Wind farms are already bringing clean energy in from offshore, and many more are planned for installation along the northeast coastline. Using large sections of open water, enormous spinning turbines catch marine winds, generating electricity as they rotate. However, these energy-producing marvels pose certain risks, especially for the maritime workers who must build and repair them.

Hazards for Jones Act Seamen on Wind Farm Service Vessels

The unique conditions around wind farms require special vessels to bring marine crews to individual turbines. Known as crew transfer vessels (CTVs), wind farm service vessels, or offshore wind support vessels, these aluminum catamarans ferry personnel and light equipment between wind farms and local ports. Due to the sheer size of some Renewable Energy Wind Turbine Construction Injury Attorneysfarms, they often require whole fleets of CTVs—and each one must be compliant with the Jones Act.

Due to the size of the turbines and the nature of work on an offshore wind farm, these jobs pose significant perils for maritime workers. Divers, merchant mariners, engineers, technicians, inspectors, machinists, electricians, surveyors, and laborers are at high risk of injury in all phases of the wind farm operation, including:

  • Wind Vessel Construction

    It takes many vessels and personnel to install wind turbines and secure them to the sea bed, including survey ships, supply vessels, development crews, and lift boats. During construction, workers face all the risks of an active construction site combined with the perils of working at sea—including struck-by injuries and falls overboard.
  •  Wind Vessel Commissioning

    Once completed, turbines will need to be connected to the generator on land and given final adjustments to bring the wind farm online. Throughout the course of their work, seamen may pass between tenders and supply boats, crane ships, or vessels for laying cable, facing the unique risks of each ship as well as the hazards of transferring vessels. Workers should also be protected from the threat of shock or electrocution when fine-tuning electrical components.
  • Wind Vessel Maintenance and Repairs

    Turbines need regular maintenance throughout their life cycles, including cleaning, repairs, and replacing worn-out parts. As turbines can be hundreds of feet high, it’s vital that reliable safety ropes and harnesses secure workers to prevent falling onto the deck or into the icy water. Unfortunately, technicians are at risk of serious injury before they even reach the turbine due to the high risk of collisions and allisions near wind farms. Increased vessel traffic, fluctuating environmental conditions, and turbines creating echoes that interfere with radar systems all increase the risk of high-speed collisions with turbines or other vessels.
  • Wind Vessel Decommissioning

    Removing a wind farm requires fleets of vessels, including service operations or feeder support ships, to deconstruct and transport large mechanical components back to shore. High traffic surrounding the platforms and the distance from shore can make it harder to provide during decommissioning.

Let Our Jones Act Attorneys Advise Your After a Wind Farm Injury

If someone you love has been injured on a turbine or aboard a vessel serving a wind farm, you should contact our experienced maritime injury attorneys as soon as possible. Depending on the type of employee and the conditions of the accident, a maritime worker could collect significant compensation under the Jones Act for medical bills and lost income. The Jones Act also allows seamen to sue ship owners and employers if negligence or unseaworthy conditions aboard the vessel contributed to the injury.

Workers who aren’t assigned to a vessel may still be owed benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) or general maritime law. If your loved one was killed in an accident on a wind farm located three miles or more from shore, you might have a claim under the Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA). 

However, these claims must be brought within strict time limits, so you should speak to a professional before time runs out.

It will cost you nothing to learn your options after an injury at sea. The dedicated legal team at Hofmann & Schweitzer can listen to your story and explain your next steps at no cost to you. Call us at 1-800-3-MAY-DAY or fill out our online contact form today to set up your no-obligation consultation, or learn more about these types of claims in our complimentary guide, Are You a Seaman Injured in a Maritime Accident? Know Your Rights.

New York Office
​​212 W 35th St, Fl 12
New York, NY 10001

New Jersey Office
1130 US-202 Suite A7
Raritan, NJ 08869


Paul T. Hofmann
Connect with me
Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.