Safety in the Renewable Energy Industry
There are many benefits to renewable energy.
Renewable energy is a clean, inexhaustible alternative to fossil fuels, which contribute to a significant portion of greenhouse gases worldwide. But despite the industry’s advantages, many people have overlooked the safety repercussions for field workers.
These are the most significant safety concerns for employees who work in renewable energy:
Work Safety: Renewable Energy vs. Fossil Fuels
What’s the difference between the safety risks in the renewable energy and fossil fuel sectors? It’s important to note that each industry has similar concerns, which are mainly fall hazards and electrical currents. Further, confined spaces in power plants and other workspaces are risks.
Each sector also presents unique challenges. Those who work in the coal industry won’t always encounter the same challenges as workers in the solar industry. These environments involve different processes. That’s why coal’s mortality rate per terawatt-hour is higher than solar’s by a large margin.
But even though the renewable energy sector may be safer, workers can still face occupational threats daily.
Common Hazards in the Renewable Energy Industry
The hazards renewable energy workers encounter are often universal issues that people in similar fields experience. That said, clean power alternatives, like wind, have specific challenges that increase safety risks for operators and mechanics. This industry isn’t immune to threats.
Here are a few to consider:
1. Machinery Misuse
Between geothermal pumps and wind turbines, renewable energy features unique equipment and tools. For example, solar energy requires an array of photovoltaic modules to source power, so workers must know how to install them. This task requires specific knowledge.