The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) formed an alliance focused on preventing worker exposures to electrical, crane and fall hazards in the wind-energy industry.
“As part of the emerging green jobs industry, wind-energy jobs promise to be kinder to our environment and transform our economy, but these jobs are not necessarily safer for American workers,” said David Michaels, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant secretary of labor for Occupational Safety and Health. “I am confident that our alliance with AWEA will further OSHA’s mission to ensure that wind-energy workers are protected from preventable injuries and death.”
During the two-year agreement, OSHA and AWEA intend to develop materials for workers that address wind-energy maintenance and operations hazards. They will also hold forums to discuss these hazards and are intended to raise awareness among workers and employers of OSHA’s rulemaking and enforcement initiatives through sharing information on workplace safety and health standards.
AWEA is a national trade association representing 2,500 member companies, who employ approximately 85,000 workers, include wind turbine manufacturers and component suppliers, utilities and renewable-energy supporters, and researchers.
OSHA’s Green Jobs Hazards web page (www.osha.gov/dep/greenjobs/index.html) describes workplace hazards and worker safety and health information in the wind-energy industry and other green industries, including solar, geothermal energy, recycling and weather insulating/sealing.
Through OSHA’s official Alliance Program, OSHA works with groups committed to worker safety and health to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. These groups include unions, consulates, trade or professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses, and educational institutions. OSHA and the groups work together to develop compliance-assistance tools and resources, share information with workers and employers, and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. Alliance Program participants do not receive exemptions from OSHA programmed inspections.