Could Workers Comp Claims Follow Boom In Bakken Wind Farms?

Although a Bakken-area wind boom may never reach the magnitude of the previous boom in oil shale, there are now hundreds of wind turbines in western North Dakota, with hundreds of more on the way. According to Bakken Today, a member of the North Dakota Public Service Commission says that the state's wind capacity is the best in the United States.

Major Wind Projects Underway

In late June, the PSC approved the Brady Wind 1 project, a $250 million project whose output will be purchased by the Basin Electric Power Cooperative. Contractors expect to complete the 87-turbine project by late 2016.

More Wind Farms Increase Accident Potential

With the increased construction and long-term maintenance needs of wind turbines, work accidents are a concern. One such accident just happened on July 3, on a wind farm about fives miles southeast of Pratt, Kansas.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the 41-year-old worker fell approximately 120 feet when a suspended work platform unexpectedly dropped. He and another worker were performing maintenance on the wind turbine when the accident occurred. The man reportedly landed on his back in the mud. He was able to speak with first responders upon their arrival.

Allegedly Lacking a Helmet

According to KWCH News, he was not wearing a helmet. Emergency personnel transported him via medical helicopter to a Wichita hospital. Three days after the accident, authorities said the man remained hospitalized.

Companies engaged in the installation and maintenance of wind turbines are subject to workplace safety requirements administered by OSHA.

When a worker is injured on the job, state workers comp laws address compensation. If you or a family member is a victim in a workplace accident, our firm will provide a legal consultation to you without charge. To learn more about our legal services, please contact us.