How Many Accidents Are Caused by Wind Turbines?
Climate change and renewable energy is a hot topic, and wind turbines are increasingly popular. But even with all this talk of “green energy,” many people are still concerned about the safety of these massive structures, wondering how many accidents they cause.
There are not many statistics surrounding wind turbine accidents, but there seems to be more than is often spoken about. What do you do if you’re involved in one such accident? Read on to learn more.
What Are Wind Turbines?
Wind turbines are structures that use the wind to generate electricity. They have three blades that rotate around a central column, and the generator produces electricity whenever the blades attached to it spin.
How Many Accidents Do Wind Turbines Cause?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as no central database tracks all accidents caused by wind turbines. However, the National Wind Watch Organization has compiled a list of over 200 reported accidents at wind farms in the United States since 2009.
Most of these accidents result from malfunctioning equipment or human error rather than the wind turbines themselves. For example, in one accident, a worker fell asleep while working on the turbine, and another happened while a worker was trying to fix a broken wire and was electrocuted in the process.
There have also been a few accidents where the wind turbine blades broke off and fell to the ground. In one case, a blade fell off and hit a car driving past the turbine. Fortunately, no one was injured in this incident.
While it is difficult to say exactly how many accidents happen as a result of wind turbines, it is clear that they do pose a certain amount of risk. However, it is important to remember that most of these accidents are due to human error or malfunctioning equipment rather than the turbines themselves.
The Type of Accidents Wind Turbines Cause
Wind turbines are a controversial topic – while some proponents claim that they are a clean and efficient energy source, others assert that they are dangerous and ineffective. One well-kept secret is the number of accidents and tragedies caused by wind turbines.
Many reported collapsing wind turbines, blades flying off, workers and the general public being injured, and fatality accidents. Of the fatalities, 67 were wind energy industry and direct supporter staff or small turbine operators, while 32 were public fatalities.
While the debate over the efficacy of wind turbines rages on, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers they pose.
Ice Throws and Wind Turbines
While the number of accidents caused by wind turbines is relatively low, one type of accident seems more common: ice throws. Ice throws occur when large chunks of ice are thrown from the turbine blades and land on nearby homes, businesses, or people.
There have been several reports of ice throws in recent years, and the problem is getting worse as more and more turbines are built in cold climates.
In one incident, a piece of ice thrown from a turbine blade smashed through the windshield of a car driving past the turbine. Fortunately, the driver was not injured.
In another incident, a man was walking near a wind farm when he was hit in the head by a piece of ice thrown from a turbine blade. The man suffered a serious concussion and was hospitalized.
Wind Turbine Fires
Wind turbine fires are another type of accident that can occur. These fires usually start when the turbine’s gearbox overheats and can cause extensive damage to the turbine and surrounding area.
At Piet De Witt Farm in the Netherlands, a fire that started in a turbine’s gearbox spread to the rest of the turbine, causing over €1 million in damage. In Texas, a fire that began in a turbine’s gearbox spread to the nearby forest, burning over 200 hectares of land.
While wind turbine fires are not as common as other types of accidents, they are damaging and costly. This is why it is important for turbine operators to regularly inspect and maintain their turbines to reduce the risk of a fire. Operators should also have a plan for dealing with a fire if one does occur.
Blade Flying Off
Another type of accident that can occur is when a turbine blade comes flying off. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including severe weather, improper maintenance, or manufacturing defects.
When a turbine blade comes flying off, it can cause extensive damage to nearby homes, businesses, or people.
In New York, there was an incident of wind turbine blades flying off, smashing a car, and an illuminated billboard. In another incident, a turbine blade flew off and hit a man walking nearby, and the man suffered serious injuries and was again hospitalized.
One of the most dangerous types of accidents that can occur is an exploding turbine. This usually happens when the turbine’s gearbox overheats and causes a fire that spreads to the turbine’s blades. When the blades explode, they can fly off and cause damage to nearby homes, businesses, or people.
In one incident, an exploding turbine caused $1 million in damage to a nearby home. Fortunately, no one was injured in this incident.
Leaking Mineral Oil
Sometimes, turbines leak mineral oil, and this happens as hoses fail and maintenance is not performed on a regular schedule or simply with age.
This mineral oil is dangerous if it comes into contact with people or animals, and it can also seep into the ground and contaminate nearby water supplies.
Preventing Accidents at Wind Farms
Wind farm accidents are not common but cause serious incidents when they occur. Owners and operators of wind farms should take the following basic precautions to prevent these incidents from happening:
- Regularly inspect and maintain turbines
- Have a plan in place for dealing with fires
- Educate workers on safety procedures
- Ensure that all safety equipment is in good condition
- Post warning signs around the wind farm
By taking these precautions, operators can help to reduce the risk of accidents at their wind farms.
What To Do If You’re Injured in a Wind Farm Accident
If you or someone you know suffers injuries in a wind farm accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. You should also contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.
This is also the case if your property suffers damage from a wind turbine. A lawyer can help you assess the damage and determine whether you are entitled to compensation.
What Will a Wind Farm Attorney Do?
A wind farm attorney will review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a valid claim. Your lawyer will help you gather evidence and build a strong case if you have a claim. The first step in this process is to contact a lawyer for a free consultation. They will investigate whether you have a case and how much your claim is worth. Investigations need to be thorough to ensure you have the best chance at a successful outcome.
Your lawyer will also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. It is important to have an experienced lawyer on your side to ensure you get the full amount of compensation you deserve. The insurance company will try to lowball you, but a lawyer will fight for the maximum amount of compensation.
You should not have to worry about how you will pay for your medical bills or property damage. A lawyer will help you get the compensation you need to cover these costs.
What Are the Time Limits for Filing a Claim?
Every state has its own time limits for filing a claim. These time limits are known as statutes of limitations. If you do not file a claim within this time period, you will be unable to receive compensation for your injuries.
It is important to note that the time limit may not apply in every case. If you are filing a claim against the government, you may have a shorter time frame to file your claim than usual. If you are unsure whether time limits apply to your case, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
You should also be aware that the time limit for filing a property damage claim differs from the time limit for filing a personal injury claim. A lawyer can help you with all these details.
Seek Expert help after a Wind Turbine Accident
While wind turbine accidents are not as common as other types of accidents, they can be very destructive. There are a variety of different accidents that can occur at wind farms, and some are fatal. If you’re working at a wind farm, it’s important to be aware of the dangers and know what to do if an accident does occur.
Contact a wind farm accident lawyer if you or a loved one experience injury from a wind farm accident. Our team of experienced lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve.