Workers on cell towers face an unreasonably high risk for fatal accidents. Because of the high amount of fatal accidents and safety hazards, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued new safety standards in hopes of preventing similar incidents. One West Virginia contractor has recently been cited for violations, such as employees climbing towers without safety equipment.
In 2014, there were nine deaths associated with cell phone towers across the nation. Some of the measures listed to promote safety include proper use of climbing equipment and systems to stop falls. Other hazards commonly encountered in this job field include electrical shock, falls, weather, towers falling, lack of or failure to use safety equipment and other risks. The mandate issued by OSHA addresses these potentially dangerous risks.
Many of the dangers faced by cell tower workers are preventable simply by practicing safety measures and implementing proper equipment. The swift movement of OSHA to address these issues was initiated by a concerning increase in cell tower related deaths. Hopefully, with the new standards and increased awareness, this alarming number of deaths will decrease.
As illustrated by the previously mentioned West Virginia contractor, there can be fines and penalties involved when an employer places his or her workers at risk. With the need for cell towers only increasing, contractors and employees should be fully aware of all safety standards for this growing job market in order to prevent further fatal accidents. Failure to provide a safe work environment for employees can and should result in serious consequences for employers. Workers injured on the job have certain rights to compensation, but these rights will differ on a case-by-case basis and should be evaluated on the merit of the individual situation.
Source: safety.blr.com, "OSHA issues new directive on communication tower safety", , July 31, 2014