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Checkered contractor loses lawsuit after two tower tech deaths

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Based upon substantial evidence to support their findings, a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has kayoed a wireless contractor’s final attempt to vacate the company’s serious violations of OSHA’s General Duty Clause and $7,000 in fines they received following an accident that killed two of their employees on May 28, 2013. Both men, employees …

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Services set for tech who fell from a 160-foot Oklahoma monopole

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: Nov. 7, 2016 – Services have been announced for Steven Lamar Hill, 44, of Chandler, Okla. by the Barnes Friedrich Funeral Home, 1820 South Douglas Blvd., Midwest City, Okla. beginning at 1:00 p.m., Nov. 9, 2016. Interment will follow at Elmwood Cemetery in Choctaw, Okla. UPDATE: Nov. 3, 2016 – Authorities have released the name of the deceased tower …

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Cop’s shooting of tower tech had none of the outrage being shown in Charlotte death

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

After a Charlotte, N.C. police officer ten years ago shot and killed an AFL Network Services tower technician, Anthony Wayne Furr, 41, while he was working in a Sprint equipment shelter, the officer said he was in fear of his life and was exonerated. Sadly, following Tuesday’s killing of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott by police, Furr’s children will revisit the memories …

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Wives of murdered tower techs sue the Coast Guard for wrongful death

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The wives of two Alaskan tower technicians who were gunned down by a co-worker filed a lawsuit against their husbands’ employer, the U.S. Coast Guard, stating that it should have been known that their spouses’ murderer, James Wells, “was a disgruntled and dangerous employee.” The August 5, 2016 complaint by Nicola Belisle and Deborah Hopkins, is seeking over $1 million …

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Tower tech who was shot by his co-worker passes away in San Antonio

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: August 11, 2016 – A memorial service for Brandon Cartwright will be held on Tuesday, August 16 at 10:30 a.m. at Northeastern Junior College, Sterling, CO. An altercation between two tower tech co-workers on July 28 in San Antonio, Tex. sent one of the men to University Hospital after he was shot in the chest and the other to jail where he’s …

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New York county fire official is killed while at tower site doing maintenance

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The top fire official in Tioga County, N.Y was killed yesterday when a county pickup truck struck him while backing up, according to the county’s sheriff’s department. Tioga County Fire Coordinator John Scott, 71, of Campville, was one of several employees who were performing maintenance at a county radio tower on Carmichael Rd. in the Town of Owego when he …

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State by state industry deaths analysis provides a linch pin for continuing dialogue

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

For 13 years, Wireless Estimator has been compiling data on industry-related fatalities, and presented that information last month to a dozen public and private safety professionals for analysis to see if there are any common threads that could be explored to reduce tower climber deaths. The only commonality, however, was that although there were 116 fatality incidents since 2003, assigning any significance based upon …

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Veteran tower climber, helping ham radio operators, succumbs after a fall in Arizona

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: June 12, 2016 – Andrew Milton ‘Milt’ Jensen, 73, who died when he fell from a tower located on Mount Lemmon in Pima County, Ariz. on Thursday while volunteering his services to an amateur radio club, had been climbing professionally for a number of years and had safety training, according to a family member who announced services today that …

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Kentucky fall claims the life of a West Virginia tower technician

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: May 25, 2016 – The tower technician who died yesterday had been working on a project installing a 310-foot self-supporting tower for Appalachian Wireless. The Federal Communications Commission’s database identifies a construction completion date of May 25, 2016. Appalachian Wireless has built a number of towers recently. In March, they built one in Mud Creek, Ky. and in April, …

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OSHA is readying new RF, fall protection and hoist standards

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had known that fall protection in the wireless construction industry has either been used improperly or inconsistently due to the high fatality rate of tower climbers, after analyzing the responses to their 38 questions on tower safety published last April, the agency has decided that it will be moving forward with revising their standards …

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Ohio cell tower climber’s death wasn’t industry related

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A 20-year-old man who fell 70-feet from a cell tower in Oxford, Ohio on Thursday and died, was not an industry-related fatality, according to Miami University Police Chief John McCandless, who said it was a sophomore majoring in university studies from Seoul, Korea, and Beijing, China Although a number of industry workers contacted Wireless Estimator on Friday, stating that they …

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Over $13,000 in fatality citations vacated after Virginia’s OSH ignores a filing deadline

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: March 24, 2016 – Summit Tower Construction co-owner Allan Hadfield said today that although he welcomed the dismissal by a Waynesboro, Virginia Judge of six Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) citations based upon a judicial filing technicality, following a 2013 fatality, he and his attorneys were prepared to show that his employee’s death was caused by an equipment …

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Crew and subcontracting requirements could change with proposed OSHA/FCC best practices

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

If the best practices (BPs) being developed by the Federal Communications Commission and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration are implemented nation-wide, it is likely that the industry will see a marked improvement in fatality and injury counts. It will also assist in reducing the number of companies in the industry that provide lower bids because they’re not burdened by …

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FCC Chairman’s zero fatality message is clear even with slightly different fatality count

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Thursday’s message at the Occupational Safety & Health Administration and the Federal Communications Commission workshop was loud and clear as stated by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “The industry that provides world-class wireless service must have world-class safety for its employees and contractors. Period,” said Wheeler in his opening remarks during the half-day session (video available here) at FCC headquarters in …

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SBA seeks at least $1 million from two contractors after towers collapse

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Boca Raton, Fla.-based SBA Telecommunications LLC and SBA Towers have filed a property damage lawsuit against S&S Communication Specialists Inc. of Oklahoma, and FDH Engineering, located in North Carolina, following the collapse of two communications towers that resulted in the death of three people. The complaint filed last month, asking for at least $1 million, states that both companies were …

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Former OSHA construction safety chief believes some companies see agency’s fines as a ‘business cost’

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Jim Maddux, Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Directorate of Construction, retired at the end of December from the position he held since Dec. 20, 2010. During his leadership at OSHA he was instrumental in creating a serious conversation about climber safety in America, and shepherding new proactive initiatives targeting the telecom industry. He began his carrer with OSHA …

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Removing five diagonals and loosening 12 others cited for causing deaths, injuries

In Featured News, Incident Report News, Safety, Standards by Wireless Estimator

Four lawsuits that were filed in June against a tower owner and the contractor it hired to design and manage a structural reinforcement project in West Va. where two tower technicians died and two were injured after a tower collapsed, have worked their way from circuit court to federal court, and the defendants are alleging that it was the tower …

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Ernie Jones succumbs following tragic tower elevator-related accident in Oklahoma

In Featured News, Incident Report News, Safety, Standards by Wireless Estimator

An industry icon who helped shape and advance structural and safety initiatives during his service to the tower industry was killed yesterday in an elevator-related accident on a broadcast tower in Oklahoma City, Okla., according to individuals knowledgeable of the incident. Although there are few verifiable details, Ernest “Ernie” Jones had reportedly been working with a crew on KOCO’s broadcast …