Wind turbines are dangerous in a variety of ways to both those who work with them and wildlife populations. According to OSHA they pose risks to workers principally in terms of crushing injuries, falls, fire and electrical injuries. They are often positioned in a manner that creates risks to migratory bird populations. However, the American Bird Conservatory does support wind power if it is planned appropriately.
In addition, there have also been problems with bats colliding with wind turbines and getting killed. Studies have shown that when turbines are placed away from regular flight and migration routes, fatalities decrease. While many of the birds killed by wind turbines are more common species, Norway has lost some eagles to wind turbine collisions. In storm conditions, the wind can blow flying animals into the paths of turbines. In some countries, it is recommended that turbines not be built near coasts due to the high traffic of birds there.
If placed in the path of airplanes that are taking off and landing, wind turbines can be dangerous to people as well. Airplanes have very thin aluminum shells and the huge steel blades of wind turbines could smash right through them. Despite a certain event about ten years ago where a “passenger airplane” knocked down several steel telephone polls, if an airplane and a steel object collided, the steel object would win. Windmills are steel objects. The FAA has some specific guidelines for keeping wind turbines away from airports.
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