Study Finds Increased Injury Rates for Offshore Wind

A recent study by researchers from the University of Strathclyde and published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews found injury rates for workers in offshore wind up to four time that of offshore oil and gas workers.

Marine wind turbines with engineers
Source: Tula Kumkrong/Getty Images

The offshore wind industry is growing rapidly around the world. Many governments have set ambitious targets for growth to achieve their decarbonization goals. As the industry grows, it can become more challenging to build and operate wind farms safely. Wind farms are being constructed further from shore in tougher weather and sea conditions.

In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive has raised concerns about safety performance. This paper aims to review the current state of health and safety in the offshore wind industry. It reviews the latest research, injury statistics, and the state of legislation covering the sector.

It also considers how the risk profile of the industry may change in coming years. The paper finds there is a need for more research specific to the safety challenges of offshore wind. Injury rate statistics show that performance is 3–4 times worse than comparable industries, and industry reports do not currently include large parts of the sector.

Rapid growth and the implementation of new technologies will create additional challenges. Regulators should consider the implementation of industry specific safety legislation to manage the unique challenges of offshore wind.

Read the paper here.