in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has fined Siemens Power Generation Inc. a total of $10,500 for safety violations related to an Aug. 25, 2007, wind turbine tower collapse that killed one worker and injured another.

The event took place at the Klondike III Wind Farm near Wasco, where three wind technicians were performing maintenance on a wind turbine tower. After applying a service brake to stop the blades from moving, one of the workers entered the hub of the turbine. He then positioned all three blades to the maximum wind resistance position and closed all three energy isolation devices on the blades.

The devices are designed to control the mechanism that directs the blade pitch so workers don't get injured while they are working in the hub. Before leaving the confined space, the worker did not return the energy isolation devices to the operational position. As a result, when he released the service brake, wind energy on the out-of-position blades caused an "overspeed" condition, causing one of the blades to strike the tower and the tower to collapse, the Oregon OSHA investigation found.

During the investigation, Oregon OSHA found several violations of safety rules.

Workers were not properly instructed and supervised in the safe operation of machinery, tools, equipment, process or practice they were authorized to use or apply. The technicians working on the turbine each had less than two months' experience, and there was no supervisor on site.

In addition, the company's procedures for controlling potentially hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities did not fully comply with Oregon OSHA regulations. Oregon OSHA requirements include developing, documenting and using detailed procedures and applying lockout or tagout devices to secure hazardous energy in a "safe" or "off" position during service or maintenance.

Finally, employees who were required to enter the hub (a permit-required confined space) or act as attendants to employees entering the hub had not been trained in emergency rescue procedures from the hub.

Siemens Power Generation has 30 days to appeal the citation.

IowaDeptEconDevel_id1863

Trachte Inc._id1770
Latest Top Stories

Report Disputes U.S. Agency's Renewable Energy Projections

A new analysis from the Sun Day Campaign says renewables are slated to provide 16% of U.S. generating capacity by 2018 - over 20 years earlier than forecast by the Energy Information Administration.


Kansas Renewables Mandate Survives Yet Another Attack, But Is It Too Early To Celebrate?

Over the past three years, some legislators have tried to either weaken or repeal the state's renewable portfolio standard, which requires Kansas utilities to reach 20% renewables by 2020.


AWEA Highlights U.S. Wind Success Stories Of 2013

Despite a 92% drop in new capacity last year, the sector still has myriad reasons to celebrate, according to a new report from the American Wind Energy Association.


Feds List New Bird Species As Threatened - Should Wind Developers Be Worried?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is designating the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. An expert explains how this might affect the wind industry.


Senate Committee Passes Bill With Two-Year PTC Extension

The Senate Finance Committee has voted on a tax extenders package, which includes both the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit, and sent it to the floor.

JLG_id1900
Acciona_id1907
WomenofWind_id
UEA_id1896
AWEA_id1886
bonfiglioli_id1913