Research board releases wind farm safety report

Washington – The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management should implement a safety management system for offshore wind farms comparable to the safety and environmental management system required in the oil and gas industry, the Transportation Research Board stated in a recent report (.pdf file).

Hazards facing offshore wind farm workers include having to work in various weather and sea conditions, collision risks with either turbine towers or other vessels, and risks associated with diving.

In the report, released April 8, TRB suggested turning to the best practices laid out by the oil and gas industry, which has years of experience working on the sea. Currently no offshore wind turbines are installed in U.S. waters, but the potential energy generated by such farms are great, and other countries have started development of offshore farms, the report states.

TRB is a division of the National Research Council, a private nonprofit institution that is part of the National Academies and produces studies to assist the government in making informed decisions.

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