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Turbine human error blamed

"While I am happy the fail-safe mechanism worked, it is disappointing that despite induction processes being undertaken ... human error has been found to be the cause of the problem."

Humanerror has been blamed for the failure of two wind turbines on top of the Marine Board building on Wednesday.

Building owner Robert Rockefeller said a contractor had failed to reset the braking mechanisms on the turbines after routine maintenance work on the roof of the building.

The damage was significant and it would cost about $100,000 to get the turbines back to full working order.

The alternative energy advocate said he had no concerns with the quality of the turbines and insisted he would use turbines on other projects in the city.

"We have made the right choice," he said.

The two turbines are expected to be running again in about six weeks. Supplies were being air-freighted from overseas yesterday.

Mr Rockefeller said the turbines were actually designed to collapse as they did and he insisted they were perfectly safe despite concerns from witnesses on Wednesday.

"The wind turbines are fitted with a braking mechanism to ensure they do not spin out of control in windy conditions," he said.

"If this fails they are designed to fold in on themselves.

"While I am happy the fail-safe mechanism worked, it is disappointing that despite induction processes being... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Human error has been blamed for the failure of two wind turbines on top of the Marine Board building on Wednesday.

Building owner Robert Rockefeller said a contractor had failed to reset the braking mechanisms on the turbines after routine maintenance work on the roof of the building.

The damage was significant and it would cost about $100,000 to get the turbines back to full working order.

The alternative energy advocate said he had no concerns with the quality of the turbines and insisted he would use turbines on other projects in the city.

"We have made the right choice," he said.

The two turbines are expected to be running again in about six weeks. Supplies were being air-freighted from overseas yesterday.

Mr Rockefeller said the turbines were actually designed to collapse as they did and he insisted they were perfectly safe despite concerns from witnesses on Wednesday.

"The wind turbines are fitted with a braking mechanism to ensure they do not spin out of control in windy conditions," he said.

"If this fails they are designed to fold in on themselves.

"While I am happy the fail-safe mechanism worked, it is disappointing that despite induction processes being undertaken ... human error has been found to be the cause of the problem."

Rob Manson, director of I Want Energy, the company that installed the turbines, said yesterday it was not his company that did the roof maintenance that led to the fault.

He said he was confident further measures would be put in place to ensure contractors unfamiliar with the system were fully aware of the occupational health and safety requirements of the turbines.

Roy Ormerod, general manager of Workplace Standards Tasmania, confirmed yesterday the failure had been caused by human error.

"We have had two inspectors out on site this morning," he said. "They spoke to a technician and the problem appears to be human error."

Mr Ormerod said Workplace Standards would require stronger assurances the problem would not happen again before the two turbines were back in operation.

"We would require a full engineer's report and what steps will be taken in the future so that this does not happen again," he said.

Hobart Lord Mayor Rob Valentine said the concerns about wind turbines in this instance should focus on public safety.

"It is up to Workplace Standards to decide if there is an issue," he said.

Hobart City Council alderman Marti Zucco said yesterday all turbines should be shut down until someone was willing to take full ownership of the problem.

"It is quite obvious there is a safety issue," Ald Zucco said.

"Who is responsible if someone is injured or killed?"


Source: http://www.themercury.com.a...

AUG 13 2010
https://www.windaction.org/posts/27672-turbine-human-error-blamed
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