Workers who are involved in the construction and maintenance of communication towers—like cell phone and wireless towers—are in high demand. This job requires workers to climb to great heights to erect and repair steel towers. By default, this occupation is a hazardous one. OSHA has clued into the safety concerns of these workers and has exerted efforts in promoting workplace safety. According to a news release, “OSHA seeks comment on better protections for communication tower workers,” the growing number of work-related deaths underscores the need for improved protective measures.
Communication Tower Worker Hazards
According to OSHA, the job of a communication tower worker consists of climbing heights of 100 to 2,000 feet. Falls are the greatest threat to these workers. However, there are several other imminent threats—including electrical hazards, structural collapses, and even weather conditions. In recent years, the workplace deaths of communication tower workers have escalated. In 2013, 13 workers were killed at work, which was the greatest number since 2006.
Increase in Communication Job Deaths
The increased demand for cell phone and wireless communication towers played a role in these alarming statistics. However, according to regulatory authorities, this is not the entire picture. Therefore, OSHA is requesting the public to provide workplace hazard information so the organization can better prevent injuries and instill workplace safety. Through the use of public input, OSHA hopes to get a better grasp of the threats and solutions for this emerging occupation. The hope is that tower workers, tower owners, wireless carriers, along with other workers in this industry, can shine a light on real-time problems occurring for workers in this highly demanding occupation.
How to Help: Reporting Information
If you have information about workplace safety threats for communication tower workers, then you can voice your ideas to OSHA. The organization is interested in hearing from:
- Tower workers
- Tower owners
- Tower maintenance and construction crews
- Wireless carriers
- Construction and engineering management firms
What does OSHA want to hear about? Contact them with your ideas about best workplace safety practices to combat the dangers of falling, electrical hazards, inclement weather, and structural collapse in this industry. OSHA is accepting comments until June 13, 2016 via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. You can also fax or mail your comments—check their website for further information.
Increasing Effectiveness of Occupational Safety Training
The information garnered by OSHA regarding workplace safety for communication tower workers will be useful for creating more effective occupational safety training. OSHA has been responsible for the safety of employees in the workplace since the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. This call for public opinion regarding occupational safety for communication tower workers is part and parcel of the methods that OSHA uses to create realistic and beneficial occupational safety training programs. If you have any valuable information or helpful advice regarding communication tower workers’ safety, then please share this information with OSHA and keep your fellow workers safe. Use your voice to improve the working environment of those workers who are risking their lives for the sake of better communication systems.