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Researchers: Renewable energy jobs are safer

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