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Fri May 07 2021

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Call for windfarm safety spotlight

4 Apr 17 Trades union representatives are calling for action on windfarm safety and welfare after two deaths in a fortnight.

The Unite union, which now also includes the former Ucatt construction union, said that it appeared that safety on windfarm construction sites was not getting the same attention as it usually does on sites in less remote areas.

On 15th March Antonio Joao Da Silva Linares, a 37-year-old Portuguese worker, was killed from a fall at Scottish Power’s Kilgallioch Windfarm in South Ayrshire. He was working for contractor Gamesa.

Then on 29th March a Spanish worker fell to his death from a turbine at Scottish Power’s Whitelee Windfarm in East Renfrewshire.

Unite regional co-ordinating officer Steve Dillon said: “These two deaths are terrible tragedies and our thoughts go to the families of the two victims.

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 “In recent years there have been far too many deaths and injuries involving windfarms. These installations are usually in remote locations and there is a concern that these tragedies have not received the same focus if here had occurred in more populous areas.

“Swift action needs to be taken to improve workers’ and wellbeing and to understand how and why these incidents occurred. The Health & Safety Executive needs to bring together all concerned together to learn the lessons and improve safety and welfare in this sector.”

There have also been questions about the safety of lifts inside wind turbine columns since a failure at a windfarm in Storkow, Germany, in 2015. This resulted in some wind turbine manufacturers issuing safety alerts prohibiting use of certain specific service lift brands, resulting in a lot more ladder climbing in the industry.

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