A report from the Global Landscape of Renewable Energy Finance 2023 indicates that global investment in energy transition technologies, which includes energy efficiency, reached $1.3 trillion last year – 19% from 2021 and 50% from 2019. Investments in building solar and wind farms and the number of renewable energy workers are also expected to grow.
Renewable energy workers like solar panel installers and wind turbine technicians are responsible for creating and maintaining the infrastructure needed to harness renewable energy sources. However, their jobs can also be dangerous, with the risk of falls being one of the most significant hazards they face.
To protect themselves and comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines, renewable energy workers must use appropriate fall protection equipment and techniques. Let’s discuss some of them.
According to OSHA, anchorages are secure attachment points for lifelines, lanyards, or deceleration devices. Anchorages must be able to support around 5,000 pounds of weight per attached worker or must be designed, installed, and used under the supervision of a qualified person to ensure safety.
Anchorages can be permanent or temporary and can include things like steel beams, concrete structures, or specially designed anchor points.
A full-body harness is a piece of personal protective equipment designed to distribute the forces of a fall across the shoulders, chest, waist, hips, and thighs. When properly fitted and worn, a full-body harness can prevent serious injuries or death in the event of a fall.
Full-body harnesses must be constructed of materials that will not stretch excessively and will not melt or ignite when exposed to high heat. They must also be designed to fit the individual worker properly. Workers should never use a harness that is too loose or too tight, as this can increase the risk of injury in the event of a fall.
OSHA guidelines require that employers provide training to all workers who may be exposed to fall hazards on the job. This training must include the proper techniques for climbing, working at heights, and descending safely.
Training must also cover the hazards associated with the renewable energy industry, such as the unique challenges of working on a wind turbine or solar panel installation.
Employers must establish a regular inspection schedule to ensure that all fall protection equipment is in good working condition. Workers must also be trained to inspect their equipment before each use, looking for signs of wear, damage, or other issues that could compromise safety.
Any damaged or worn equipment must be removed from service immediately and replaced.
Proper anchorage points, full-body harnesses, and specialized training can help prevent serious injuries or death in the event of a fall. By prioritizing fall protection, renewable energy companies can create a safer, more sustainable future for all.
Southeast Rigging, Inc.’s fall protection equipment includes anchors and multi-purpose harnesses. We also offer training programs that cover fall protection techniques and equipment. Basically, we have everything you need to ensure your energy worker’s safety and security. Call us at (407) 521-8600 today.