Health & Safety

Donald Trump will appear before the Scottish Government’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee today and is expected to heavily criticise the Government’s ongoing commitment to wind energy.

Whilst Trump’s criticism is anticipated to focus on the effects to tourism and industry, I wonder whether health and safety will enter the debate. There have been approximately 5 fatalities over the last 5 years and some concern has also been expressed over the rate of non-fatal accidents (suggested at around 1,500 over the last 5 years). Unfortunately, the HSE do not record specific statistics for the wind energy sector so it can be difficult to ascertain the safety record within the industry.

Trump’s appearance comes hot on the heels of two recent stories that had caught my attention. On 13 April, a construction worker was killed whilst working on the Beauly – Denny power line upgrade, the project which will connect renewable energy to the national grid. And yesterday at Stirling Sheriff Court, Nordex UK, a wind turbine manufacturer, admitted breaching health and safety laws following the death of a worker who suffered a fall at the Earlsburn wind farm near Fintry in 2007. The Sheriff has continued that case to ascertain the company’s finances before determining the level of fine to impose.

The Renewables debate is bound to ramble on so if the industry can address health and safety concerns and drive up standards, that ought to assist the case in their favour.

Health and Safety