|Researchers: Renewable energy jobs are safer(By Kirsten Korosec via BNET)The push for renewable energies has one more feather to put in its cap:
improved health for its workforce and the potential of evading death, at
least while on the job.As more workers shift from fossil fuel-related jobs to those in renewable
energy, their health should improve, according to commentary by Medical
College of Wisconsin researchers published in a recent issue of the Journal
of the American Medical Association.The researchers studied occupational health risks to workers in renewable
energy and fossil fuel industries, according to a report by ScienceBlog.
They found less risk of injury and death in wind and solar energy than in
fossil fuel jobs. Biomass jobs did not have any significant safety benefit
compared to fossil fuels.The study, which was partially supported by a grant from the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, notes the passage of the American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act has put more money towards renewable energy. This
added investment will shift more workers away from fossil fuels and in
turn, improve their overall health, the study says.So what does this mean for the 700,000 folks working in the energy sector?
Well, one of the researchers, Steven Sumner said this in the Scienceblog
post:“The energy sector remains one of the most dangerous industries for U.S.
workers. A transition to renewable energy generation utilizing sources such
as wind and solar could potentially eliminate 1,300 worker deaths over the
coming decade.”Researchers noted the lack of more precise data on renewable energy
occupations. Still, they found that while fossil fuels are traditionally
cheaper than renewable energy, “hidden costs” including the negative
effects on health have not been figured in.Other tidbits:Mining coal, gas and oil from underground or underwater stores is the
second most hazardous job in the U.S. with 27.5 death per 100,000 compared
to the average annual fatality rate of 3.4 deaths in all U.S.
industries;Highway crashes account for the greatest proportion of death
among oil and gas extraction workers;Solar, wind and fossil fuels need to
access transmission lines to get their source of power to households and
businesses. Those industries share the risk of accident from electrical
current traveling through power lines.For the latest renewable energy jobs from around the world please click here