Draft PPS18: Renewable Energy
Annex 1 Wind Energy Planning Issues: Safety
A82. Experience indicates that properly designed and maintained wind turbines are a safe technology. The very few accidents that have occurred involving injury to humans have been caused by failure to observe manufacturers’ and operators’ instructions for the operation of the machines. There has been no example of injury to a member of the public.
A83. The only source of possible danger to human or animal life from a wind turbine would be the loss of a piece of the blade or, in most exceptional circumstances, of the whole blade. Many blades are composite structures with no bolts or other separate components. Blade failure is therefore most unlikely. Even for blades with separate control surfaces on or comprising the tips of the blade, separation is most unlikely.
A84. The minimum desirable distance between wind turbines and occupied buildings calculated on the basis of expected noise levels and visual impact will usually be greater than that necessary to meet safety requirements. Fall over distance (i.e. the height of the turbine to the tip of the blade) plus 10% is often used as a safe separation distance.