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Ministry of Labor OSHA Set Sail for Occupational Safety and Health Supervision and Inspection on Offshore Wind Power Engineering Field

  • Last Modify Date:2020-10-06

The Central Occupational Safety and Health Center under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Ministry of Labor, dispatched officials to set sail for the first time to the offshore construction site for inspection of the “Offshore Wind Power Generation Plan Phase I - Demonstrative Wind Power Generation Site Project” Taiwan Power Corporation (TPC) on 21 August. This inspection is focused on the installation of occupational safety and health facilities and the pursuit of management of foundation piling of wind turbines on the site. The principal contractor, TPC, is demanded to supervise the safety and health management of the contractors.

According to Tzu-Lien Tsou, Director of OSHA, Jan De Nu., N.V. of Belgium and Hitachi of Japan were jointly awarded the contract of the project under which a total of 21 wind turbines will be installed to supply electricity through coupling by the end of the year. Submarine foundation piling is in process for the time being. The wind power field is located about 8 kilometers off the west coast of Fangyuan Village in Changhwa County. Constrained by transport connection in sea traveling, the inspectors have to get on board a sea vessel and set sail from Taichung Port. It takes about 2 hours to reach the site. Since the offshore wind power field is at sea, there is the danger of falling overboard and drowning. As such, the criteria for the selection of personnel to perform this duty is particularly strict. According to the rules of the Global Wind Organization (GWO), different kinds of safety training should be applied to different forms of duties. Accordingly, all inspectors must receive 16 hours of training in performing duties at high altitudes and 8 hours of training for safety and rescue at sea before permitting entry to enter the wind power field to perform the inspection.

OSHA mentioned that the inspection of offshore wind power fields is taken by sea vessels for the first time, which is a brand new experience and challenge to the inspectors. It also symbolizes that the scope of labor inspection will no longer be just limited to land zone but also sea zone. The gravity of this inspection includes: 1. All operation personnel should wear necessary personal protective gear (such as life jacket, helmet, and safety belt); 2. A warning zone should be cordoned off under the crane of the foundation pile to restrict the entrance of personnel or sea vessels, with the installation of facilities for protection against falling objects (such as devices for protection against overloading and excessive whirling of the crane and objects falling off the hook of the crane); 3. facility for prevention of bumping (such as the devices for the prevention of the rolling and sliding of piles, protective cover or device for the working vessels). The findings from the inspection indicated that no warning area has been cordoned off with proper labeling before the operation of the mobile crane, safety management measures such as the setup of inspection checkpoints have been taken for the piling equipment, which required corrective action. OSHA has already notified the responsible entity to take corrective action by the designated deadline.

Offshore wind power is the gravity of development under the green energy policy of the government. Central Taiwan is a vital zone for the development of offshore wind power fields in particular. Further to the offshore wind power field inspected for this instance, works in other 2 offshore wind power fields in Miaoli and Yunlin will also be kicked off this year (2020). OSHA urged the development contractors of the wind power fields to put more effort into and pay closer attention to occupational safety and health of the workers in their operation while concentrating on the development of green energy. In practice, these contractors should properly pursue risk assessment and management at different stages of planning and design, construction, and operation maintenance for assurance of a safe and healthy work environment for the workers and the safe and successful development of the green energy policy of the state.

  • Source:Secretariat Office
  • Publication Date:109-08-21
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