Demand from major wind energy employers for standardized safety training has led to a major increase in the use of Global Wind Organisation (GWO) standards in North America.
The training, which covers basic safety and technical skills for one of the fastest-growing jobs in America, almost doubled in 2019, with training providers across key wind states like Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa and Wisconsin completing over 8,000 courses last year.
Much of the growth stems from a concerted effort by major wind energy employers, including GE Renewable Energy, Avangrid Renewables and Vestas, to encourage more of the standardized GWO training to be made available in North America.
Together, those companies formed the GWO North America Committee in 2019, to collaborate as an industry and bring the standards into the U.S. and Canada. Year-over-year in North America, the number of training courses completed increased to 8,003 in 2019 from 3,920 the year earlier. The figures come from the GWO Annual Report 2019, which was published Feb. 26, 2020.
“Leaders across North America see the value of standards in the wind industry, especially as the need for talent grows by leaps,” says Brian Walencik, chairman of the GWO North America committee and EHS leader for GE Wind, Onshore. “I thank GWO training providers for helping to deliver safety for the industry and each individual technician.”
GWO aligns basic training programs of its member companies into a single unified standard. The training is then recognized by the member companies, helping to create a safer and more productive workforce.
Each GWO-trained worker’s records are identified by a WINDA ID personal to them, allowing employers to verify training records quickly and easily, providing worker mobility and helping employers avoid unnecessary spending on re-training.
Goals are set
“The GWO North America committee wrapped up its first year together,” Walencik said. “We set goals in 2020 to increase the number of records uploaded to 10,000, and to add eight training providers, to increase the number of certification auditors by three and to continue to expand the committee. Thanks are in order for all committee members.”
Members of the GWO North America committee represent wind turbine manufacturers and owner-operators including:
- Brian Walencik – GE Wind, Onshore (Chair)
- Gary Aucoin – Equinor
- Karl Delooff – Acciona Energia
- Michael Hanson – GE Renewable Energy, Offshore
- Adell Heneghan – RWE Renewables Americas
- Isabelle Le Beau – ENERCON
- Autumn Lewis – The Nordex Group
- Dan Ortega – Vestas
- Geoffrey Schmidt – Siemens Gamesa
- David Yang – Ørsted
News item from Global Wind Organisation