What we learned from attending the American Wind Energy Association O&M and Safety Conference
With many of the largest wind energy producers in the United States in attendance, the American Wind Energy Association O&M and Safety Conference was chock-full of informative presentations, innovative vendors and beneficial discussions.
Vimocity had the opportunity to attend the conference and connect with many of these companies on the topics that they are most concerned about.
There were 3 important takeaways from the AWEA Conference:
- Data is King! With new data capturing systems, companies are using programs like Microsoft Power BI or Tableau to better visualize data. These platforms allow leaders to make informed decisions and tell comprehensive stories through data.
- Wind Tech ladder climbing and descending was an important topic that every company was discussing. What are the best methods for reducing stress on the body while performing this task? What can we do to make sure our employees stay safe? All of these questions and more came up.
- Shoulder and knee injuries continue to be at the top of the list for most frequently injured areas of the body for Wind Techs.
Over the past couple of years, Vimocity has worked with well over 300 Wind Technicians. During this time, we’ve had the opportunity to understand the intricacies of this work and the physical requirements to perform job tasks that involve climbing/descending ladders, lifting, wrenching and reaching. Here are a few tips on how best to have workers climb and descend ladders.
- Climbing Tips:
- When preparing to climb or descend, make sure to perform a dynamic warm-up to prepare your muscles and joints for the task. This will also get blood flow to the tissues and improve mobility.
- Make sure to use industry-specific safety equipment and fall protection. If available, utilize a climb-assist.
- While climbing or descending, maintain a firm grip on the ladder rung while keeping your shoulders in a strong posture (positioned down and back), but relaxed.
- Keep your head looking forward with an occasional glance down or up to see the next rung you will be grasping and placing your foot on.
- Don’t rush and be deliberate with each step, ensuring that you have proper footing and a strong base.
- For additional tips, below you'll find a video that we recently produced related to performing reaching tasks while on a ladder.
- Learn about the Ready Position. Your strongest position when performing physical tasks.
- Examples of Three Dynamic Warm-Up Activities: Standing March, Hip Hinge and the Superman.
With the Bureau of Labor and Statistics projecting employment of Wind Technicians to grow by 57% by 2028 (Link Here), we are going to need to make sure we keep this workforce safe and healthy.
Sprain and strain injuries can be difficult on the bottom line and culture. However, it doesn’t have to be “just part of the cost of doing business.” If you are experiencing high rates of sprain/strain injuries at your company, we would be glad to help. Please reach out to us here.