Communication Tower Worker Safety

It’s a job for workers with nerves of steel, as that is what it takes to work on these steel towers. Communication tower workers routinely climb hundreds or thousands of feet in the air, work at heights and near electrical hazards, and do it all while exposed to the outdoor elements. The demand for better quality cellular and broadcast communication and widespread use of cellphones and other connected devices has led to a significant growth for communication tower workers over the last several decades. However, it has also come with increased accidents and fatalities for these workers – according to a PBS and ProPublica report, between 2003 and 2011, there were 100 communication tower worker fatalities that occurred on the job, a death rate that is nearly ten times that of the general construction industry – which in itself is one of the most dangerous industries tracked by OSHA

OSHA has recognized this growing industry and the dangers associated with the work, stating: “Prior to the 1980s, communication and broadcast tower erection, servicing and maintenance was a very small and highly specialized industry. Over the past 30 years, the growing demand for wireless and broadcast communications has spurred a dramatic increase in communication tower construction and maintenance.” They went on to name common hazards faced by communication tower workers, which are:

  • Stonehouse Signs Communication Tower Worker Safety Falls from great heights
  • Electrical hazards
  • Hazards associated with hoisting personnel and equipment with base-mounted drum hoists
  • Inclement weather
  • Falling object hazards
  • Equipment failure
  • Structural collapse of towers

OSHA released a best practices guide for communication tower workers and stakeholders in 2017 to address safety in the industry. Some best practices they recommend include:

  • Companies should have a general safety and health program, which includes identifying and preventing/controlling all hazards associated with their job responsibilities, including communication tower specific hazards.
  • Companies should have a written verification process to ensure contractors and sub-contractors they work with also have adequate safety and health programs.
  • Companies should have a reporting system in place to allow workers to report hazards or unsafe conditions.
  • Companies should ensure proper safety equipment is available and workers are educated on proper use.
  • Companies should conduct regular inspections on work sites and equipment.
  • Companies should stop work if unsafe conditions are reported; this includes unsafe weather conditions, or if a worker’s physical or mental health is impaired.
  • Companies should hold regular trainings and safety reinforcements, especially concerning fall safety topics.

If you need safety signs, decals or banners to help reinforce your company’s safety communication program, contact Stonehouse Signs today. We offer a wide range of standard and custom signs, including Cellular & Cell Tower Signs, Broadcast Communication Signs, and Construction Signs and Safety Banners

Since its founding in 1863, Stonehouse Signs has produced high-quality visual communications solutions for various industries and the government. The company specializes in custom products for safety, information and accident prevention, and manufactures a full line of safety signs and facility signssafety tags, vinyl safety decals, and custom magnetic whiteboards designed for extended outdoor life, harsh environments and demanding applications. For more information contact Stonehouse Signs today.

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