OSHA and NATE Team Up To Prevent Falling Workers

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After the most recent tower tragedies, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration decided to collaborate with the National Association of Tower Erectors to make sure every tower employer understands what’s required of them to protect their workers from falling. “Tower worker deaths cannot be the price we pay for increased wireless communication,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “Employers and cell tower owners and operators must do everything possible to stop these senseless, preventable tragedies.” OSHA is concerned about the alarming increase in preventable injuries and fatalities at communication tower worksites. Last year alone there were 13 fatalities in the tower industry, which is more than the previous two years combined.  The agency has sent a letter to communication tower employers urging compliance and strict adherence to safety standards and common sense practices. OSHA has created a new Web page targeting the issues surrounding communication tower work, which is available here. This outreach follows a November 2013 memo to OSHA’s compliance officers and regional administrators mandating increased attention, education and data collection on the industry.

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