Arc Flash risks in the renewable wind industry

Arc Flash risks in the renewable wind industry

Arc Flash risks linked to renewable wind energy are broadly the same whether the turbine is part of a large commercial wind farm or one of the growing number of small-scale turbines installed by householders and businesses.

As a rapidly-growing industry, wind power has the potential to contribute significantly to our national energy needs, but this means it’s even more important that the industry gets to grips with the Arc Flash risks to its workforce.

What are the Arc Flash risks linked to wind turbines and wind farms?

Whether on- or off-shore, private or commercial, there are a range of Arc Flash risks when it comes to installing and maintaining wind turbines.

Arc Flash incidents can occur in low voltage environments as well as high voltage ones, so Arc Flash risk assessments should recommend protection when:

  • Opening energised electrical cabinets and verifying zero energy (testing dead)
  • Securing and removing lock out and tag out (LOTO) devices
  • Conducting trouble-shooting on energised equipment and parts
  • Working on near or exposed live conductors
  • Breaking ground to install turbines

Arc Flash incidents are potentially life-changing or life-ending, so they need to be part of the Arc Flash risk assessment for any electrical or ground-breaking activity, accompanied by the relevant calculations to ensure that safety clothing provides the appropriate level of protection.

For information on how the levels of protection in our products are calculated through robust testing, see our blog here.

Protective clothing for the wind industry

We’ve done research into the requirements of the specialists working in the wind industry. We know that working at height poses its own challenges and that clothing needs to be more closely cut to make sure people can comfortably do the job they need to, with an eye on style!

Comfort is a major factor in any of our clothing design – after safety of course – because we recognise that for people to get the full protection of our garments they have to be worn as intended, to reduce Arc Flash risks as much as possible.

If you need Arc Flash protective clothing, we know you’re doing a difficult job and spending hours in your work gear, so it needs to work as hard as you do. We extensively test all of our garments and know they last longer than others on the market, with one client telling us they lasted six times longer!

We also recognise the particular demands of working in the wind industry, especially off-shore and in the colder areas of the world. We have developed base layers for warmth which won’t compromise your protection in an Arc Flash incident (see here for why that’s important).

Our combat-style trousers are preferred by most of our wind industry clients. They make allowances for the rigours of climbing up and down ladders, and come with handy pockets for keeping tools in. We’ve even designed additional, detachable pockets for when you need more space.

We also make a soft-shell jacket in navy or high-vis yellow, which is extensively used by wind industry clients.

Ask an expert

For advice on which of our products suits your Arc Flash safety requirements, give one of the team a call on 01482 679600.

This is one post in a series ‘All about Arc Flash’. Continue reading the next in the series or return to the start if you like.