For the safety of our clients in the wind turbine industry, Annemoi is issuing an alert in regard to recently updated climb assist safety standards. In an industry where climbing safety is of central importance, it’s vital that we all follow the notices and standards issued by ANSI (American National Standards Institute). ANSI has raised a concern regarding the compatibility of climb assist systems and Climbing Ladder Fall Arrest Systems (CLFAS).
Compatibility concerns in wind turbine maintenance
ANSI stated its concerns as follows: “Because of possible compatibility concerns, the competent person should consult the manufacturer of both the climb assist system and CLFAS to determine if the systems are compatible. Considerations include connections to the user’s harness, spacing between systems on the climbing ladder, assist level setting, number of users and test records.”
In order for climb assist systems to comply with the ANSI recommendation, they need to go through a battery of tests in an ISO certified laboratory. These tests have to assess the system’s performance in all possible use and misuse scenarios. Unless these tests are all completed, workers who use the climb assist systems are at risk of injury or death due to potential incompatibilities.
Recommendations for wind turbine workers
For operators in the renewable energy industry, as well as their maintenance service providers, we recommend the following:
- Be aware of ANSI’s concern of the compatibility between climb assist systems and CLFASs.
- Insist upon compatibility testing for any systems you are considering using, or are already using.
- Avoid using climb assist systems if you are not sure of their compatibility, and wait until they have been tested.
Awareness of these concerns, as well as transparent communication between users and manufacturers, are key to bringing all climb assist systems in line with ANSI standards of compatibility and ensuring safety throughout our industry.