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Michaels calls high rate of communication tower deaths ‘unacceptable'

San Diego – Describing a recent increase of worker deaths in the communications industry as “unacceptable,” OSHA administrator David Michaels stressed the need for proper safety precautions.

Michaels made his remarks in a video greeting to attendees at the National Association of Tower Erectors’ conference, which took place Feb. 24-27. OSHA inspectors have been told to pay special attention to communication tower incidents, Michaels said, and they will be looking closely at how tower owners and contractors ensure all parties involved meet safety requirements.

In 2013, 13 communication tower-related deaths occurred in the industry – nearly twice as many as the previous two years combined. As of press time, four communication tower-related worker deaths had occurred in 2014.

Michaels also asked employers who believe they have good safety processes to send a description to OSHA so the agency can help spread best practices throughout the industry.

Michaels’ comments follow a letter sent to industry employers about the importance of adhering to safety standards.