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Are some citizens not worthy? 

Credit:  Mark Cool | Falmouth, Mass. ~~

Would you support your selectmen or town counsel if they developed a policy to force firefighters to be ready to respond after a 48 or 72 hour shift? Using municipal firefighters as an example, towns have policies, in addition to bargaining unit contracts, dictating the hours one employee can work in succession. Laws preclude unreasonable shift durations because of safety concerns focused primarily on adequate periods of rest.

Sleep deprivation results in impairment of cognitive ability and causes significant risk of making mistakes when engaging in all activities. For example, several major industrial accidents, in recent history, are attributed to sleep deprived workers… including the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident, the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the Challenger space shuttle disaster.

The U.S. Department of Transportation identifies fatigue as the number-one safety problem in transportation operation. Sleepy drivers are as much a danger as alcohol-impaired drivers, says the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)(http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/drowsy_driving1/Drowsy.html/).

In a study performed by the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, it concluded that fatigue effect closely resembles the effects of alcohol. After 24 hours awake, cognitive performance is consistent with the skill level of someone with 0.10 blood alcohol concentration (the legal limit too impaired to safely operate a vehicle).

In Falmouth Massachusetts sleep deprivation/fatigue accounted for 85% of the reported symptomatic problems by residents within 3/4 mile from the town’s industrial turbine zone (http://www.wind-watch.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Wind-Turbine-BOH-to-DPH-6-11-12.pdf).

Bringing home the point. In June 2003, “Maggie’s Law” was passed in New Jersey and made it illegal to knowingly drive a vehicle while impaired by lack of sleep.

The law raises the specter of municipal and state liability for victimizing citizens to unreasonable limits of fatigue to meet the demands of “green energy goals” and “illusionary” profit streams.

Laws and regulatory provisions protect firefighters from risk of fatigue. Are some Citizens not worthy?

Source:  Mark Cool | Falmouth, Mass.

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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