Accidents & Safety

I’ve been concerned about safely working with wind energy since 1976 when I nearly killed myself taking down a 1930s-era windcharger. While wind energy is an environmentally beneficial technology–and that’s the reason we need to use it–it can and has killed. Consequently, I’ve been tracking fatal accidents in wind energy since I wrote an obituary for a colleague, Terry Mehrkam, in 1981. For this reason, my books on wind energy have always included a section on safety.

Latest News

Worker dies in Tarifa after being trapped in a wind turbine


External Source

A worker lost his life on Friday, 28 July, in Tarifa (Cadiz) after being trapped in a wind turbine, according to the emergency services. The event occurred at around midday, when the 112 emergency telephone operators handled a call from a worker who was trapped in the hub (the part of the machine where a shaft is supported and rotates) of a turbine, at a height of 130 metres. The turbine was located at kilometre 90 of the N-340. Emergency services, including a helicopter ambulance, the Guardia CIvil, fire brigade and police were deployed to the scene. The health services on the scene were only able to confirm the death of the worker. No further information has been released on how this incident occurred.

Latest News

‘Extreme caution’ as Hull’s first large wind turbine to be taken down following major blaze


External Source

The turbine was built back in 2008 along the banks of the River Hull. Standing at an astonishing 125m, it has been a part of the Hull skyline for over 15 years.

Viking Shetland wind farm: Man dies at Upper Kergord construction site


Jody Harrison

A 23-year-old man has died after he was injured at a windfarm construction site in Shetland.

Guilty plea by Kerry windfarm firm over the death of employee in Sligo landslide


Paul Deering

Patrick McCaffrey (37) from Rossinver, Co Leitrim died at Derrysallagh wind farm

Probe launched after death at Austrian wind farm


Craig Richard

Service provider dies after falling around 100 metres while installing Enercon turbine at a wind farm in eastern Austria

Dismissal of Charges Sought in Death of Skookumchuck Wind Farm Worker


Emily Fitzgerald

Three of the five codefendants charged with manslaughter for their alleged involvement in the death of a Chehalis man who died in January 2020 when a trench collapsed during construction of the Skookumchuck Wind Farm have filed motions asking Lewis County Superior Court to dismiss all charges against them.

Firms fined £900,000 over Ayrshire wind farm worker’s death


Two firms have been fined nearly £900,000 over the death of a security worker left in freezing conditions at a wind farm in East Ayrshire.

19 2 44 Gipe Wind Breath Of Life Or Kiss Of Death Analysis Of Wind Energy Fatalities Public Jpg

Wind—the Breath of Life or the Kiss of Death: Analysis of Wind Energy Fatalities


Paul Gipe

Presentation to Winterwind 2021 21 April on a Comparison of Wind’s Fatalities to that of Other Industries. Wind energy’s hazards, like its appearance on the landscape, are readily apparent. Wind energy hides no latent killers, no black lung, for example. When wind kills, it does so directly and with gruesome effect.

Family of Chehalis Man Killed at Wind Farm Site Settles Wrongful Death Claim for $12 Million


Eric Rosane

The family of a Chehalis wind farm worker who died last year while on the job has settled a wrongful death claim for $12 million after filing suit in King County Superior Court.

Worker falls to death inside wind turbine tower in California


Leigh Collins

Mario Contreras Jr was working for Site Constructors Inc at an unidentified project near Palm Springs

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Tower Climbing Safety


In 2013 I pulled together some links to documents on safety relative to the wind industry. These topics went beyond simply tower climbing safety and safety at height and included work around rotating machinery and other common industrial hazards. Unfortunately, the industry has changed dramatically in the past decade. Most safety documents once freely available are now securely hidden by paywalls. Moreover, even the wind energy trade associations where these documents were once located have ceased to exist, merging with other renewable trade associations. Some of the British documents are still available and I’ve provide links to them. I found one public document on the off shore industry in the USA.


Great Britain

North America


Contact the Clean Power Association.

Worker Health and Safety on Offshore Wind Farms, Transportation Research Board, 2012.


Contact the Canadian Renewable Energy Association.

Mortal Accident Summary

I no longer actively track deaths in the wind industry. However, I will update my data as it becomes available. Below is a presentation updating my statistics to 2020. Also below is a link to the original article. For a complete analysis see Chapter 17 in my most recent book Wind Energy for the Rest of Us.


Note that the spreadsheet has six tabs. This is only the summary page and does not include all the data on the summary page.

My Deaths Database is publicly available. Simply ask for it.