Safety Tips for Tower WorkersNovember 5, 2019
Safety is a priority for all workers, but when your job involves climbing communications towers that average 200 feet in height, taking the appropriate safety precautions is often a matter of life or death. In addition to falls from high altitudes, tower workers face a range of hazards, including electrocution, equipment failure, and structural collapse. Any of these accidents can cause severe and even fatal injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) urges tower climbers to understand the hazards associated with their job, and to always take the necessary safety precautions.
From 2013 to 2016, OSHA recorded 34 fatalities involving communication tower workers. Due to the hazardous nature of the job, it is crucial that tower climbers and ground crew members understand how to use the necessary safety equipment and report unsafe working conditions. Additionally, tower climbers should stop working if the safety equipment necessary for their job is not functioning properly or is unavailable.
OSHA Safety Recommendations
OSHA also recommends that tower workers take the following safety precautions:
- Workers should make a firm commitment to 100 percent tie-off every year, meaning that they commit to tie-off at every worksite anytime they are climbing.
- Before starting any work, tower workers should ensure that a comprehensive safety plan is in place, which should include a Job Hazard Analysis and an emergency action plan.
- If inclement weather poses safety risks, workers should avoid performing any climbing work.
- Workers should refrain from climbing if they have a physical or mental health issue that causes drowsiness or other impairments that could make climbing more dangerous.
- Tower climbers should stay current on the latest safety standards and participate in regular training sessions to ensure that their safety skills are up to date.
- Workers should regularly inspect their tools, hoisting and rigging equipment, and any other materials used for their job, to make sure that they are in good working condition.
Tower workers also work on wireless rooftop sites, which can also be dangerous if the following safety protocols are not followed:
- Understand the fall protection protocols.
- Prior to starting work, make sure that there is an OSHA-compliant guardrail or parapet in place. If these are not put up, there must be a warning line in place that is 15 feet from the unprotected edge. Fall restraints must be used for any work done outside the warning line.
- The owner of the building must test, certify, and label existing anchorages each year.
- Be aware of the potential for exposure to radiofrequency energy.
- Make sure that hazards such as roof openings, skylights, and access hatches are covered or barricaded.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Injured Tower Workers
If you or a loved one was seriously injured while on the job as a tower worker, you are urged to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will walk you through the claims process and ensure that you receive the full financial benefits that you deserve. Our dedicated team will protect your rights and address all your questions and concerns. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.