Renewable energy worker safety series – Part II
Unlike general construction sites, geothermal
excavation opens a Pandora’s Box of new worker hazards.
Workers are susceptible to a much broader range of hazards, including:
- Fragile ground surface causing burns
- Boiling, corrosive springs, and pools
- Rock and ash showers
- Eruptive cratering – phreatic or hydrothermal
- Mudflows, landslides, and lava flows
- Emission of deadly gases
- Geothermal waters containing poison (arsenic, mercury, and boron)
Drilling can cause
- Blowouts/possible cratering around wells
- Crew accidents moving tools and machinery at immense heights
- Fatal accidents from a faulty valve assembly
- Casing strings subject to more severe conditions than oil wells.
- High-frequency noise, which can damage hearing.
Taking proactive, preventative steps to ensure safety is absolutely essential. It begins with in-depth studies to determine a project’s feasibility and potential dangers. It requires an in-depth knowledge of safety requirements under the law. Employ measures to detect gas and monitor seismic resistance.
Hire qualified engineers and experienced crews. Conduct regular and ongoing training.
Ensure that every worker wears appropriate clothing and footwear and never enters an area alone. Keep suitable first-aid packages available
As you can see, workers can face many unusual dangers in geothermal energy production. Keeping in mind that this source relies on recycling hot water from geothermal wells, found thousands of feet down into the earth before construction of the plant begins. It’s an exciting and challenging career to enter and is growing in popularity in the United States.
Gillmann Services, Inc. has and always will stand for safety without compromise. To ensure proper safety practices are developed and adopted for and by everyone, we provide various training opportunities through our on-staff instructors. Give our team a call today to see what Gillmann can do for you!