A new online course has been developed to improve the safety of offshore wind turbine engineers worldwide, especially in rough sea conditions, by giving them access to training “in any location at any time”.

Education technology firm eCom Scotland has researched and produced the e-learning materials for Inverkeithing-based Pict Offshore, an engineering company which develops, builds, sells and supports new access, lifting and height safety solutions for the global offshore wind energy sector.

The manufacturer commissioned the creation of the online programme to help technicians learn how to use its new product – a laser-guided, active heave-compensated personnel hoist called the Get Up Safe (GUS) system – as quickly as possible.

It is hoped the digital learning materials will provide those working offshore with the necessary information to operate the GUS safely and be prepared for potentially dangerous emergency situations.

The online programme also offers cost-saving benefits, allowing Pict Offshore to make training available “in any location and at any time”.

Susan Gearing, eCom Learning Solutions’ senior energy sector specialist, said: “Pict needs to ensure that GUS users and operators understand the system’s key functions and operating modes before they attend a practical training session.

“This initial training needs to be delivered consistently every time and cover important safety information, for both normal and emergency situations. Pict also wanted to include an end-of-training assessment to check each user had assimilated the information and was ready to progress to practical training.”

Working with Pict’s subject matter experts, eCom created digital content, which is accessible via a wide range of devices.

In addition, it developed assessment materials to confirm that participants had understood the training content and were ready to move to the practical training course.

To ensure the process’ integrity, these assessments use questions chosen at random by the system.

To deliver the e-learning materials and monitor their usage, Pict uses eCom’s cloud-based, learning management system (LMS), eNetLearn.

Gearing added: “The eNetLearn-delivered bespoke eLearning and assessments, providing Pict’s customers around the world the consistent and accurate training they need, is helping these customers reduce time-to-competency.

“So, Pict’s customers are introducing this game-changing technology to their offshore wind operations and realising the benefits of the GUS system – increased safety and reduced costs – more quickly.”

The GUS system’s applications now include it being deployed off the North-east US coast – at the 132-megawatt (MW) South Fork Wind offshore wind farm, as well as at the Revolution Wind and Sunrise Wind projects. This trio of offshore wind farms are producing a total capacity of some 1.8 gigawatts (GW).