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Worker sustains burns and falls from height at Highland wind farm

An investigation has been launched after a maintenance worker was rushed to hospital with burn injuries and having “fallen from height” at a Highland wind farm.

The man in his 30s remains in “serious but stable condition” after being airlifted to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness last Tuesday (23rd), after the incident at the Tom nan Clach wind farm, around 10 miles east of the city.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is investigating, while operator Greencoat Wind UK said it was conducting “a full review” into the incident involving a third party contractor.

A coastguard spokesperson said they assisted “a male suffering from burns who had fallen from height”, while the Scottish Ambulance Service said a trauma team had been dispatched to deal with serious injuries.

The worker is a technician employed by German-headquartered services firm BayWa.r.e.

Natasha Kumar, managing director of its operations services division, said “We can confirm that a BayWa r.e. service technician was seriously injured whilst carrying out maintenance work at a wind farm on Tuesday 23rd June.

“He was taken to hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition.

“We take the health and safety of our employees and everyone we work with very seriously. At this time all our thoughts are with him and his family, and we wish him a full recovery.”

Tom nan Clach is a 13-turbine wind farm developed by Infinergy, which became operational last year.

A Greencoat UK Wind spokesman added: “There was an incident at one of our sites on Tuesday 23rd June which led to a contractor being taken to hospital.

“They are in a stable condition and we would like to thank the emergency services for their swift response and the hospital for their care. We take the health and safety of our employees and contractors very seriously.

“The incident has been reported to the Health and Safety Executive and we are conducting a full review.”

Greencoat completed its purchase of a 75% stake in the Highland wind farm development in 2019 for £126million.

Nairnshire councillor Tom Heggie said:“We have not had any knowledge of any health and safety issues on this site over the period of construction and all appears to have gone well.

“It is good to know that our emergency services responded so efficiently and we can hope that he recovers to full health.”

A freedom of information request from Energy Voice last year laid bare the scale of dangers posed to Scottish wind farm workers.

HSE statistics showed there were 81 cases of workers being injured on Scottish developments between 2014 and June 2019.

These included two fatal incidents: a fall from height in South Ayrshire in 2017 and a case of hypothermia in East Ayrshire in January 2018.

An HSE spokeswoman said: “HSE is aware of an incident in the Highlands and is currently investigating.”