Maersk Training rolls out new advanced first aid course with MHI Vestas to raise lifesaving skills on wind farms.
In response to growing industry demand, leading global training provider, Maersk Training, in partnership with offshore wind turbine manufacturer MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, has become the first to offer an Advanced First Aid course specifically tailored to the needs of personnel working in the wind energy sector.
Due to the increasing distance from shore to turbine and the prolonged time for medical professionals to reach a casualty in an emergency, a greater emphasis is being placed on arrangements for emergency medical treatment. The same challenges apply to working on onshore wind turbines in remote locations, such as the Scottish Highlands, so the course is also applicable to personnel working there.
Following months of consultation, trials and development the three day Advanced First Aid course was finalised and a programme of delivery is being rolled out with MHI Vestas for its UK workforce; including employees from director level through to technician level staff in October 2015. The course is now open to personnel from all companies within the wind energy sector.
The Advanced First Aid course builds on the skills acquired at the basic first aid level. It enables rapid intervention in the event of severe or life threatening trauma or illness by equipping technicians with the skills required to quickly stabilise a casualty. It also allows personnel to effectively monitor the casualty until specialist medical treatment arrives or they can be safely moved to appropriate medical facilities.
The course supports delegates in taking a proactive approach to incident management and covers an extensive range of practical skills including: advanced airway management techniques, control of catastrophic bleeding, CPR
protocols including the use of AEDs and administration of gasses in medical emergencies including oxygen and Entonox.
The Advanced First Aid course has been developed in parallel with a specially designed Wind Turbine Emergency Trauma Pack, which contains all of the lifesaving equipment used during the course. The trauma pack has been designed to be lifted using the “T-piece” davit, nacelle crane or an internal hoisting system and will ensure that technicians in the field have ready access to the emergency medical equipment they have used during training.
Wayne Mulhall, Service Director at MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, comments on why the company chose to offer the Advanced First Aid course: “As part of an ongoing focus on rapid and lifesaving response to potential accidents offshore, all MHI Vestas service technicians will undergo an Advanced First Aid training programme, developed by Maersk Training. This programme will provide our service technicians with training to treat a greater range of potential injuries that may occur offshore.
“Advanced first aid skills are critical to personnel working in offshore wind, as many sites are over 20 km from land and transit times mean medical assistance can take longer to arrive than when working onshore. It is critical, therefore, that our service technicians are able to administer a higher level of first aid treatment as soon as possible after a potential injury.”
Stuart Cameron, Managing Director at Maersk Training in Newcastle, said: “Naturally, when approached by MHI Vestas we were delighted to work with them on this project aimed at addressing a long identified industry need. From the outset we involved MHI Vestas’ offshore technicians in development of the course and trauma pack as these are the guys working offshore on a daily basis and will be the first responders in a medical emergency.
“Delayed response times can prove to be a fatal factor in life-threatening scenarios, which is what we want to tackle with this course. We believe having advanced first aid skills is crucial in this industry, which is why we are the first to host this course.”