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Communication industry warned about accidents on the job

On behalf of Jeffrey Frederick of Frederick & Hagle posted in Workplace Accidents on Tuesday, April 1, 2014.

Telecommunications workers in Illinois may be interested to read of a workplace accident in another state and the response of officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Two men died recently when the cell phone tower on which they were working collapsed without warning. Officials from OSHA say accidents on the job — especially when they prove fatal — are not an acceptable trade-off for wireless connectivity.

The two men were dismantling a tower used by Wireless Horizon to provide cell phone services. There are few details at this time, but initial reports indicate the men fell over 250 feet and suffered fatal injuries. It was not known at the time of this report what caused the tower to collapse.

Last month, OSHA cautioned the wireless communication industry about its safety record regarding tower workers. So far this year, four other men were killed in workplace accidents at wireless towers. Last year, 13 workers lost their lives in accidents involving workers at wireless towers. Officials say it is a “disturbing trend” that cannot be allowed to continue.

Cell phones are a part of life that few people can imagine doing without. They allow an easy accessibility to one’s family, friends and life in general. Their widespread use is not, however, a justification that excuses accidents on the job, whether the worker is in Illinois or someplace else. When the worst-case-scenario happens, and a work-related death occurs, the family of the decedent may be eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits. Compensation cannot hope to replace a loved one, but it can help their family move on from what is undoubtedly a difficult time.

Source: ksdk.com, “Communication tower collapses and fatalities ‘alarming trend’“, Leisa Zigman, March 26, 2014

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