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Vestas accused over Colorado factory

UNITED STATES: Chemicals in Vestas's Colorado blade factory have made several workers ill, in some cases causing employees to lose their jobs, according to the Coloradoan newspaper.

Vestas Colorado plant produces V90 3MW turbines
Vestas Colorado plant produces V90 3MW turbines

The paper said that in a two-month investigation, it found several employees at the Windsor, Colorado factory had developed the skin allergy dermatitis after being exposed to epoxy resin.

In a statement, Vestas said employees are given extensive safety training, and those that follow safety procedures have a "very low risk" of developing dermatitis.

The company said it is OHSAS 18001 certified, meaning it meets or exceeds regulatory standards.

Vestas confirmed that two employees at the factory were laid off because their medical condition kept them from safely continuing to work there.

"This action only was taken after extensive attempts at mitigating the issue and to find other work for them within Vestas," the company said.

"Vestas worked for over 18 months, together with our medical provider, to find alternative positions for both of these employees based on the medical provider’s recommendations and restrictions."

The paper reported that the Windsor plant was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for violations related to chemicals and to a lack of training.

But Vestas said that these citations were not related to epoxy resin or to dermatitis.

"Vestas took appropriate corrective action and the concerns raised by OSHA were resolved to its satisfaction," the company said.

Vestas recently acquired land with an eye to expanding the Windsor facility.

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