Wind farms. They can be an interesting place for somebody to work, but also surprisingly dangerous.
In the United States, there are about 167 wind turbine injuries per year.
If you are someone that is considering working on a wind farm, perhaps you are reading this article to find out what you are getting into.
What should you expect if you are going to work on a wind farm? Is it a safe work environment?
These are the most common workplace injuries in this industry.
When you work on a wind farm, you are exposed to large wind turbines that can produce a large amount of electricity at one time. When this happens, there is a chance that you can get some unwanted exposure to that electricity.
This can be anything from grabbing the wrong ramp at the wrong time to working with a voltage box that blows a fuse. Nevertheless, the risk of this happening to you is there if you are working closely with wind turbines.
So, what should you do if a situation like this comes up for you? Well, the first thing you should do is to try to let go of the source of electricity immediately.
If that is not possible, then find something to stand on or grab that can keep you grounded. That can be anything from rubber to a mat.
Unfortunately, you may run into a situation where this is unavoidable. If that is the case for you, get medical treatment as soon as you can.
On top of possible electric shock, something else that you need to look out for with wind turbines is possible fires that can happen. While it is not a scenario anyone wants to deal with, it is a possibility due to the confined spaces that you are working in, along with the amount of electricity flowing through this area.
This can happen if blades are not properly lubricated, if there is a potential overload in electricity, and if the turbine itself catches on fire. If this happens, there may not be a lot that you can do as a worker to completely avoid the fire.
Now, the chances of a fire happening on an actual wind turbine are pretty slim. However, it may be more likely than you could expect. The estimated chances of this happening are for 1 in 2,000 wind turbines.
That means that if you are one of those unlucky people that are working on that 2,000th turbine, you need to be prepared. There should be safety devices that can get you down if you are caught in a fire in the air.
However, the risks of fires should not be forgotten. Besides the obvious risk of death, it is possible to develop severe burns if you do not escape a fire in time. There should be drills and escape measures put in place to make sure that employees are not caught in a compromised position.
This means that you should know what to do if there is a fire in a narrow working area and know what to do if there is a fire on the wind turbine that you are working on.
It is no secret that you could be working from great heights on a wind farm. For this reason, you must look out for falling objects while you are on this property.
You need to be aware of your surroundings because from the heights that some workers are working on wind turbines, there can be a lot of momentum from there to the ground for falling objects.
Let’s say that you are working on a wind turbine that is about 300 feet high. You have some tools up there with you to help work on this. However, you drop a hammer and now, that hammer is dropping 300 feet toward the ground.
How big of a deal is this? Think of it this way, a hammer can hurt if you swing it regularly on the ground.
Now, imagine 300 feet of height to have it gain momentum before it hits something on the ground. If you drop a baseball from 300 feet, it will hit the ground at 75 miles per hour.
So, imagine if you get hit by a hammer or another sharp tool at 75 miles per hour. This can lead to brain injuries, broken bones, or even death.
That is why it is so important to always be aware of your surroundings and to always take extra safety precautions when you are working in areas like this from a great height. Doing that can help increase the safety of yourself and others in that area.
Another part of the wind turbine that you should be aware of is the towers that connect the wind turbines to the rest of the structure. Somebody has to go into those towers to make sure that everything is working properly. Whoever that person is needs to be prepared for all of the risks that can happen there.
The most common risk of working on the towers is the possibility of getting stuck. For claustrophobic people, this can easily lead them to panic and do more harm than good.
An example could be getting stuck in this area and hurting yourself trying to break out of there with the limited space that you have. Also, because you cannot move around much in this area, you can hit a sharp object in these areas and cut yourself.
One of the worst things that can happen in these towers is if the fires that were mentioned up top happen in here. It can lead to you having no escape until reinforcements arrive. This can lead to the risk of severe burns or even death.
So, before you start working in these towers, make sure that you know the risks of going into them and what to do in case of an emergency.
Finally, a potential reason why a wind turbine accident can happen is because of the equipment that you are working with. Essentially, workers rely on certain equipment to keep themselves safe working in this environment and to help ensure that everything on a wind farm runs smoothly.
So, what happens if something is faulty? Well, it can lead to injuries for yourself or injuries for others.
For example, there may be a rope put in place that employees can use to climb down from certain heights in case of an incident or a fire. Employees use certain safety equipment to strap themselves into this rope.
Well, what if it snaps? What if the rope breaks? It can lead to a tragedy of an employee falling to their death or at best, serious medical injuries that could lead to permanent physical limitations.
Regardless, it is something that an employee and a company need to be aware of. Otherwise, it could lead to an incident like the one described above.
What to Do After an Injury
So, you may have suffered an injury from one of the things above. What do you do about it when it happens?
The first thing that you should do is get immediate medical attention. This is important not only for your personal health but also because it can help you gather stronger evidence if you want to file a personal injury claim.
Once you do that, talk to your company and see what kind of insurance coverage and workman’s compensation that you can get. If you do this and find out it is not enough to cover the damages that you received because of this injury, then it will be time to contact a wind farm attorney.
Look up lawyers that have experience working in this type of field for personal injury cases. Those that have this experience will know what little things go into wind farm injury incidents and will know how to deal with your employer and the insurance company involved.
Hire a Wind Farm Lawyer
These are the potential reasons why you could get injured if you work on a wind farm. While it can be an interesting work environment, certain things make it a less safe working environment.
This includes potential fires, faulty equipment, electric shocks, falling objects, and more.
Are you looking for a wind farm lawyer in Houston, Texas? Schedule a free consultation with us today to get started on your case.