Outland Faces $378K Fine Over Worker Injury

Outland Renewable Services says that it "respectfully disagrees" with the Department of Labor's findings, which indicate that the company ignored safety rules that led to a worker being severely burned.

Canby-based Outland Renewable Services has received six citations for safety violations after a technician at a wind farm was severely burned in October, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said on Tuesday.

The citations follow an OSHA investigation at a wind farm in Illinois. OSHA claims that Outland's management was aware of potentially hazardous conditions for its workers and ignored rules that require the isolation of energy sources during servicing operations. The company was cited for “exposing maintenance technicians to electrical hazards from the unexpected energization of transformers in three wind turbine towers.”

Outland, which provides servicing and maintenance for the wind tower industry, faces a maximum fine of $378,000.

Outland President Steve Scott wrote in an e-mailed statement to Twin Cities Business that the company's number one priority is employee safety, as demonstrated by its track record.

“We respectfully disagree with OSHA's initial findings but we look forward to working collaboratively with them to resolve this issue,” Scott wrote. “Outland has already taken steps to ensure that an accident like this does not happen again. Furthermore, we're thankful that the employee who was injured has returned to work.”

The company has 15 business days to either comply with the citations, request an informal conference with OSHA, or contest the organization's findings.

“Green jobs are an important part of our economy, and sectors such as wind energy are growing rapidly,” Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said in a statement. “That growth comes with a continued responsibility for employers to ensure that the health and safety of workers is never compromised.”

Founded in 2005, Outland develops, owns, operates, and maintains commercial renewable energy projects in partnership with landowners, rural communities, and municipalities.

 

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