Wind farm worker dies after becoming trapped in snow in East Ayrshire

The Unite union has called for stronger legal guidelines concerning the construction and maintenance of wind farms after a 74-year-old worker died in East Ayrshire.

The victim was working with younger colleague at Craigdarroch Farm in New Cumnock when the pair became stranded in heavy snow.

Left without heat or power, it is understood the workers called for help but it is unknown how long they were in difficulty. Police Scotland’s Mountain Rescue Team traced the pair after the alarm was finally raised on Sunday, 21 January.

The elderly worker was airlifted to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but died a short time later.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is currently investigating two other deaths on wind farms and is due to make recommendations regarding health and safety issues. Unite is also currently investigating the dangers of wind farm working across Scotland.

Stevie Dillion of Unite Scotland said: “How long is it going to be before the Government and HSE take action to prevent these totally avoidable deaths? How many more workers will perish because nothing has been done to establish proper legal safeguards for the construction and maintenance of wind farms?

“Our experience shows that some of the conditions which workers on wind farms have to put up with represent a return to the ‘bad old days’ in the construction industry before unionisation. Of course the laws governing wind farms should be a special case. But right now Unite is building the union on wind farm sites to fight for better terms and safer working conditions.”

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