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Exclusive interview with LM Wind Power

25 November 2014

Hand protection in the Renewable energy sector, LM Wind Power’s innovative answer.

Does it make sense to consider OSH in green jobs? Definitely yes! The renewable energy market includes many high-risk situations, especially for hands. But with a dynamic and preventive approach, it is possible to reduce risks for sure.

LM Wind Power is not just an actor among others on the wind power market. ‘We are a market leader in the manufacture and supply of wind turbine blades for over three decades now, serving our customers from manufacturing facilities all over the world,‘’ explains Nils Mogensen, Senior Manager, Global Safety Excellence HSE at LM Wind Power. A leading position equally true with regard to its OSH answers.

‘’Our commitment to continuous improvement and quality goes hand-in-hand with our HSE management policy. That’s what our customers expect from us when they visit our factories before making their decision. By the way, we should have implemented the Occupational Health & Safety management system standard OHSAS 18001 for all of our plants, by the end of this year.’’ This would position the company as a precursor in the Renewable Energy sector.

LM Wind Power’s first priority is the safety and health of its employees. Therefore, using personal protective equipments and relying on a very secure partner such as Mapa Professionnel for hand protection solutions is just obvious. ‘’We do sell very qualitative products renowned for their reliability,’’ underlines Henri Gindre, Export Sales Director at Mapa Professionnel. Nils Mogensen confirms: ‘In our experience, they deserve the good reputation of their products, as well as of their customer service as their team is very quick to react.’’

Supplying hand protection solutions everywhere

A good reputation, a true sense of customer service… is that enough ? What are the other Mapa Professionnel’s strenghs? ‘’We offer a wide range of products and even more than that: as says our slogan, there’s a solution for every hand that works’’ stresses Henri Gindre. This means the glove manufacturer has the capacity to take into account all kinds of needs. ‘’Having one and only one single contact for every use and wherever our facilities are, is clearly an advantage, admits Nils Mogensen. A major distinctive feature of our market is that we have to produce not too far from the installation sites. So it helps if Mapa Professionnel can follow us all over the world.’’ 

Difficulties and solutions

From the supplier’s side, answering to LM Wind Power’s demand was not that easy. Indeed, LM Wind Power operates in 8 countries (Denmark, Spain, Poland, Canada, USA, India, China,and Brazil) and across 3 continents. Not to mention the need for different types of hand protection. ‘’A major difficulty is that our gloves have to fit for various situations and exterior conditions,‘’ Nils Mogensen admits. 

Yesterday’s difficulties, today’s solutions! ‘’First of all, we have helped our clients in assessing their own specifications. LM Wind Power provided samples of all chemicals they are using to our R&D center in order for us to perform extensive tests and determine for them the good glove for the right use,’’ Henri Gindre remembers. ‘’I have to say that Mapa Professionnel took every situation and detail into account and that was very reassuring’’, Nils Mogensen recounts.

A precursor in the Renewable Energy sector

Among all identified needs, cut resistant gloves… as some of LM Wind Power’s operators manipulate glass fibres at the beginning of the production process. ‘’But our activity also requires chemical resistant gloves during the following phases, called hand lay-up and repairs. Creating moulds and using resin and a mixture between polyester and hardener, we’ve asked Mapa to develop a tailor-made glove for us, Nils Mogensen explains. And this is exactly what they did, elaborating a 30-minutes-resistant glove. Usual chemical gloves were lasting only 5 to 7 minutes and that was a real problem as our process does not allow any interruption. Mapa Professionnel was the one and only manufacturer able to meet this specific demand.’’ Yes, there definitely is a solution for every hand that works. 

In terms of quantity, Mapa Professionnel will supply almost one million pairs of gloves to LM Wind Power. Thanks to its rich history and expertise in chemical, cut resistant and thermal gloves, one of the top players in hand protection solutions clearly succeeds in offering a new experience in the Renewable Energy sector. In the meantime, LM Wind Power’s global and innovative approach might inspire other actors.  

Key figures:

LM Wind Power

More than 166,000 wind turbine blades since 1978

5,122 employees

€488 million in 2013

 

Picture © LM Wind Power