Helicopter operations are relatively new for the offshore wind sector. With increasing use of helicopters in the industry, the G+ has identified a gap in the market for industry guidelines in order to optimise health and safety standards.

The G+ has collaborated with HeliOffshore to launch complementary guidelines for safe and effective helicopter operations for the wind industry. The aim of the guidelines is to help the industry integrate helicopter operations safely into projects, taking an approach appropriate and proportionate to the operational context and its risk profile.

Section A and Section B of the G+ guidelines for safe helicopter operations are available for download on the G+ website.

These guidelines are relevant to:

  • Organisations with a responsibility for the overall safety of the offshore wind energy project that use, or are considering using, helicopters to support the project.
  • Supply chain organisations that contract helicopter services, such as maintenance providers.
  • Organisations that are not the helicopter contract owner, but have their employees transported by helicopter.
  • Organisations that do not intend to use helicopters in their normal activities, but who may require helicopter assistance in emergencies or to meet a 'one-off' requirement, and so need to facilitate this through appropriate planning, design and operation.
  

HeliOps Section A

As companies move into this aspect of offshore wind, many will not have specialised skills within their existing teams. Those who are not yet familiar with helicopter operations will be most at risk of health and safety concerns, so providing them with best practice protocols to educate and guide them is important. With the new G+ guideline, they have access to reliable information on the process of helicopter operations and how to support managing health and safety risks.

For companies thinking about getting more involved with helicopter operations, the relationships between offshore wind farm and helicopter operators are critical. Connections should be made as early as possible to ensure that each party understands their contribution to partnerships, as well as any constraints for them or other organisations within a project.

The G+ good practice guidelines for safe helicopter operations support continuous improvement in managing health and safety risks to and from helicopter operations, enabling safe development of the global offshore wind industry.

For more information on the helicopter operations for the wind industry, visit HeliOffshore's website and their Wind Farm Recommended Practice document.