October 9th, 2014

Greetings from Gemini Energy Services! Here is the latest issue of our Monthly Safety Newsletter, and thank you for taking the time to check it out.

The wind industry is filled with hazards and the purpose of this newsletter is to share useful information, refresher training and safe work practices to our subscribers so that we can raise the bar for safety throughout the industry.  This month's topic focuses on Fall Protection.


You are receiving this newsletter because we think you'll find the information to be useful and relevant. However, should you not wish to receive subsequent issues, you may unsubscribe at any time using this link.  

And if you have any feedback or input on what you'd like to see in future issues, please be sure to let us know, we'd love to hear from you!

Best regards,
The Gemini Team

Fall Protection Practices  



To ensure the safety of workers involved in operations and maintenance of wind farms, it is necessary to identify the dangers while working on top of the nacelle. Despite the wind industry's stringent fall protection and prevention training and emphasis, there nevertheless have been serious and fatal accidents caused by poor fall protection practices among other companies in the industry. To address this issue, best practices should continually be developed to help companies and their workers identify, assess and control risks during nacelle roof operations.


Proper Use of Lanyards:

  • 100% Attachment at ALL times.
  • Do not attach both lanyards with multiple shock packs at the same time as this has a doubling effect on impact force to the body (except when moving from o  ne anchor to another).
  • Always attach fall arrest anchor in a position to minimize free fall.
  • Understand the limitations of the specific lanyard
  • Read manufacturer's instructions
  • Point of no attachment is FORBIDDEN.
  • Know your lanyard. In the wind industry, we recommend the use of lanyards specifically designed for fall factor 2.

Work positioning technique is also recommended, this technique enables a person to work supported in tension by Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), in such a way that a fall over the edge is prevented.


The work positioning device is designed to allow a worker to conduct hands free operations while working at height. For example, changing out FFA lights on top of the nacelle.


Work positioning devices (as for lanyards) come in many styles each specific to need. Within Wind Energy the application of positioning devices is essential for specific maintenance and practices. However, it is not a height safety tool that is required for daily maintenance procedures.


Work positioning lanyards/devices are designed to receive a 2 ft. (60 cm) free fall (based on the distance of a fall that would be generated under normal use) however are not designed to withstand dynamic forces.


The primary function of work positioning is to allow the worker to free up the use of his/her hands when conducting work within a fall arrest environment. A positioning lanyard is not a standalone means of fall protection and must be used in conjunction with a fall arrest system.  


Risk Assessment

A risk assessment asks the following:

  • What is the safest practical method of fall protection?
  • What equipment and training is required to apply that method?
  • Does the work at height create hazards for others, such as falls from height?
  • Do any other laws apply to the work task?

In addition to the fall protection measures in place, other risks must be mitigated, including utilizing FR uniforms, wearing appropriate headwear, having adequate lighting, etc.


A risk assessment usually takes an approach to qualifying the risk. It is rarely possible to reduce risks to zero. Our goal is to make the task safe in comparison to the general risks of daily work tasks, such as making deaths from falls less likely than deaths in accidents driving to the job.


When climbing on wind turbines the default system is a personal fall arrest system (PFAS), with a full body harness and a fall arrest device such as cable grab and lanyard. Even though a fall arrest system may work in almost every situation, the devices you choose may not always be legal or safe if the consequence of a fall is not acceptable.


Understanding everyone's responsibility within a Corporate Safety Program is a very important component within establishing maximum risk reduction however "Buy In" the act of 100% belief and active involvement by all participants is the only real means of achieving the goal. And this "Buy In" or belief in the program must be understood by everyone.


Enjoy reading our Safety Newsletters? Did you know we also offer quarterly webinars? Our next one will be: 


December 18th, 2014 at 11am PST - Ergonomics


This webinar discusses wind turbine ergonomics topics such as why wind technicians are prone to injuries, behaviors that lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), what their symptoms are and injury prevention. Sign up today! 


If you are unable to attend the webinar on December 18th, you can find the recorded version of this one and others at www.geminienergyservices.com.

Gemini Energy Services is the premier independent service provider to the wind industry.  Safety is not just a philosophy at Gemini; it's our defining characteristic.  Whether Gemini technicians are driving to the project site or working on energized equipment in the hub, we strive for zero injuries.  Our proactive safety initiatives, which incorporate safety indoctrination, tailgate safety meetings, ongoing Personal Qualification Standards (PQS), a safety incentive program and completion of thorough Job Site Assessments, have resulted in an unblemished safety record.  We are confident that our colleagues in the wind industry share our commitment to safety and a zero-injury workplace.  


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