Danish authorities demand safety changes after fatal blast at turbine tower factory

Danish safety regulators have demanded safety improvements at a tower factory where one worker was killed and three others were injured in an explosion last month.  

Sections of wind turbine towers at a Welcon factory in Denmark (pic credit: Welcon)

A 41-year-old Portuguese man was killed in the explosion at a factory run by wind turbine tower manufacturing company Welcon, based near Give in Jutland, Denmark on 27 September. 

Danish police previously confirmed that three other workers were also caught up in the explosion - including two Portuguese men, aged 31 and 44, who were seriously injured - and a fourth man aged 52, who was hurt but not seriously injured in the blast. 

The explosion is thought to have been caused by a gas leak which ignited, and this work was initially paused following the incident, according to Danish media reports. 

Safety improvements

Following the incident, the Danish Working Environment Authority, Arbejdstilsynet, carried out an investigation and demanded that safety improvements be introduced immediately before work could resume.

Workers at the factory will now be required to wear gas detectors as one of the safety improvements, Arbejdstilsynet said.

The Danish regulator said Welcon had complied with its safety demands in the wake of its investigation.

A spokesperson for the Arbejdstilsynet told Windpower Monthly today (12 October): “They [at the Welcon factory] have explained how they were going to operate in future, how they are going to do these welding jobs and build these windmills safe and sound, and we have been satisfied by that response. They are now working again.” 

The Arbejdstilsynet spokesperson said it had ended its investigation into the explosion but was reviewing whether Welcon had a legal case to answer with the Danish police. 

Welcon was contacted for comment by Windpower Monthly but it had not responded at the time of publication.