08.02.2024 | Technical Terms

GWO Global Wind Organisation

The Global Wind Organisation (GWO) was founded as a non-profit organisation by leading wind turbine manufacturers and wind farm operators. Its objective is the continuing improvement of the safety of employees in exposed working locations. By means of training standards and certification programmes, the GWO ensures that employees possess the necessary skills for the pre-emptive recognition of dangers, and for acting safely.

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A certified, professional fall protection system is an integral component of industrial safety in the wind power industry.

Wind power plant Wind power gwo training

The GWO (Global Wind Organisation) ensures that the training programmes are always fully up-to-date and that they fulfil the maximum safety requirements. For this purpose, the members of this non-profit organisation constantly exchange risk information and specialist knowledge. This knowledge then feeds into the training standards of the GWO, with the result that all affected employees can repeatedly refresh their related know-how and remain up to date. Because not just the wind turbines are subject to continuous further development – so are the fall protection systems.


The benefits of the training standards

In 2012 the GWO published its first version of the Basic Safety Training Standard (BST). In 2017 the Basic Technical Training-Standard (BTT) followed. The GWO training standards are courses whose contents are regularly reviewed and updated. Over 60% of all GWO members have already standardised more than 30% of their initial training programmes. And the GWO network of instruction and training providers is growing continually.

No wonder, because the GWO standards were used to improve the safety of maintenance teams significantly, and in addition the costs of the relevant training sessions were significantly reduced, because the GWO framework structured them to be much more efficient. This also allowed reduction of duplicate training and optimisation of productivity. But uniform training standards also simplify international collaboration between workers and companies within the wind power industry.

GWO training and instruction

The wind power industry is characterised by technological innovations and a steadily growing significance in terms of energy generation from renewable sources. However, this development is also accompanied by specific challenges, especially in terms of the safety of servicing and maintenance employees who regularly work on wind turbines. Here, fall prevention protection plays a decisive role, because industrial accidents at dizzying heights can have extremely severe consequences.


The GWO has established itself as a major player which ensures that workers on wind turbines all over the world have access to uniform, high-quality safety training. For this, both onshore and offshore installations are taken into account. But training sessions on wind turbines are not the only things of decisive importance. The fall protection systems must also be understood by the relevant employees in order that they can be deployed correctly and safely.


Rail system for vertical use


Rail system for horizontal use


Guardrail system installed on parapet

GWO certification

Right around the world there are certified training providers who conduct their GWO training and instruction sessions as per the GWO standards. In order to obtain such training certification, all necessary resources must be in place, and the management systems and governance structures must be organised accordingly. Certification must be renewed at regular intervals. The WINDA (Wind Industry Database) global database contains all training records from GWO-certified training sessions, and these have to be recorded and uploaded by the respective training providers.

Certification consists of four components:

  • Physical resources
  • Administration systems
  • Personnel resources
  • Training and assessment

Training on fall protection systems

A certified, professional fall protection system is an integral component of industrial safety in the wind power industry. But this does not apply solely to servicing and cleaning tasks on wind turbines. The training and instruction sessions, which are always very true to life and are conducted in the actual working environment, must take place in complete safety too.

The operation and use of all components of a fall protection system, including personal protective equipment, also must be mastered down to the last detail so that, if something really goes wrong, all safety mechanisms perform optimally, and falls involving serious injuries can be avoided. So what really matters is that all employees working in danger areas become their own personal safety experts for their workplace.

This link takes you to the INNOTECH range of training courses.

GWO training programmes

The GWO range of training courses consists of a number of modules which all fulfil the organisation’s strict standards of training.

Here is a brief overview of the most important GWO modules:

  • ART modules (Advanced Rescue Training) – subject: Rescue of injured persons
  • ARTR standards (Advanced Rescue Training Refresher Standard) – subject: Rescue of injured persons
  • BST training (Basic Safety Training Standard) – subjects: First aid, working at height on wind turbines, including anti-fall protective equipment and personal protective equipment, fire awareness, survival at sea, etc.
  • BSTR training (Basic Safety Training Refresher Standard) – subjects: First aid, working at height, fire awareness, and survival at sea, etc.
  • BSTR-P training (Basic Safety Training Online Partial Refresher) – subjects: Online refresher course - First aid, fire awareness, working at height, and survival at sea, etc.

You will find the complete course description and the conception of training here. There are also details about GWO Manual Handling here.

Important institutions for risk assessment in D-A-CH

  • General Accident Insurance Institution (AUVA) / Austria
  • German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) / Germany
  • Swiss National Accident Insurance Fund (SUVA) / Switzerland
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