Goldwind Australia has been slammed by a trade union after three workers were injured in a single-vehicle rollover at White Rock Wind Farm on Monday night.
Two were taken to hospital while a third worker, a 22-year-old man, was flown to Tamworth Base Hospital with spinal injuries and internal bleeding after their ute rolled 30 metres down an embankment.
The trade union, Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), slammed the wind power giant this week, accusing it of unsafe work practices.
CFMEU organiser Dean Rielly said the union had been warning Goldwind management about safety concerns at the wind farm for some time – highlighting the need for hard barriers at embankments.
“We have repeatedly told management there needed to be hard barriers along the service roads at the embankments,” he said.
“We have been outspoken about the complete lack of respect for safety standards on the wind farm, but management have chosen to ignore us.
“Rather than be proactive and address safety concerns that had been raised, management sat on their hands and we now have three workers injured – one seriously – as a result of their incompetence.”
Mr Rielly said the accident highlighted the need for improved safety standards in regional NSW and why the union had been undertaking a safety blitz to protect workers on construction sites.
Monday’s incident is the second reported accident in two months in which the Westpac Rescue Helicopter has been sent to the wind farm.
In April, a 43-year-old man was flown to Tamworth Hospital in a stable condition suffering a compound fractured ankle.
A spokesperson from Goldwind Australia told Fairfax Media that management took safety “extremely seriously on all our sites”.
“The incident location was immediately cordoned off and SafeWork NSW was notified,” the spokesperson said.
Goldwind said the site speed limit had now been lowered from 40km per hour to 20.
“A detailed investigation of the incident is underway to identify the cause of the incident and required actions,” the spokesperson said.
“[We] will continue to liaise with SafeWork NSW throughout the investigation.”
The spokesperson said a comprehensive safety management system was in place at the site.