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A collaborative approach with Senvion to develop accredited working at height training

Working safely on a wind turbine

Senvion is one of the leading manufacturers of onshore and offshore wind turbines. Based in Edinburgh, Senvion initially contacted MRS Training & Rescue to request in-house training for office and operational staff. The training included Fire Awareness, First Aid and IOSH Managing Safely courses.

At the time, wind technician manpower was expanding and there was a need to develop bespoke training and rescue procedures for the Senvion team - in Wind Turbine hub, tower and basement rescue.

The Health and Safety manager at the time, Gerry Gemmell, approached MRS Scotland to help with a solution. They wanted us to help provide the relevant expertise in supporting the development and implementation of these procedures, and then deliver accredited training to the Senvion employees.

People training for working at heights on a wind turbine facility Making It Happen

At the time, although we had plenty of insight, we had no specific working at height training courses readily developed. Our Operations Manager, Errol Parrish, began researching the various standards required for working at height, and then working with our Internal Quality Assurer, Ronnie Munro, to develop a range of courses. The skills and equipment for working at height are in fact similar in many ways to working in confined spaces, an area we already had vast experience and skills.

In order to become accredited by the Global Wind Organisation (GWO), we needed to provide effective training facilities. We invested in a 17-metre work at height tower and associated equipment. Senvion kindly acquired a decommissioned Wind Turbine which was shipped from Germany and installed at our training centre. We then began to offer a range of GWO approved courses from our station in Fife.

Senvion continue to use MRS for all their working at height and health & safety training, and we are proud to have been able to provide a robust, scalable solution for their needs.

The Long Term Benefits A man repelling down a wind turbine working at height facility

Since those early days, our expertise in working at height has developed and we are now recognised as a leading provider of training in this area. We also offer advice and consultancy to various industries and have invested in additional working at height training facilities. We now offer working at height courses at all of our training centres across the UK - Knottingley in Yorkshire, Swadlincote in Derbyshire, Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, Houghton in Newcastle, Dinas in Wales and Romsey in Southampton.

Ronnie Munro has also written and produced a comprehensive working at height training manual, which we give to all delegates attending our courses. Recently, we have also added some new one-day courses along with a Rescue from Height course to our portfolio.

Our Scotland Operations Manager, Errol Parrish says: “We specialise in offering a wide range of Health and Safety training courses including work at height training, especially the provision of rescue cover for the high risk categorised work. Unfortunately, accidents still occur, and awareness of the hazards still needs to be communicated better.
Gerry Gemmell, former H&S Manager at Senvion shared his view: “We have always been impressed by the professional approach to training offered by MRS. They are serious about safety and took a great deal of time to ensure that the content of the work at height training exactly met our training needs and those of the renewable industry.”

Our Working at Height Courses

Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries in the UK, accounting for 26% of all deaths at work. Working at height means any form of work that involves the risk of people falling from a distance is liable to cause personal injury. This may be obvious like working on a wind turbine or on a roof, but it can also be less obvious like working below ground-level chambers or walkways.

We offer a range of working at height courses, including our ECITB approved Working Safely at Height Course, our Rooftop Safety Course and Management training. We also provide a GWO approved First Aid training course, a GWO Fire Awareness course and a GWO Manual Handling course, tailored for the wind industry, as an alternative to our standard courses.

Why MRS Training & Rescue? Errol Parrish Operations Mgr at MRS Fife receiving an award

  • All our Working at Height instructors and assessors are also real operational rescuers for people working at height.
  • We have accreditation with external bodies including the Global Wind Organisation (GWO)
  • We can provide you with a wide range of working at height equipment and educate on how to use them effectively.
  • Our trainers hold nationally recognised teaching and assessing qualifications and are experts in their subject matters.

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