A revolutionary software system that simplifies product inspection and certification has been credited with ensuring standards of health and safety at one of the UK's leading wind farms.
CertMan – a unique user-friendly computer system that records lifting gear inspection and certification – is used by Vestas Offshore UK Ltd at Kentish Flats to keep track of the condition and supply of all the safety and lifting equipment necessary to maintain the 30 turbines at its Whitstable Harbour site off the North Kent coast.
The system was developed by Certex UK – one of the nation's largest suppliers of lifting products and services – to help companies cope with the increased responsibility for equipment placed on them by LOLER.
CertMan offers a complete online management solution for lifting gear certification.
Product histories, maintenance schedules and inspection reports can be instantly accessed, and printed out by users from any location.
Other features include an electronic messaging service passing vital product information around the company instantaneously; an early warning system that highlights in advance, products due for inspection; and colour coding for defective products to avoid the possibility of them being overlooked and put back into service.
Vestas Offshore UK at Whitstable is part of a worldwide company that dominates the global market in the production of high technological wind power systems, and is typical of the type of organisation that can benefit from using the system – namely a large-scale operator, where safety is of key importance and large quantities of lifting gear need to be monitored and inspected.
Peter Martin, Service Technician at Kentish Flats, is delighted with the ease and simplicity of the system. “CertMan has definitely taken the stress out of the certification and inspection process, giving us more time to focus on our core business.
“Every six months an engineer comes out and makes an inspection of all our lifting gear including Personal Protection Equipment. The service details are then recorded onto CertMan, reports are available from Certex within hours and we can view our equipment register online at any time. This ensures that paper work is always up-to-date, we know when individual inspections are due, and – most importantly – we have peace of mind that safety on site is always being maintained,” he said.
Relevant for both fixed and portable lifting equipment, CertMan produces SI 2307 certificates, full inspection histories for auditing purposes, method statements and product defect reports. Operators are issued with secure ID and passwords and there is on-line technical help on how to use the system.
Charles Gillespie, Director of Sales and Marketing at Certex UK, adds: “CertMan is revolutionary in the lifting industry and offers companies an easy and reliable way of handling their testing and certification. As far as we know, there is no other software package offering such a comprehensive and flexible system.”
In addition to the contract with Vestas at Kentish Flats, Certex provides similar services for the Scroby Sands wind farm off the Norfolk coast through its Erith and Great Yarmouth regional centres; and Certex Denmark also has a contract with the Vestas group for CertMan.