Wind turbine blade debris sparks school safety concerns

Fears for children's safety after turbine breaks up

Fears for child safety

How 40mph winds wrecked turbine

Wind turbine destroyed by wind

Remember the days of the old school yard

'elf and safety

Mothers against turbines




On the evening of Friday 30th August a not very remarkable gust of wind of around 40mph destroyed a 25.9 metre to tip wind turbine on Scrabster Hill near Thurso. Fortunately no-one was hurt.

Read Full Press Release


Details of email correspondence between Fiona Mcleod SNP MSP and
Mrs L Ward

School Turbines - Response to Govt. (comments by Brenda Herrick)

Additional comment by Lyndsey Ward:
This is not a trivial issue. This is about the safety of our children where they are educated, and that school turbines are not an appropriate piece of industrial machinery to have on school premises.





The Safety Aspects of The Highland Council's Practice of
Placing Small Wind Turbines in School Playgrounds


Schools Safety Correspondence


The key findings of the report are:

An independent expert review of the safety of putting wind turbines on school premises is essential.

Current control measures require head teachers to leave the classroom and venture forth to take windspeed readings and shut down turbines in Hurricane Force wind speeds when "debris and unsecured objects are hurled about".

Highland Council recommend exclusion zones for safety reasons - e.g. fall, topple, ejection - but none seem to have been provided.

Turbines are to be allowed to operate in winds up to 107mph - "tropical cyclone levels".

The risk posed to head teachers through implementing Highland Council safety measures would be even greater than the risk posed to pupils by the turbines themselves.

Highland Council embarked on a strategy of placing turbines in school playgrounds without a policy and without a risk assessment.

On the Risk Assessment Matrix a scale of 1 to 3 for likelihood with 1 being "Very unlikely" is a very blunt instrument when the possible consequence of an event is the death of a child.

Highland Council believes that halving the maintenance intervals leaves a zero residual risk of catastrophic mechanical failure. Logic and experience do not support this belief.

Available evidence of small turbine failures points to a precautionary approach which Highland Council ignores.

There is already evidence in Scotland that catastrophic turbine failures occur with consequent violent debris ejection. It cannot be ignored.

"The fact that almost half a million pounds had been spent before a policy was developed or risk assessment undertaken may suggest a reason for the continuing practice of placing wind turbines in school playgrounds".

The report finds that "if Highland Council had formulated a policy for turbines in school playgrounds and subjected it to rigorous risk assessment, informed by observation and experience, these turbines would almost certainly have not been installed".


List of Attachments referred to



Bower School Turbine (plan)

Caithness school turbines (photos taken April 2012)

Council Proposed Range of School Turbines - Any School

Guidance for Installers and Specifiers (ce72)

Halkirk Primary School - Renewables Newsletter

Highland Council Report on Failure of Raasay Turbine

Highland Council Wind Turbine Risk Assessment -
Castletown Primary School

HSE Response to FOI request on Raasay School

Infinis Energy Press Release

MCS standard - MIS 3003

Owners Guide (Evance Wind)

Planning Guidance: Small Wind

Reported Turbine Accidents/Failures in School Grounds (updated to 2014)

Review of Risk Management arrangements covering provision of Wind Turbines within Highland Council property establishments

Supporting Document for the Installation of a Wind Turbine at Bower Primary School

Supporting Document for the Installation of a Wind Turbine at Castletown Primary School



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