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Fri September 21 2018

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Union seeks improvements in wind farm working conditions

25 Jan Working conditions on remote wind farm sites are under the spotlight after the death of man on a site last weekend.

Wind farms are typically in remote locations
Wind farms are typically in remote locations

The Unite union is seeking to organise wind farm construction and maintenance workers to strengthen their representation and campaign for improvements in their working conditions.

A 74-year-old worker died last weekend after he became stranded in heavy snow while working on a wind farm in East Ayrshire. The man, whose name has not been made public yet, and a younger colleague were left without heat or power at Craigdarroch Farm in New Cumnock.

It is understood they struggled to call for help but it is not known how long they were in difficulty.  Police Scotland's Mountain Rescue Team traced the pair after the alarm was finally raised on Sunday night, 21st January. The elderly man was airlifted to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but died a short time later.

The Health & Safety Executive is already investigating two other deaths on windfarms, Unite says. Unite Scotland is now calling for stronger legal provisions for wind farm working and wants the HSE to stiffen the laws governing the construction and maintenance of windfarms.

Stevie Dillion of Unite Scotland said: “Our experience shows that some of the conditions which workers on windfarms have to put up with represent a return to the ‘bad old days’ in the construction industry before unionisation. Of course the laws governing wind farms should be a special case. But right now Unite is building the union on wind farm sites to fight for better terms and safer working conditions.”

MPU

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