New VIKING evacuation kit puts turbine tower safety first top to bottom

Source: press release, 31 August 2021

Self-contained evacuation kit, including VIKING YouSafe™ HighTide immersion suits with integrated harnesses and Skylotec MILAN descent devices
Self-contained evacuation kit, including VIKING YouSafe™ HighTide immersion suits with integrated harnesses and Skylotec MILAN descent devices (photos: VIKING Life-saving Equipment)

VIKING Life-saving Equipment is maintaining momentum in its development of the most complete range of safety solutions to cover the risks facing wind turbine service technicians, by introducing an easily accessible and self-contained evacuation kit located in the tower.

Following a collaborative design project, VIKING has launched a tower evacuation kit which fits snugly into what is currently an unused space between the platform handrails and the tower’s outer wall. Housed in a PPE chest developed by JoBird, the evacuation kit includes VIKING YouSafe™ HighTide immersion suits with integrated harnesses and Skylotec MILAN descent devices.

Easily accessible via a hinged lid, the polyethylene chest slots into position in the void space at the platform’s edge where it is held in place between railings and tower wall by standard brackets. Each unit can accommodate six sets of evacuation equipment.

Earlier this year, VIKING made a strong market impact with the launch of an all-in-one evacuation kit for technicians working at wind turbine nacelle level, once again featuring a special purpose storage unit from JoBird and Skylotec rescue devices. Located on the helihoist platform, the outside container is built to withstand 100 mph winds for 30 years. In contrast, the new container for the protected lower platform is lightweight and formed to enable drop-in installation.

“Now, we can offer evacuation solutions that deliver identical ISO-, SOLAS- and Class-approved life-saving equipment to protect wind turbine service technicians from the top to the bottom of the tower,” says Bettina Kjærgaard, Global Product Manager, Offshore Wind, VIKING Life-Saving Equipment. “In emergency situations, having immediate access to the right evacuation equipment can be decisive.”

The latest product evolved out of a dialogue between VIKING and design engineers developing a new wind turbine installation, she adds: “VIKING is very established offshore, but we take it as a welcome indication of our progress in the specialised wind sector that we are being consulted on safety issues at the earliest stages.”

The result is an evacuation kit that is integrated with the tower lay-out and within easy reach of turbine service personnel. With clip hooks to attach to railings, 125 metres of rope and a speed regulating rescue descender, the integral solution is also suitable for lowering injured or unconscious personnel.

“Like many good ideas, the self-contained tower solution is creative and simple, and we have secured our first major contract already,” says Kjærgaard. “Offshore wind is a growing sector which takes the risks faced by the technicians putting their lives at risk day in, day out very seriously. For highly skilled offshore professionals, HQSE is a key indicator of employment standards.”