Unite calls on HSE to act now to stiffen the laws governing the construction and maintenance of windfarms.
A 74-year-old worker died after he became stranded in heavy snow while working on a wind farm in East Ayrshire on the weekend of 20 and 21 January. The man, who has not been named yet, and a younger colleague were left without heat or power at Craigdarroch Farm in New Cumnock. It is understood they struggled to call for help but it is not known how long they were in difficulty. Police Scotland’s Mountain Rescue Team traced the pair after the alarm was finally raised on Sunday night, 21 January. The elderly man was airlifted to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but died a short time later.
Stevie Dillion of Unite Scotland said: “How long is it going to be before the Government and HSE take action to prevent these totally avoidable deaths? How many more workers will perish because nothing has been done to establish proper legal safeguards for the construction and maintenance of wind farms?”
HSE are currently investigating two other deaths on windfarms and are due to make recommendations regarding health and safety issues. Unite are currently investigating the dangers of wind farm working across Scotland.
Stevie Dillon said: “Our experience shows that some of the conditions which workers on windfarms have to put up with represent a return to the ‘bad old days’ in the construction industry before unionisation. Of course the laws governing wind farms should be a special case. But right now Unite is building the union on wind farm sites to fight for better terms and safer working conditions.”