in the wind sector. The course will conclude with an insight into some of the health and safety considerations required as offshore wind farms move into deeper waters with the advent of floating offshore wind (FOW).

Learning Objectives: 

On successful completion of this module, students will have a good understanding of:

  • The importance of developing a safety culture in offshore wind
  • Health and safety performance metrics as applied to offshore wind
  • The types of health and safety issues faced at each stage of an offshore wind farm’s life, and how to mitigate the risks posed
  • The key factors affecting safety in an offshore wind environment, including sources of risk and how to spot and eliminate them
  • The cross-over between offshore wind and oil & gas health and safety considerations
  • The G+ offshore wind safety management framework and its key components
  • The GWO Basic Safety Training course and its mandatory status when accessing offshore wind farms
  • The importance of communications in managing the health and safety agenda

About the Instructor:

Dr Alan Lowdon, Director of Strategic Development for the National Offshore Wind Institute (NOWI) over 30 years’ experience as a practitioner within the international energy and utilities sectors, having held senior positions with international corporations, Rolls Royce Industrial Power, British Gas, Suez, Shell, Mott MacDonald and Jacobs. At Mott MacDonald, Alan was involved in wind resource analyses for the Cape Wind and Fishermen’s Energy offshore wind projects. He has also acted as an advisor to Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation’s offshore wind farm in Cleveland, OH.  

Read full bio: Dr Alan Lowdon Bio 2021

Link to Bristol National Offshore Wind Institute website: 


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