In the recent months, workplace accidents led to the death of two cell tower workers in West Virginia. Two other cell tower workers were injured and required hospitalization for their injuries. Similar workplace accidents across the country have led to an examination of the safety guidelines for these types of jobs.
In the aftermath of the cell tower worker deaths, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration plans to restructure investigations of similar incidents moving forward. It is estimated that approximately 10, 000 people are employed by cell companies to build and repair towers across the country. It is considered to be a high-risk job. Many of these employees are hired and paid by subcontractors, making it difficult to determine liability.
OSHA is now working toward ensuring that the cell phone companies and all subcontractors are held responsible for workplace safety. There should be clearly stated safety standards across the industry, as well as proper equipment and training. The need for this is proven by the 19 deaths that have occurred in the cell tower field just since the beginning of 2013.
If it is found that any of these deaths or injuries were caused by the unsafe work environment or poor safety standards of employers, families and victims have the option to take legal action. While it may be complicated to determine who is liable for workplace accidents, including the potential applicability of workers' compensation benefits, a case examination could reveal the best route to pursue compensation. Personal injury or wrongful death cases in West Virginia should be bolstered by the appropriate evidence needed to validate the claims of the plaintiff.
Source: Westmoreland Times, "Feds to look closer at cell carriers when tower climbers die", Liz Day, April 2, 2014