Safety in the wind

By Alex Dahm23 January 2018


Klaus Meissner

Klaus Meissner speaking at the 2017 ESTA and FEM Experts’ Summit

Improving safety during the lifting and transportation of onshore wind turbines will be the main focus of the next ESTA and FEM Expert’s Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on 6 March.

ESTA is the European association of abnormal road transport and mobile cranes and FEM is the European material handling federation. Also backing the event is VDMA Power Systems, part of the German Engineering Federation and whose members include the major wind turbine manufacturers.

Safety concerns have been growing with the development of larger and taller wind turbines with higher hubs. Downward pressure on costs along the supply chain and the increasing use of hard-to-access sites with difficult ground conditions compound the issue.

The summit follows the second event a year ago in February 2017 which attracted more than 130 delegates from 59 organisations. Speakers in March will address progress since then in developing new best practice guidelines. Topics on the agenda 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 transport

* tower cranes, climbing cranes and other solutions

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


Confirmed speakers at the time of writing in mid-January include: David Collett, ESTA president and managing director, Collett Group; Klaus Meissner, director, product strategy, Terex Cranes and president, Mobile Cranes product group, FEM; and Uwe Sarrazin, chairman, VDMA Safety Culture Working Group and head of global education at GE Power and Water.

David Collett, as ESTA president, said, “Many in the mobile crane and heavy transport sectors fear there are an increasing number of accidents and near misses in on-shore 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,” Collett concluded.

Sponsors of the event are Liebherr, Terex, Tii Group and Blokcam. It will be at the Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany. For more information, or to book your place, see: or contact Caroline van Geest, ESTA office manager, on: +31 715724705 or


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