Siemens has been ordered to pay compensation of almost 1 million Danish crowns ($150,000) to three people who fell ill after working at a wind turbine factory, a court in the city of Aalborg in Denmark said on Thursday.
The ruling comes at time of increased focus on health conditions in the wind energy industry in Denmark and marks the first such verdict against a turbine maker there.
The three former employees were ruled to have suffered conditions such as asthma, allergies and eczema after working with epoxy and isocyanates in Siemens’ factory in Aalborg.
Siemens Wind Power, which is set to merge with Spain’s Gamesa and overtake Danish rival Vestas as the world’s largest wind turbine maker, did not dispute the size of the damages, according to the statement from the court.
The work with and handling of hazardous materials had not been “planned, engineered or executed in a responsible manner safety-wise,” the court said in a statement, citing a lack of ventilation and inadequate protective equipment.
“We will now examine the ruling in detail and assess whether to appeal it,” Siemens said in a statement.
The Danish labor union, 3F, which represented the workers in court, welcomed the ruling.
“The court has confirmed, that it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure a healthy working environment, so that workers do not go to work and fall ill,” Ulla Sorensen, political spokewoman for 3F told Reuters.
“If we get complaints from our members, and it’s a clear case, then we take legal action. We’ve done that so far, and will continue to do that,” she added. ($1 = 6.6849 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Keith Weir)
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