Fall prevention Utilities Injury prevention

Recent cell tower deaths prompt OSHA warning

OSHA_Dept of Labor 021214

Photo: OSHA

Washington – In response to recent deaths related to communication tower collapses, OSHA has sent a letter to industry employers urging adherence to safety standards.

Thirteen worker deaths occurred in the communication tower industry in 2013, most of them caused by falls, and four workers died in the first five weeks of 2014, an OSHA press release states.

The letter, dated Feb. 10, provides information on how to help keep communication tower workers safe and healthy, including adequate training and proper fall protection. OSHA also will be paying close attention to contractor and subcontractor oversight issues, according to the letter, and contractor selection should include safety criteria.

“It is imperative that the cell tower industry take steps immediately to address this pressing issue: no worker should risk death for a paycheck,” OSHA administrator David Michaels said in the letter.

OSHA also created a webpage covering issues surrounding communication tower work, and said it is collaborating with the National Association of Tower Erectors to ensure employers understand their responsibilities.