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In recentyears, millions of solar panels have been placed on roofs around the world. Discuss how safe are they? Discuss the hid

Ernest Appiah's picture

 

Installing
solar panels on rooftops are obviously a high risk activity. There are a number
of hazards such as working at heights which could lead to falls from heights or
falling objects. Also slippery roof surfaces, damaged roofs, electrical
discharge from uninstalled panels, electrical fitting and equipments are all
potential hazards. All these, when not properly controlled could lead to
undesired conquences.

Research has
shown that, roofing is the 6th most dangerous job and there were
fatality rate of 37 per 100,000 workers as of 2002. In the US alone, 33% out of
1000 construction fatalities per year are from working at heights.

Solar energy
is seen as the saviour of mankind in terms of saving as from global warming and
CO2 emissions along with other renewables but there are a lot of
damages being caused to our health from the manufacture of these panels.
Dangerous chemicals and toxics  such as
cadmium and arsenic are used in their production. Silicon tetrachloride which
is a by-product of the production makes land unsuitable for growing crops.

For each ton of polysilicon
produced by the solar industry for its solar panels, four tons of silicon
tetrachloride is generated.

 A report by the Silicon Valley Toxics
Coalition warns that there could be an e-waste problem in the nearby future.
According to them, there is plenty of toxic waste that is being released by the
solar industry, which is going unnoticed under the radar because we so happy
about the clean energy solar panels generate to see the underlying danger.

 

References

Fundamental
Safety Engineering and Risk Management Concepts, 2012/2013

by H. Tan
and M.J. Baker (
INTRODUCTION TO SAFETY, RELIABILITY AND
RISK)

www.esv.vic.gov.au(Safety of solar panel installations...Energy Safe)

(Sunshine or Gloom)www.greenpacks.org/2009/01/21/how-safe-are-solar-panels/

(Solar Panels Exposed)www.renewableenergygeeks.ca/solar...wer/solar-panels-health-warning-hazards/

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