Texans whose work involves climbing on communication towers face several hazards others within the industry may not. When a communications tower worker falls, there is a significant risk of a fatal injury. There are several contributing factors that may lead to a worker’s fall, many of which are preventable.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, reports that 36 tower workers died in incidents between 2011 and 2015. One of the main causes was a lack of proper training for workers whose jobs required them to climb. At many sites, there will be multiple subcontractors working with their own individual employees. This may lead to a problem of contractors and subcontractors alike being unaware about which workers have insurance, certification and training to climb.
Another problem is the design of some communications towers. In some cases, the towers are built without having enough platforms. Towers should also have multiple sites on them that are dedicated for workers to tie off to. In order to get jobs done quickly, some employers will also ask their workers to free climb instead of using appropriate safety gear, greatly increasing the risk of harm.
Because many people are injured or killed in on-the-job accidents, workplace safety should be a priority for every employer. When an employer instead decides to try to cut corners in order to quicken the pace of their employees, the workers have a resultant higher risk of having workplace accidents. OSHA has regulations in place in order to try to reduce the incidence of workplace injuries and fatalities accidents. If workers are seriously hurt as a result of an employer’s willful violation of these rules, an attorney might suggest that a personal injury lawsuit could be an alternative to filing for workers’ compensation benefits.