In August, two members of the Coastal & Marine team at Wessex Archaeology spent four days undertaking Global Wind Organisation (GWO) training. The training is required for anyone wishing to work within the wind energy industry.

Two of the four days were spent achieving the working at heights qualification. This portion of the course involved learning to climb steel and aluminium ladders safely using a multitude of safety arrest methods as well as doing a series of rescues in which 70 kg dummies had to be rescued and lowered safely to the ground. An evacuation was also simulated in which a winch was used to exit an open hatch from a high platform.

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Another part of the course was manual handling in which the attendees were trained in the correct manual handling techniques, which follow closely with Wessex Archaeology’s guidance, as well as working as a team to manhandle casualties in difficult circumstances. Fire safety was also a part of the course where theory was put in to practise with the opportunity to use fire extinguishers and blankets.

The last part of the course was Sea Survival. While the course in England utilised a river and the Scottish course used a loch, both were undertaken on wet and windy days! The sea survival training involved being lowered into the water using a Mark Elephant hub, being lifted by a helicopter sling, entering the water at height, up-righting an overturned life raft and successfully entering and exiting the life raft.

Although the courses were not easy, they were extremely enjoyable and pushed the attendees out of their comfort zone. Elements of the courses will be put to good use soon.

By Lowri Roberts, Maritime Archaeologist