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Cell phone towers dangerous for workers

Throughout the nation individuals rely upon cell phones as a main mode of communication. This reliance requires the construction and maintenance of communication towers to handle the traffic that results from so many users. These towers exist throughout the nation including the state of Pennsylvania.

Many individuals are employed to maintain communication towers. Because this work requires being so far above ground, this work can be dangerous, even deadly. Workers could be injured or killed due to a variety of factors including:

  • Collapsing towers.
  • Equipment failure.
  • Falling objects.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported that in 2013 a total of 13 workers died at communication tower worksites. This year did not start out much better, with four deaths reported in the course of the first five weeks. Late last month that number grew when two tower techs, working in another, state died. They each fell more than 250 feet.

The "disturbing trend," prompted OSHA to issue a warning to executives in the communication industry. More specifically the assistant secretary of labor for OSHA called for operators, cell tower owners and employers to take steps to prevent deaths from occurring. As wireless communication is here to stay, taking such steps could have a positive impact in the future.

Not all tech tower workers who are involved in workplace accidents die. Instead, they may suffer serious injuries. In these cases injured workers might decide to apply for workers' compensation benefits to help cover the costs that accrue while they are recovering. When the benefits are not initially granted or in cases where issues arise after a worker has received benefits for a period of time, it is often beneficial to work with a lawyer who handles such matters.

Source: KDSK-TV, "Communication tower collapses and fatalities 'alarming trend'" 26 March 2014

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