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Safety focus on renewables training

Published: 29 Nov 2023

As Australia's wind turbine industry continues to expand, Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) is delivering global safety qualifications to help address the national skills shortage in the renewable energy sector.

CIT is one of only a handful of organisations across Australia delivering the Global Wind Organisation's Basic Safety Training (BST) (Course No. OCA-TS04), which is becoming industry standard for any trades wanting to enter a wind farm for work.

CIT teacher David Tassicker said there was growing demand for the intensive course at CIT, especially from specialist workers new to the wind turbine industry and by trades who may be indirectly exposed to the industry.

"Wind farms are growing exponentially across Australia and staff are needed to provide ongoing servicing all the time," Tassicker said.

"We don't have any wind farms in the ACT, but the region is surrounded by them and the demand for renewable energy sources is only getting stronger.

"It's becoming industry standard that anyone going on to a wind turbine site for work needs to have this BST qualification, not just the technicians going up into the wind towers. The skills we teach in this course are beneficial to a huge range of industrial applications right across Australia, whether it's mechanics, electricians, project management staff, engineers and more.

"When we first started the course, we found we were mainly getting experienced wind turbine workers who'd been in the industry a long time. Now, we find up to 50 per cent of people doing the course are new to the industry. It's a great foundation."

The course is delivered at CIT's purpose-built high risk training site in Bruce. The facility includes a working at heights tower, a ladder rescue area with mannequin, and a simulated wind turbine cell room that can be darkened and filled with smoke to replicate potential hazards.

"We teach a range of skills for the workers to support themselves and their colleagues, including first aid, fire awareness safety, working from heights, heights rescues, and electrical safety. It's a comprehensive course that can be used internationally and is valid for two years."
CIT teacher Ken Wilson said the course was designed to help students solve problems.

"The training is about mindfulness and the speed at which they make those decisions, so they can make these decisions simply and quickly," Wilson said.

"We've also run parts of this course for students at risk as a means of team building, group integration, to help people build confidence and resilience. There's universal application."

For more on the course, including upcoming dates, go to