Vestas and other contractors must ensure that for the activities which they are undertaking on–site, detailed and suitable emergency plans and procedures have been developed, resources as necessary are put in place and that these have been communicated and understood by the workforce and practiced appropriately.
Such emergency procedures may include but not be limited to:
- Rescue from a height
- Emergency escape from the nacelle/hub
The WFO site emergency plan and catastrophic event flowchart is available to all persons on site and gives details of local emergency services and a map of the site. (Issued upon successful completion of this induction).
In the event of a fire in your work area, which cannot be extinguished safely with the local extinguishers, immediately raise the alarm verbally and leave the work area; retreat to a safe place at a safe distance and inform both the WFO Operational Controller (OC) in a calm manner giving as many accurate details as possible.
There must be no smoking in any WTG or the substation building. Smoking is permitted in open areas when not undertaking any work activity and it must be ensured that cigarettes are completely extinguished and disposed of in a proper manner.
Calls to Emergency Services
The ECAS is best described as the “Emergency operator” and their primary function is to connect emergency calls to the correct emergency service control room for Garda, Ambulance, Fire and Coast Guard.
They collect whatever location information is available with a call and pass on automatically to the Emergency Services when they connect the emergency call. This includes Mobile mast information, and device (phone) location where supported by the phone (this is known as AML or advanced mobile location).
A technology called AML (Advanced Mobile Location) can be an additional help to the emergency services in locating a caller at remote sites (or anywhere for that matter). All Android and most newer Apple phones support AML and will automatically send the phones location (GPS) to ECAS when an Emergency call is made.
WFO requires anyone attending site to carry a mobile phone that supports AML.
There’s a video that explains how it works available on the below link:
Getting a location to the Emergency services using AML does however depend on the phone being able to establish its location. In built up areas, this is usually relatively fast as there are wifi signals and mobile phone signals that the phone uses to “shortcut” the location process however when in a remote location, it could take 30 seconds or sometimes a lot longer to get a “fix” when relying on GPS signal alone (and if inside without a view of the sky, GPS alone may fail to get a fix). For this reason, WFO require that people working on site have location services turned on, on their phone as this will ensure that the GPS in their phone is “warmed up” and can immediately get a position if they make an emergency call. Where possible call emergency services outdoors.
An emergency call can be made on any available mobile network and you don’t need to have coverage from your own mobile network. This is why your mobile sometimes displays “emergency calls only” when you are out of coverage of your own mobile network but do have a signal from another mobile network. What is important to understand about making an emergency call like this (it’s called Limited Service State) is that the emergency services will not get your phone number with the call and it is impossible for them to call you back in the event that the call drops. (Neither will AML work when in a limited service state)
Where a person attending site has poor mobile signal they should enable WIFI calling using the WIFI available in the substation. Many mobile network operators provide wifi-calling on supported devices so you don’t actually need a mobile signal to make a call if you have wifi/internet available.
Finally if there is poor coverage, In certain circumstances where a voice call does not work reliably (e.g. 1 “bar” or going in and out of service) it may be possible to communicate using SMS messages as SMS only needs a brief low level of coverage to get a message out. The Emergency SMS service or SMS to 112 is described on http://112.ie and while the information there is aimed at users with hearing or speech difficulties, the service is open and available to all users of Irish mobile networks.