Laura Staudinger / September 4, 2019
On February 5, 2019, the project team of Westermeerwind, a near-shore wind park of the coast of Noordoostpolder in the Netherlands, celebrated their third consecutive year without any accident at the workplace. In total, the local team has worked for over 130,000 hours without incident and the team is rightly proud of the site's amazing availability performance, which is over 99 percent.
“We take safety seriously and allow no shortcuts”, states Carlo Luijendijk. “Our success shows that good planning results in high efficiency and zero work accidents. We demonstrate on a daily basis that safety and high availability can go hand-in-hand.”
Carlo Luijendijk is the operations manager, who was responsible for implementing the company's first major project in the Netherlands. For this project to take place, a completely new local service team had to be set up from scratch in 2014. From the very beginning, Carlo knew that the safety of the service team would be a crucial success factor - for both the team, and the customer. To gather knowledge and the best practices from different teams and countries, Carlo traveled across all of Europe. The result: the newly set up local team managed to achieve >1000 days and 140.000 working hours without any time lost through accidents.
The team consists of experts as well as professionals, and all team members get continuous trainings with a strong focus on occupational safety. During this project, Carlo Luijendijk introduced the Hein safety awareness program and developed it further in close cooperation with the EHS officer and the technicians, in order to maintain the high safety level that had been set at the start of operations. Everyday situations are translated into cartoons and discussed in open dialogue sessions in order to gain insights and promote the assumption of responsibility for one's own actions as well as those of others. This is done from the inside in an entertaining way, which has led to a sustainable improvement in safety behavior.
For Westermeerwind, safety is how we do business and therefore very important and we strongly believe a project will not be successful without having the right safety culture on site. As an owner we believe in an open culture where safety is something which should be discussed openly between the different parties all the time. This is something we are proud of and to show the service team that we value their achievement seriously, Westermeerwind organizes a yearly HSE celebration party where we emphasize the importance of this achievement and make clear why it is important to keep safety culture on site and focus on safety day by day.
The technicians do not only perform the basic service, Turbine Mounted Safety Equipment (TMSE) and troubleshooting, but also quality inspections and high-voltage maintenance. Due to a great sense of responsibility for their project, the team has a very high success rate. Just a few months later after the service contract has started, the team was responsible for not just the Westermeerwind project, but a total of five in the country.
The “Westermeerwind” project was the first turnkey contract for Siemens' offshore business in 2014, covering all aspects such as foundations, platforms, connections, cables, 110 kV sub-station and a 15-year comprehensive maintenance contract. As the lake is a local recreation and fishing area, the export cables were divided into six 33 kV cable harnesses and submerged two meters into the seabed to avoid damage from fishing nets or ship anchors. These cables feed the electricity ashore through the dyke, where it is collected in a substation and fed into the grid. The Westermeerwind project is locally owned by residents of neighboring communities and the area remains a public good.