OSHA fines Iowa company over workplace safety violations

OSHA fines Iowa company over workplace safety violations

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WEBVTT Adair county is ground zero fowind turbines in Iowa. MidAmerican energy startingbuilding here a decade ago. And now farmers profit from corn, soybeans and… wind. < It’s a great thing, Where else can you get cheapelectricity> roger Fox was oneof the first farmers here toreap the benefits of wind power.He has one turbine on his farm. <it’s good for theenvironment, it’s good for theeconomy, it’s good for us financially. It was a windfall> Neighbors Ron and Becky drehhave seven wind turbines. <the wind blows here all thetime. And I figure you might as well harness the wind, make electricity out of it and quitburning so much coal> And there’s one big reason they’rehappy with the changing landscape.<the money! Laughs. To me, you know> Theland owners pocket around 6000dollars a year in lease paymentsfor each turbine. < right now it’s 40 thousand dollars a year and thatreally is a plus for a farmingoperation> Now Mid American wants to expand wind powergeneration to areas in centrand eastern Iowa. <Probably the ondriver that everybody appreciates is that it helps us keep our rates low> Mid Americanvice president Mike Fehreventually wants wind to powerall of retail customers homes and businesses. But cheap energydoes come with a different kind of cost.< there is no perfect way make energy. >Critics say the turbines arenoisy, distracting and ruin the view. <There is a littleswish in the wind. You know. Butthat don’t bother me. As amatter of fact I use it for a wind sock you know> < We do noise studies we do shadow flickerstudies, we do things to try to mitigate the impact, but they’renot going to be invisible.> < right now gets about 3percent of is power from wind,The goal is to boost that to 40 percent in the next few years.But there is one problem< they are so unattractive, sougly, so noisy and so dangerous>In the past President Trump haspoke out against wind energy and its subsidies. Mid American hopes congress will continue to realize the importance of renewable energy. Their goal is to meet customer demandsCustomers like farmers in Adair county. < We’ve got a lot ofwind up here. So use it>< I don’t evennotice it. Life is good>

OSHA fines Iowa company over workplace safety violations

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) —

An Iowa maker of wind turbine blades has been fined nearly $155,000 for multiple workplace safety violations.

The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration levied the fines against TPI Composites for violations at its Newton plant. The violations included fire hazards, airborne contaminants, faulty record keeping, fall hazards and a lack of employee training.

The citations support complaints from dozens of former workers who say TPI didn’t properly protect them from dangerous chemicals that caused them severe skin injuries. Those complaints were first reported by the Des Moines Register. Some workers say they were fired after reporting the injuries.

The company said Friday it was evaluating OSHA’s findings and that safety is a core value of the company.

Six former employees are suing the company.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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