Published on 18 June 2020
IMCA recently talked to Kate Harvey, Global Offshore Wind Health and Safety Organisation General Manager, to find out what G+ is all about and how it interacts with IMCA.
The G+ is the Global Offshore Wind Health and Safety Organisation which brings together the offshore wind industry to pursue shared goals and outcomes. It is run in partnership with the Energy Institute, which provides the secretariat and supports its work.
What does G+ cover?
The G+ has four main work areas:
- Incident data reporting
- Good practice guidance
- Safe by Design workshops
- Learning from incidents
G+ brings together the offshore wind industry to pursue shared goals and outcomes.
Technical Adviser – Marine
Who are G+’s members and how does it operate?
The members of the G+ are lead operators and owners of offshore wind farms and wind turbine generator (WTG) original equipment manufacturers (OEMS). Senior executives of the member companies meet quarterly, as the G+ Board. The Focal Group consists of members’ health and safety experts, who meet monthly to deliver the work programme of the G+. There are European and APAC Focal Groups, with consideration currently being given to creating a North American Focal Group.
Transparent reporting and knowledge sharing are the bedrock of a safe offshore wind industry. The G+ was founded on the principal that, by developing a data-led risk profile for the sector, we can turn the spotlight on the critical activities, locations and processes and apply our combined resources to minimise the associated risks.
This is why, shortly after the G+ was created in 2012 (as a partnership with the Energy Institute), we began collecting incident data from all of our members. The data covered everything from near misses to lost time incidents on all member project sites, from development to decommissioning. We also created an interactive tool to enable users to interrogate the data and extract exactly the insights they need. This is available on the G+ website.
The Safe by Design programme began in 2014 for the purpose of improving health and safety performance across the sector. Each Safe by Design workshop investigates a specific topic with the objective of making improvements at the design stage that will help to reduce incidents throughout the lifecycle of an offshore wind farm. The purpose is to examine the current design controls, discuss where they have potentially failed and identify opportunities for improvement. The outputs are used as a reference for the industry and also stimulate further discussion and research.
Whilst the G+ Good Practice Guidelines are not statutory requirements; they are the minimum standard required to meet industry health and safety expectations. They are increasingly adopted by the major developers and supply chain leaders as part of the procurement and contracting process. This helps new supply chain entrants and new markets understand what is expected as a minimum level. Partner organisations such as IMCA share the standards with their members and they are one of the inputs into GWO training courses, which helps to speed up supply chain growth in mature and new markets alike – safely and efficiently.
G+’s 4th main work area is Toolbox. Toolbox is free to use. It holds incident lessons and safety information shared by global energy companies. Developed by the Energy Institute (EI), Toolbox started for the oil and gas industry, but is now being used by the offshore wind sector.
How do IMCA and G+ work together?
Although the G+ and the offshore wind industry has made great progress, there is a long way to go and we are relentlessly driven to do better. That means deepening and broadening our engagement across the growing global sector and facilitating more and more collaboration. We are always looking for new ways to reach new and existing stakeholders; to share information and hear their views on how they use it and what else they need. One of the ways in which we do this is to participate in IMCA’s Marine Renewable Energy Committee. When attending these meetings, the G+ gets to hear the concerns and positive work being undertaken by the marine contracting community. It is also a good way to get feedback on the G+’s workstreams and to promulgate the work of the G+ further.
Industry Collaboration Committee
IMCA and the G+ also participate in the Industry Collaboration Committee (ICC) together, with the Global Wind Organisation (GWO) and Renewable UK. The ICC was established following a UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) “Offshore Wind Leaders” event held in November 2015. The purpose of the ICC is to:
- establish clearer lines of responsibility with other key industry health and safety stakeholders, in different countries;
- confirm that the various organisations’ work programmes are consistent with current and emerging priority risks;
- ensure that duplication is eradicated and that efforts are undertaken by the most suitable organisation under a collaborative framework; and
- enable visible collaboration to make the industry safer.
We do this for the same reason we do everything: because it is vital that our resources and activities are focused on the areas where they will make the most critical difference, and it is vital that our outputs are accessible and actionable. And because, ultimately, our activities are only meaningful if they are acted upon and used to bring about changes that make people safer as they carry out their work.