Improving wind sector safety

19 February 2018

Ainscough Wind Energy Services

Ainscough Wind Energy Services at work

Plans are progressing for new best practice guidelines to improve safety when lifting and transporting onshore wind turbines. The news follows discussions at a meeting held in Hamburg, Germany, earlier in February.

Progress made to date will be debated at a summit, also in Hamburg, on 6 March. The third ESTA and FEM Experts Summit is organised by ESTA, the European association of abnormal road transport and mobile cranes, and FEM, the European association of lifting and materials handling equipment manufacturers.

The best practice discussions are being led by ESTA and FEM plus VDMA Power Systems, the part of the German Engineering Federation whose members include the major turbine manufacturers.

A planned outcome is to produce a core document the aim of which is to promote an improved safety culture, backed up by more detailed technical guidance, for example, the FEM 5.016 Guideline – Safety Issues in Wind Turbine Installation and Transportation (EN – 2017).

Safety concerns have grown with the development of new, bigger turbines with greater hub height, more downward pressure on costs along the supply chain and the increasing use of hard-to-access sites with difficult ground conditions.

Subjects on the agenda at the summit include the following:

* trends in the onshore wind sector

* reducing accidents during lifts and the latest wind guidance

* transportation planning and site conditions

* bridging the safety culture gap between boardroom and site

* what clients want from their transport and lifting supply chains

* co-operation and innovation in wind turbine transportation

* tower cranes, climbing cranes and other solutions

* safety, training and plans for a European Crane Operator Licence.


Sponsored by Liebherr, Terex, Tii Group and Blokcam, confirmed speakers include:


* David Collett, ESTA president and Collett Group managing director

* Klaus Meissner, director, competence centre engineering systems, product safety and IPM at Terex Cranes and president of the FEM Mobile Cranes Product Group.

* Uwe Sarrazin, chairman, VDMA Safety Culture Working Group, and head of global education at GE Power and Water

* Thomas Bruun, BMS Heavy Cranes onshore director

* Hans Henrik Grøn, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy logistics director

* Michael O’Grady, health and safety manager, ESB GWM Asset Development.


In the ESTA annual report published at the end of 2017, David Collett, ESTA president, said, “Many in the mobile crane and heavy transport sectors fear there are an increasing number of accidents and near misses in onshore wind projects. This is unacceptable and the whole industry needs to act together to cut risks to an absolute minimum.


“Many ESTA firms have experienced the situation where a site design has been fixed without proper consideration given to the requirements of the crane and transport companies involved, for example, with steep inclines that could have been reduced or poor ground conditions that could have been avoided.

“A lot of these issues can be resolved with earlier and better communication and planning. And that can often lead to greater efficiency in the project as a whole.”

For more information, or to book your place, see the summit section of the ESTA website at: or contact: Caroline van Geest, ESTA office manager, on +31 715724705 or



What: The third ESTA and FEM Experts Summit

Safety and standards in onshore wind farm construction ‑ transport, lifting and the supply chain

When: 6 March 2018

Where: Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, Germany


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