An Industry Going Global
Maybe you have worked as a rope access technician for years and are now thinking about taking your career in a lucrative new direction, or you are completely new to the industry, but are interested in working as a blade technician. The fact is that as the wind energy industry grows, not just in Europe but worldwide in locations like Mexico, Australia and South Africa, the demand for turbine rotor blade technicians is also growing.
There are three elements to becoming qualified as a blade technician. The most obvious one is the technical course to learn the skills specific to being a blade tech. You’ll also need to have rope access skills and qualifications. Both of these elements are training skills you’ll acquire and update as required. However, on a season-to-season basis there are also a number of tickets and certifications needed to make sure you can work safely on wind turbines.
Some of the necessary tickets might be familiar, as they are relevant to more than one kind of rope access or wind industry sector. But what makes them so important is that no rotor blade technician will be able to work without these certifications. If you have decided to become a turbine technician, or you’re already working towards qualifying, then having the qualifications listed below will mean you are ready to work as soon as you are qualified.
The following certificates are all required and must be kept up to date:
- Global Wind Organisation – this organisation set standards for worker safety training in the wind industry. Their certifications cover Working at Height, First Aid, Man Handling, and Fire Awareness. If working offshore, a trainee would also require certificates for Offshore Survival, Marine Safety and Offshore Medical.
- Medium Risk certifications for working in confined spaces are offered by many training providers.
- Occupational medical examinations including G41, which assesses fitness for working at height, and G26, which assesses fitness for wearing respiratory equipment.
- Electrical safety training. This can be completed online here: https://eku.dk/en/courses/course-materials/dk-en50-110-l-aus-detail
- A Construction Skills Certification Scheme card can be a valuable card to hold, as more turbine blade work is being conducted on wind farm construction sites.
Each of these certificates needs updating every year, or every few years, and demonstrate that you have the knowledge and fitness to work on a wind farm, whether onshore or offshore. After you have qualified, and before you start work, your employer will need to see evidence that you have these certificates. It’s worth talking to them about what training providers they would recommend for getting these tickets, as they will have seen dozens of technicians go through them in the past and are best placed to advise on your specific requirements.