Improving health and safety on site: hydraulic injection awareness
August 29, 2018
CanWEA’s Operations and Maintenance Caucus continues to work on raising awareness of hazards associated with managing industrial equipment on a wind farm, such as hydraulic injection.
Working with heavy duty industrial equipment is serious business. Canadian wind farm health and safety experts treat everything from setting foot on site to going home at the end of the day as an activity to be managed, calculated and continuously improved on. To help raise awareness of the main hazards involved in working on a wind farm, CanWEA’s Operations and Maintenance Caucus developed two pamphlets for first responders that could aid rescue or prevent misdiagnosis. One of the pamphlets focuses on hydraulic injection.
Hydraulic equipment is found in the hub of some wind turbines as well as construction equipment. Hydraulic rams are sometimes used to control the pitch of the blades providing control over power output of the turbine. Aging, fatigued, faulty or otherwise damaged hydraulic equipment can suffer a small pin-hole leak that projects a high-pressure stream of hydraulic fluid. A worker exposed to the stream can suffer a puncture in the skin and entry of hydraulic fluid into the tissue. Such an injury requires immediate medical attention.
As wind turbines are operated in unique non-industrial locations, first responders and hospitals very rarely interact with certain kinds of injuries that may be possible on a wind farm which increases potential for misdiagnosis of the condition.
That’s where CanWEA’s Hydraulic Injection Awareness for First Responders pamphlet comes in. It’s a short introduction to the hazard, symptoms and injury of a hydraulic injection incident. Wind farm operators are now using this resource to raise awareness with the dedicated men and women who would be the first ones on their site in the event of an emergency so that they are as prepared as possible to support local workers.
This is an excellent example of the type of work that can be accomplished through collaboration and shows the continuous improvement that the wind industry in Canada strives for every day to deliver clean, renewable power in a safe and sustainable way.
For more information on health and safety on a wind farm, check out https://canwea.ca/operations-and-maintenance/health-and-safety/.
Operations and Maintenance Program Director at the Canadian Wind Energy Association