Law Office of Leslie S. Shaw, A.P.C. - Workers' Compensation

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Workplace injuries: Wind turbine installation and maintenance

Building and servicing wind turbines in San Diego County is a dangerous job. The different construction stages pose different hazards and require appropriate safety precautions to prevent workplace injuries. Employers must comply with the relevant safety regulations for construction and maintenance.

During the installation process, the safety standards the Occupational Safety and health Administration prescribes for construction projects must be followed. Regulations include providing workers with personal fall protection equipment or safety nets and guardrails. Along with this, workers must receive adequate practical training in preventing falls, and also techniques for arresting falls. Employers must also enforce the use of personal protective equipment and focus on preventing complacency.

Different standards exist for employee safety during the maintenance phase of the turbines. Here, OSHA’s general standards become effective, including the need for railings on any elevated work areas higher than four feet above another level. Railings might not be a practical or available solution when it comes to wind turbines, and instead, fall arrest systems or safety nets must be used. Further hazards are posed by dropped tools, which are mitigated by attaching tools to tool belts. Specific rules exist for equipment that weighs more than five pounds.

San Diego workers who are dealing with the financial consequences of workplace injuries can file workers’ compensation benefits claims with the state-regulated insurance program. Many workers choose to utilize the services of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to assist with the navigation of the administrative and legal steps of the claims process. Along with compensation to cover medical expenses, benefits typically include a portion of lost wages.