Remember the days of the old school yard?

caithness turbine

Fears for child safety after wind blows turbine blade 60 yards
The Times
5 September 2013

Fears over children’s safety have been raised after the blade of a wind turbine similar to ones installed at Highland schools was thrown 60 yards by wind.

The turbine in Caithness started to break up as it was hit by a gust, and parents believe that pupils could be seriously injured, or even killed, if the incident is repeated at one of the 13 primary and secondary schools across the region that have their own turbines.

Brenda Herrick, the chairwoman of Castletown community council, has a grandson at Castletown Primary in Thurso.  She said yesterday that she was worried in case a blade from the turbine at the school hit one of the children.

“I was already extremely concerned, but this shows just how dangerous they can be,” she said.  “We keep being told they are safe, but no one can guarantee that and I don’t want one of these blades flying into my grandson or any other child.”

Highland Council shut down its turbines after a risk assessment recommended extra safety measures, including putting fences around them.  Mrs Herrick, 72, said, however, that the barriers would do nothing to protect children from flying debris.

“Children aren’t allowed to play conkers in school for health and safety reasons, but it seems it’s OK to put dangerous machines in their playgrounds — it makes no sense at all.”

Stuart Young, chairman of Caithness wind farm information forum, said that a witness had seen a piece of debris from the blades of the Scrabster Hill turbine near Thurso land about 60 yards away from the mast after it was hit by a 40mph gust.

The 85ft structure is on farmland and only a couple of hundred yards from A836 Tongue-Thurso road. Mr Young said: “Highland Council steadfastly refuses to acknowledge any risk from siting small wind turbines in school playgrounds.”

He said that turbines could fail in wind speeds far less violent than those that manufacturers said they could withstand.  Mr Young said: “Failures are usually caused by human error, but it is humans who order the installations, and install and maintain them. Surely now Highland Council will take notice and remove wind turbines from school playgrounds.”

A Highland Council spokesman said: “The council is satisfied that we have put in place the required risk assessments of wind turbines in schools to ensure their safe operation.”

Councillor Donny Kerr, who represents Inverness Central and has previously raised concerns about turbines in playgrounds, said that he was still wary of them. “I would be surprised if this sort of damage was done by a 40mph gust,” he said. “However, anything mechanical is prone to faults.”

The damaged turbine in Caithness is owned by John Henderson, of Scrabster Farm.  He could not be contacted for comment yesterday.

A turbine at Raasay Primary, on the Isle of Skye, was removed after it broke up in 2009.
The Times

A while back we covered what wind weasels call “component liberation” in our post – Life in the “throw zone” which included the video of a Vestas’ turbine “liberating” its components.

That led to a retort from one of AGL’s employees at Macarthur – calling himself “Prowind” – about the exploding turbine – “that turbine in the video is not accident, they purposely let it self destruct.  That is NEVER going to happen at MacArthur.”

We dealt with “Prowind” in our post – Logic: not found on other planets? – which included a serious scientific study into the distances blades are likely to travel during “component liberation”.  The study dealt with over 37 “component liberation” events, recording blade throw distances of up to 1,600 m.

We also covered – yet another component liberation – in our spoof post – IWTs or WMDs?

The obvious irony and sarcasm in that post was lost on greentards – a humourless bunch at the best of times – which prompted us to explain the difference between the literal and the figurative – in this post – It’s all about the costs, stupid.

I’m all for “liberation”, but this is ridiculous.


This liberated component lobbed on the roof of an Oklahoma kindergarten in the US.

So if you are sending the kids off to school – and they’re anywhere near a wind turbine – make sure you pop a hardhat on their dear little heads.

Mum says it’s all part of our “clean” energy future.
The hats look cool – but I’m not sure that we’re really safe. That fan looks very big and a bit too close.

11 thoughts on “Remember the days of the old school yard?

  1. Thanks for the publicity. We’ve been fighting these stupid things for over 2 years now but they’re still there and still, allegedly, “safe”. I’d rather they took them down now than be proved wrong. Do they have no imagination? A fast spinning blade into a crowd of children? I have records of turbines falling to bits in school playgrounds in Scotland, England and US and have absolutely no doubt there are turbines dangerously near children all over the world.

  2. Will the future daycare centers be held in industrial zones??? Hardhats for our kiddies, on their way out the door? What kind of moron would have allowed this nonsense in the first place?

  3. I posted this comment before, when this subject was raised previously.

    The Ceres Wind Turbine Project, proposed for Yorke Peninsula, has at least 44 turbines proposed to be built adjacent to rural roads in the area and 3 or 4 adjacent to the St. Vincent Highway. These turbines are not 300 meters in from the road, they are being placed right on the host’s boundaries. Some of these roads are also school bus routes.

    The Ceres Project, should not be given DAC approval on this fact alone, the turbines should be placed a least a kilometre in from the boundaries.

    If anyone else were to do this, Worksafe would take them to the cleaners, but for some reason the wind industry seems to be immune from the regulations, well, not for much longer.


  4. Brilliant – thanks STT. Here is Scotland we battle against the greentards. Turbines on school premises is just another example of their attempt to greenwash our children with NO care for their safety. This story made all the nationals and is set to run and run – watch out for it. #TakeThemDown & #SueTheirAssOff

  5. Obvious the Greens have no kids being schooled at any school where these monsters are!

    It’s like having a gum tree near your house. You make a request for permission to remove said; NO – you can’t cut it down. Then a wind storm comes and it falls and goes through a Councillor’s house, almost killing a child. Permission to remove trees changed rapidly.

    What has to happen to people before we are listened to? Infrasound and Low Frequency noise from unknown sources is making me sick.
    How can I get help?

  6. We want to be ‘liberated’ from these things. The dangers are there even the South Australian government has acknowledged this within their final changes to Development Plans, where a right to appeal is still a NO NO if you are a citizen but OK if you are an energy Company.
    From the latest Development Plans: “…addition of policy that seeks that wind turbines be setback from dwellings, tourist accommodation and frequently visited public places (such as viewing platforms) a distance that will ensure turbine failure does not present an unacceptable risk to public safety”.
    On querying the difference between these places and homes 1km or even 2km from a turbine I was assured there was no difference:
    “Should an authority form the view that part of a private property is used often enough to warrant its own separation, it is open for that authority to seek such separation from the proponent of a wind turbine. It is my view that the policy quoted in your email could be used to support this approach notwithstanding that it cites dwellings, tourist accommodation and public places. Other generic policy could, in my view, be used in further support of this approach. This is because Development Plans are not statutes and must not be interpreted like statutes. Rather, regard must be had to the overall intent of all the policies in a Development Plan.”
    So why do they even have 2 and 1km setback distances in the Plans?

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