Despite its association with carbon-based fuels, the state of Oklahoma has a surprisingly large number of wind energy farms. Off the coast of Rhode Island, however, the first wind farm being constructed offshore has encountered some problems. Because of this, the construction is being closely monitored. Located on Block Island, many safety and health problems were experienced during the early construction of this five-turbine project.
The CEO of the developer, Deepwater Wind, has stated that the construction project will meet construction and safety standards at the highest level. By the close of 2016, the power produced by this wind farm should power up to 17,000 houses. Nine leases have been issued so far by the government for the construction of offshore wind farms.
According to the report of one inspector at the site, employees have almost been struck with objects that were dropped, and some were found working underneath loads that were suspended. In addition, older cranes used were not appropriate for the environment and rigging equipment repeatedly failed. At one point, damage was caused to the foundation of the structure when a barge struck it, followed by the collision of several cranes while operating at night.
Deepwater Wind has adopted some recommendations to implement safety measures, along with safety officers on each of the barges. The measures include the review of practices. Another report noted a lack of weld maps. However, upon inspection, the welds were found to be in good condition.
Workplace safety is important to avoid an accident, and employers have the responsibility to ensure that procedures are in place to protect workers. An individual injured on the job may face medical costs and lost time from work. In many cases, workers’ compensation benefits may be available to help cover some of these financial losses. An attorney who has experience in workers’ compensation law can often assist an injured worker with the preparation and filing of the required claim.