Recently Green Mountain Power has installed wind turbines on a 40 MW wind farm in Sheffield. Although the construction of this project created many jobs for Vermont workers, some critics of this project have raised questions to GMP and the State of Vermont regarding the safety of these wind turbines, specifically surrounding the elevators.
According to a recent television news report, an elevator mechanic in the New England elevator industry discovered that the elevators in these 300-foot wind turbines are not being state-inspected like all other elevators in the state of Vermont.
Why aren’t GMP’s wind turbine elevators being state inspected?
The two-person wind turbine elevator carries workers and their gear 260 feet up the tower. The elevator mechanic likened the scenario to “a birdcage on a wire”. These elevators should have to be maintained and inspected to keep workers safe from Vermont work accident injuries.
However, this elevator mechanic found that since Vermont’s wind-turbine elevators do not have to be installed by a licensed elevator mechanic, they are not subject to annual inspections. Inspections include electrical, construction, and life-safety codes.
Although these lifts sway in high winds, which are normal for these types of elevators in towers, it is important to have these elevators inspected for job safety since no one would be able to survive a 260-foot fall.
Critics are now looking to GMP for answers. If work sites are not inspected properly, workers could suffer from a Vermont work injury and employers could be responsible.
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