JimBob Posted August 22, 2013 Share Posted August 22, 2013 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323980604579027133430671484.html 'The race to build out advanced cellphone networks in the U.S. has contributed to a spike in deaths among tower workers, making this one of the industry's deadliest years and drawing fresh scrutiny from federal regulators. At least 10 workers have died in falls from communication towers so far this year, and three more were seriously injured. That included four climbers who have fallen from U.S. cell sites so far this month, including one on Saturday. ... OSHA has estimated there are roughly 10,000 workers in the U.S. communication tower industry. Ten deaths may not seem like a huge number, but it is enough proportionally to rank the industry among the deadliest in the country. ... Construction managers say there is so much work this year that many crews are working around the clock and haven't taken days off in weeks. One project manager said crews are working 12- or 16-hour days and, when they get tired, forget to clip on safety lines or clip them on improperly. Workers climb towers hundreds of feet high to replace surfboard-sized antennas and perform general maintenance, such as replacing cables and fixing broken equipment. Constantly attaching and reattaching a safety harness as climbers move about the tower can cut into speed. Earlier this month, two climbers fell at Sprint sites. John Dailey, 49 years old, died after falling roughly 200 feet from a tower in North Carolina. He was attempting to connect his safety harness to the tower when he fell, said a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Labor. David Huynh was working on a Sprint site at the edge of a cemetery in Eugene, Ore., when an aerial lift he was standing in tipped over, police said. Mr. Huynh is in critical condition at Oregon Health & Science University hospital in Portland, said a hospital spokeswoman. ... Alcatel-Lucent is one of three major contractors managing Sprint's builds, and in May the company instituted a Tower Construction Acceleration Program, which pays contractors a $3,000 bonus for finishing a site on time with no defects. A manager at one contracting company, who pointed out that some jobs pay $12,000 per site, said the bonuses encourage them to work more quickly. ... Payman Biazarikari, an Iranian immigrant, had been in the U.S. for two weeks when he fell about 160 feet to his death earlier this month on a job for nTelos, according to the Waynesboro, Va., police department. nTelos is a wireless carrier operating in several Southeastern states.' 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.