Quantifying the physical demands undertaken by offshore wind technicians during a working day and casualty evacuations

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Background: Offshore wind technicians (WTs) have been identified as having an occupation with high physical demands.

Objective: To characterise the physical demands of WTs, during the working day and when performing casualty rescues.

Methods: Data collection consisted of two components. Component A, 14 WTs (n = 13 male, 1 female) were monitored over three consecutive working days. The data collected consisted of: a questionnaire; heart rate and movement data; and accelerometer data. Component B, 5 WTs (n = 5 male) were assessed undertaking two simulated casualty evacuations. Heart rate and metabolic data were collected.

Results: A working day lasted 7.5 hrs to 9 hrs, with WTs covering, on average, 4.7 km on the turbine. WTs spent 28% of their time undertaking "light activity", 69% "moderate activity" and 3% working "vigorously". The greatest amount of time in a day was spent working on manual handling tasks such as torque and tensioning (up to 4 hours in total). Both rescues were performed largely aerobically, with similar cardiac and metabolic demands (14.56 (4.84) mL.kg-1.min-1 vs. 17.07 (3.54) mL.kg-1.min-1). Higher RPE values were reported for the rescue from within the Hub (median (range), 13 (12-14)) compared to down the ladder (11 (7-12)), likely due to a greater requirement to manoeuvre the casualty in tight spaces.

Conclusion: The results presented characterise the physical requirements of WTs during the working day and two casualty evacuations. These data play an important role in supporting the job task analysis for WTs working in the offshore wind industry.

Original languageEnglish
Early online date11 Mar 2024
Publication statusEarly online - 11 Mar 2024

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