Howard, N.Y. —
Safety was on the tips of most tongues Tuesday night at a meeting in Howard regarding wind turbine construction.
Everpower Renewables and Delaney Construction provided information on safety plans for the wind project, as well as the construction schedule for the upcoming year.
Delaney Construction Corporate Safety Director Brad Simon presented a safety plan covering everything from reporting injuries to supervisors and enforcing a drug-free workplace to fire issues and poison control.
Prevention activities include a “daily all-site safety meeting before we start going out to work. We’re going to get everybody into that lay-down yard and somebody’s going to give a safety topic,” said Simon. “(We’ll) go over anything that happened the previous day, and what’s our focus today.”
Simon also said each crew would have at least two members trained in first-aid and CPR, and that workers would receive a daily activity plan, outlining dangers associated with work scheduled for that day.
“It could be, we’re putting in roads. Well, we’re going to have large trucks, so we’re going to have spotters for those trucks. We’re not going to stand at the side of those trucks. For each task… we’re going to have a daily activity plan for it,” said Simon.
“Everybody in that crew signs off on it, saying that they understand what’s going on today,” he added.
Howard Fire Chief Rob Patrick raised concerns about whether local first responders had the necessary equipment and training to handle working in an industrial area.
“Personally, we’re not trained or equipped to handle an industrial facility. If we come out there, and we have to move somebody, and we don’t have the right stuff, the lawsuit’s going to come back on us,” said Patrick.
“All I’ve asked for is $35,000, we were supposed to get $35,000 every year from Everpower,” Patrick continued. “Why can’t we get the last payment now, up-front, to get the equipment that we need?”
Simon stressed that local first responders would only be called in emergencies.
“If something happens on the site where we need to call an emergency, and I stress this is for an emergency only, we’re not going to do this for sprained ankles… that is when we’re going to call you.,” said Simon.
Criminal prevention was another issue covered at the meeting.
Noel Terwilliger, chief deputy of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department, said officers could do intensify area patrols to help secure work zones. Deputies would check work areas to make sure there’s no trespassing after hours and that materials are guarded.
“We have had issues with scrap metal and materials being stolen from the Howard and Hornellsville areas,” he said. “The price has gone up dramatically.”
In addition to safety concerns, the meeting also covered the construction schedule for the Howard wind farm from December 2010 until late 2011.
Delaney Project Manager Kyle Settle said Hopkins Road in Howard will close starting Monday, December 13 for a gravel upgrade. The road will re-open in less than a week.
This December will also see Delaney moving construction equipment into the area. All activity this month is in preparation for construction in Spring 2011.
“Construction’s going to begin in earnest in the spring,” said Everpower Senior Director of Development Kevin Sheen.
“The main goal this year is to get mobilized,” added Everpower Construction Manager Joseph M. Pariano.
Turbine delivery and tower erection will start in the summer of 2011, with July 25th the target date for the first completed tower and model turbine.
Settle also said removing equipment and restoring access roads, including removing gravel and decompacting soil, will be completed by late 2011.
Based out of Gloversville, Delaney Construction completed eight wind turbine projects in New York in the 30 years the program has operated. It has completed six turbine projects in other states as well.
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