Many times in the wind energy industry, it isn't a fall from a wind turbine that necessitates a rescue. Workers can slip, trip or be hit by falling objects. Electrical and mechanical issues can play a part in workers needing to be rescued, as can their fitness and weather conditions. All are potential hazards that can cause accidents when working in and around wind turbines, according to an article on EHS Today.
But calling 911 isn't a solution for these rescues, the article says. Wind towers often are in isolated locations, and more time is needed for rescue crews to reach the scene. In addition, many emergency personnel lack the equipment and experience necessary to rescue a worker stranded at height. And, due to the height of wind towers, use of conventional rescue tactics from the ground nearly is impossible.
Jeff Wild, technical manager for DEUS Rescue, maintains in the article that rescue training must be incorporated into fall protection plans. "Proper planning can make a real difference in successfully rescuing workers when an accident occurs. The ultimate test of any rescue plan is in the execution. Of course, repetitive training is the key to ensuring workers take the appropriate actions when a real emergency occurs," he writes.
The article goes over OSHA requirements and ANSI standards, and highlights exactly what rescue plans should consider.