Green Job Hazards
Wind Energy: Medical and First Aid
Wind farms are normally located in remote locations, away from a hospital or other emergency treatment facilities. This is a major concern if a worker gets hurt – how will they be treated quickly? Wind energy employers should determine the estimates of emergency medical service response times for all their wind farm locations for all times of the day and night at which they have workers on duty, and they should use that information when planning their first-aid program. The employers must ensure that medical personnel are available for advice and consultation, and that someone who is trained is available to provide first aid. See OSHA's web page on Medical Services and First Aid for Electric Power Industry pertaining to Two-Person Rule and 4-minute Rescue.
Trained first-aid providers must be available at all wind farms of any size, if there is no nearby clinic or a hospital. If a worker is expected to render first aid as part of his or her job duties, the worker is covered by the requirements of the Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens standard. This standard includes specific training requirements.
OSHA’s Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution standard requires that workers are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), because a worker who may be exposed to an electric shock may experience a sudden cardiac arrest. In such adverse situations, automated external defibrillators (AEDs) can also assist in preventing a potential death. AEDs should be provided at wind farms and workers should be trained in how to use them. This training can be done when CPR training is provided to workers.
For further information on medical and first aid, OSHA’s Medical and First Aid page should be consulted. OSHA’s publication on First Aid Program is another resource that can be used.