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OSHA concerned about rise in cell tower accidents

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has sent a warning to cell phone carriers and cell tower contractors regarding the number of accidents that are happening on their cell towers. In 2013, the number of fatal work accidents at cell towers ballooned to 13. That may not sound like a lot, but that figure represents more deaths at cell towers than in 2011 and 2012 combined.

The number of injuries and total number of accidents are obviously much higher than that statistic, and all told, these workplace accidents paint a very disturbing picture. Cell phone tower accidents have, unsurprisingly, been much more prominent in the past decade. Their construction and maintenance -- combined with the astronomical rise in cellphone use -- has caused many workers to suffer serious and catastrophic injuries.

The issue with these towers is that they will always need maintenance and upgrades, as cellphones have become central to American society. Workers will always need to climb these towers and perform awkward duties in difficult positions high on these structures. When they fall, or if the structure fails in some way, or if equipment causes them harm, these workers should receive the compensation they need to get by while they recover.

Hopefully the OSHA warning will spur cell tower contractors and carriers to improve their safety measures. These workers have a right to compensation should they get hurt -- but preventing the injuries, and the accidents that cause them, is obviously a better step for everyone involved.

Source: Wall Street Journal, "OSHA Warns Companies After Rise in Cell Tower Deaths," Ryan Knutson and Melanie Trottman, Feb. 11, 2014

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