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Safety rules vital to avoid injured workers at wind farms

A former wind technician is involved at the Colorado's Ecotech Institute, which focuses on renewable energy fields and the careers they offer -- along with the safety hazards posed by each industry. He says the prevalence of injured workers among wind technicians can only be addressed by compliance with safety regulations. Furthermore, different safety equipment is used at various wind farms, and technicians should be trained and practiced to correctly use the equipment at each site.

Typical hazards they face include working at dangerous heights, high-voltage electricity, rotating overhead equipment and weather conditions that may vary from extreme cold to extreme heat along with wind and rainstorms. Another problem that wind techs may face is the remoteness of many wind turbine locations and the distance from rescue services for emergencies. For these reasons, comprehensive knowledge of safety regulations is essential.

The five primary hazards for which workers must be equipped as far as safety goes are wearing personal protective equipment, being vigilant of height-related dangers, preventing dropped tools and initiating lock-out/tag-out procedures. When it comes to PPE, workers need steel-tipped shoes, hard hats, fall protection and more. They must comply with the three-point contact rule that requires employees always to have three points of contact with every step they take while climbing. Every single tool they use must be securely tied off, and no work must be done without de-energizing the equipment.

Injured workers in Colorado are entitled to pursue financial assistance to cope with medical expenses and lost income. Those who suffered catastrophic injuries in falls from heights or other injuries caused by hazards on wind turbines might seek additional benefits such as vocational rehabilitation if their injuries rendered them incapable of returning to the same position. Experienced workers' compensation attorneys are available to provide guidance and support throughout the claims process.

Source: windpowerengineering.com, "Safety tips all wind techs should know", Michelle Froese, June 14, 2017

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