Today's News / Compliance

Green job hazards: wind energy - falls

July 26, 2012
KEYWORDS fall / ladder / protection / wind / workers
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

wind powerWorkers who erect and maintain wind turbines can be exposed to fall hazards. Wind turbines vary in height, but can be more than 100 feet tall. Exposure to high winds may make work at high elevations even more hazardous. OSHA has different fall protection requirements for construction (installation of towers) and general industry (maintenance).

During installation, workers may need to access individual turbine sections to weld/fit individual sections together, run electrical or other lines, and install/test equipment - often at heights greater than 100 feet. Construction workers on wind farms when exposed to fall distances of 6 feetor more must be protected from falls by using one of the following methods:

Maintenance work involving wind turbines is generally considered to fall under OSHA’s general industry standards. Such workers when exposed to fall hazards of 4 feetor more must be protected by a standard railing. If such a railing is not possible then the workers must be protected from falls through the use of personal protective equipmentsuch as a personal fall arrest system or a safety net.

Additionally, general industry workers engaged in maintenance of the wind turbines may have to climb up the turbine towers using fixed ladders. While climbing a fixed ladder (exceeding 20 feet in length) on these towers, a ladder equipped with a cage or well must have a landing platform every 30 feet; a ladder not so equipped must have a landing platform every 20 feet. See 29 CFR 1910.27(d)(2). Ladder safety devices may be used on wind tower ladders over 20 feet in unbroken length in lieu of cage protection. No landing platform is required in these cases. See 29 CFR 1910.27(d)(5).

Some additional resources on fall protection are provided below:

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASSE Safety 2014 Review

A gallery of photos from the sprawling Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 8-11. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

9/30/14 2:00 pm EST

Leveraging Sustainability Initiatives to Benefit Your Community and Increase Compliance

This webinar will review how General Motors' Sustainability initiatives are being leveraged to improve the community and the environment, create efficient energy programs, improve sustainability tracking, impact on processes and overall reporting and improve overall social, environmental and corporate sustainability.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN SEPTEMBER 2014 COVER

2014 September

ISHN'S September issue features a series of essay on thought leadership. Get expert advice on self-motivation, compliance and more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - SEPTEMBER 2014

ISHN FDO SEPTEMBER 2014For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THE SEPTEMBER 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.