Prepare for a rant on GWO training

Belay Rope Access Media Blast March 2016



Prepare for a rant.
I'm getting increasingly irritated by ex-oil and gas professionals wanting a free pass into offshore wind energy simply because they have their BOSIET and MIST. Big deal. So do 50,000 other people. They seem to think they are above those already working in the renewable sector for years and don't think there's anything more to learn.

Belay Rope Access Training Sussex had several enquiries lately from people essentially wanting me to give them a GWO certificate in exchange for an admin fee 
Some of them have told me that another, national GWO training provider has offered them this deal. The strangest thing is that many of these guys are senior professionals including an OIM who would earn the cost of the course back in one day's work!

All I can say to that company is please reconsider. Apart from the fact that you will be found out soon enough and have your accreditation stripped by GWO, you are directly putting lives at risk. 
With only half trained personnel in the field there WILL be more incidents and fatalities.
And to prospective candidates, please choose a training provider based on the quality of training, the experience of the trainers in the field, and the passion for safety. At least go somewhere where the trainers have actually worked on a turbine instead of just seeing a picture of one on a powerpoint!

We are working hard with Eon and MHIVestas on the Rampion project to develop advanced rope rescue courses with monthly refreshers for every one of their techs AND supervisors. They are doing this because they believe in continuous training as we do. 
In the past few months we've done GWO refreshers for senior managers at both companies and even a head HSE honcho at Dong Energy who used to be a first aid trainer! All of them came without a grumble and enthusiastically took part in the course with the other lads. All of them said they learned new things and felt the benefit. Crikey, I'm an IRATA assessor but i still learned new skills and refreshed some old ones when I did my GWO Work at Height with John McCarthy up at Complete Site Safety and thoroughly enjoyed the training.

There seems to be a prevailing idea that training providers like us are in the driving seat. We have an input into the training standards but it is the owners and operators who have the final say on what we train for GWO. If they wanted to just save money why would they create the GWO in the first place and lumber themselves with having to pay for thousands of their employees to be trained. They do it because they don't want to make the same tragic mistakes as the oil industry.

So my message is: Stop whining, man up and pay the going rate for your courses. Turn up on time, share your experience, listen to others and throw yourself into it. You will not only learn something, you may save someones life one day.