New York tower tech who died last year in New Jersey reportedly didn’t have climber training

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

With no media coverage and the lack of a timely OSHA investigation filing, since June 28, 2019, the only indication that there was a fatality at this 150-foot monopole site in West Creek, New Jersey, was a memorial consisting of a deflated balloon, candles and a wilted bouquet of flowers.

The 18-year-old tower tech’s father said that his son had never had any training to safely climb towers before he fell out of a man basket while attempting to work on an AT&T sector mount. OSHA apparently also reached that conclusion and cited the young man’s employer. A makeshift memorial was placed near the West Creek monopole compound where the fatality occurred.

Pushing the six-month window of opportunity to issue fines against a New York company who lost a tower tech in New Jersey on June 28, 2019, Marlton New Jersey’s OSHA office issued five serious citations against Rise & Rise Wireless Inc. (R&R) totaling $42,432 on December 12, 2019.

Last month, in an informal settlement, OSHA reduced the fines to $38,000.

According to knowledgeable individuals, 18-year-old tower tech Lakeram Karanjeet accessed the tower from a man basket along with his crew lead at about the 140-foot level, and when he was transitioning to a T-boom sector and fell to his death.

First reports on August 14, 2019 indicated that he was either tied off to or was holding onto a pipe when it spun around before he fell.

His father informed Wireless Estimator that his son had never received any training for working at heights and it appears that OSHA agrees, having fined R&R $13,260 for not providing a training program for each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards.

The agency later reduced the fine to $11,900.

R&R of Queens Village, was providing an AT&T installation project that was being managed by turfing vendor Jacobs Engineering. The work required R&R to swap out 700/AWS, GSM and spare antennas at all sectors as well as installing two new squids on a 150-foot multi-tenant monopole owned by KBM & Associates, LLC.

The fatality remained unreported for six weeks in news media and was not available in OSHA’s establishment search database at the time.

Serious Violations Adjustments in an Informal Settlement with R&R


Employees shall always stand firmly on the floor of the basket and shall not sit or climb on the edge of the basket or use planks, ladders, or other devices for a work position.

Serious Violation — Initial Fine: $5,304    Current Fine: $4,700


The employer shall determine if the walking/working surfaces on which its employees are to work have the strength and structural integrity to support employees safely. Employees shall be allowed to work on those surfaces only when the surfaces have the requisite strength and structural integrity.

Serious Violation — Initial Fine: $5,304    Current Fine: $4,700


“Unprotected sides and edges.” Each employee on a walking/working surface (horizontal and vertical surface) with an unprotected side or edge which is 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above a lower level shall be protected from falling by the use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.
Serious Violation — Initial Fine: $13,260    Current Fine: $11,950


Anchorages used for attachment of personal fall arrest equipment shall be independent of any anchorage being used to support or suspend platforms and capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds (22.2 kN) per employee attached, or shall be designed, installed, and used as follows

Serious Violation — Initial Fine: $5,304    Current Fine: $4,700

The employer shall provide a training program for each employee who might be exposed to fall hazards. The program shall enable each employee to recognize the hazards of falling and shall train each employee in the procedures to be followed in order to minimize these hazards.

Serious Violation — Initial Fine: $13,260    Current Fine: $11,950