Existing offshore standards for safety equipment, provisions, layout and safety requirements relating to the design of offshore wind farms are currently based on offshore oil and gas installations.
But given that wind farms do not produce hydrocarbons, the risks associated with them are different – the standards for safety on oil and gas installations may therefore not apply to, or be cost effective, for an offshore wind farm.
For that reason, the Norwegian firm of Det Norske Veritas (DNV), along with five industry partners, is developing a specific safety standard that will encompass structural and functional design, fire and explosion protection, access, transfer and escape and emergency power.
A number of other companies have also expressed an interest in getting involved and the project is still open to participants.
The Technical Review Group currently consists of the UK Health and Safety Executive and the Danish Energy Authority. DNV will also provide recommendations to the Norwegian, German, Swedish and Dutch Authorities.
The standard is expected to be published in October 2009.