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Welder falls 95-feet and dies while working on a U.S. Cellular retrofit project in Kansas

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A 45-year-old welder fell to his death while working on a tower modification in Le Roy, Kansas on Sunday, according to individuals knowledgeable of the accident. A spokesperson of Blackhawk Tower Communications of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin confirmed that Shane Jenson of Orfordville, Wisconsin was welding a modification on a U.S. Cellular site at about the 95-foot level when his safety …

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Lack of training kills a high school day laborer climber and his employer claims it was his own fault

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Lakaram Karanjeet was working part-time for Rise & Rise Wireless, Inc. while he was in high school. He died on June 28, 2019 when he fell from this New Jersey 150-foot monopole.  An investigation by Wireless Estimator into a lawsuit brought against multiple defendants exposes a wireless construction contractor that had no safety programs in place, few owned assets and …

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Sadly, 2020’s top stories were fatalities and structural failures

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

What were the most-read stories published by Wireless Estimator this year? It’s not surprising to learn that any media with a large audience of contractors, tower owners, tower techs, engineers, safety professionals, and vendors would find that two topics – fatalities and structural failures — dominate the list. According to Google Analytics, the most viewed article in 2020 was the …

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Tower tech succumbs from 260-foot fall while endeavoring to bring broadband to the Spokane tribe

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: December 17, 2020 –  James Shumate’s obituary and services information have been added below. December 16, 2020 — A 24-year-old tower technician was killed Saturday, December 12, 2020 when he fell from a tower near Fruitland, Washington. According to individuals knowledgeable of the incident, James Everette Shumate of Houston, Texas was at approximately 260 feet on the structure while …

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Two tower techs are killed when their man lift in Delaware topples onto electrical lines

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: November 4, 2020 — Two men, who were killed attempting to install antennas onto a water tower near Bethany Beach in high winds, have been identified. Delaware State Police said 23-year-old Jovan Maldonado and 22-year-old Bryan Maldonado Andino, both from Puerto Rico, were in a Z135 Man Lift working to put antennas for the Velex, Inc. on the Sussex Shores water tower just of the …

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Alabama accident takes the life of a Texas broadcast tall tower tech

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A broadcast tower technician employed by San Antonio, Texas-based Broadcast Construction Solutions died yesterday shortly before noon in Elsanor, Alabama while performing retrofitting services on a 1,500-foot guyed tower owned by Deerfield Media that broadcasts WJTC TV. Wireless Estimator has confirmed that the deceased broadcast worker is Sirous Snider, 33, of Burleson, Texas, a well-respected and popular poster on Facebook. …

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Experienced tech dies from injuries after falling off a Connecticut 80-foot tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: September 29, 2020 – Services have been announced for Matthew Vincent Clark, 34, of Brooklyn, CT, who died Friday, September 25, 2020 in Manchester. He was the son of Bruce and Kathi (Robinson) Clark. Matthew was the beloved husband of LeAnn (Larrow) Clark. They were married on April 25, 2009 in Canterbury. He also his daughter, Ava Clark, age …

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Reward upped to $10K for information regarding shooting deaths of two cell site workers

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Two months ago, two men were shot multiple times inside a Jacksonville, Florida AT&T cell site equipment building and police are no further ahead in the investigation of their deaths that appears to have been the result of a robbery while the men were working at night resupplying battery banks. Phillip Harley, 37, co-owner of Harley and Sibs Logistics LLC, …

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Helicopter cell site project crash kills pilot and passenger

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: August 3, 2020 – The passenger who died in a helicopter crash last Wednesday has been identified as LaDonna Stroud, a longtime friend of the pilot, James “Jim” Robinson, the owner of St. Louis Helicopter (SLH), who also passed away while preparing for cell tower work near Pioche, Nevada. Stroud was a nurse practitioner and a former member of …

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Two cell site electricians shot to death while performing an AT&T upgrade in Florida

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: June 22, 2020 – The two cell site workers that were shot to death have been identified. They were found by the mother of a co-owner of the logistics company that was killed. Additional information is available here. The bodies of two electricians were found early this morning inside an AT&T equipment shelter at a monopole site in Jacksonville, …

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Rig operator dies after falling into a 35-foot drilled pier foundation for a Verizon monopole

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A foundation drill rig operator died yesterday morning in South Lake Tahoe, California while in the process of completing a drilled pier foundation for a 115-foot Verizon monopole to be erected off of Al Tahoe Boulevard just south of Lake Tahoe Community College. According to authorities, South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue received a call at about 9:45 a.m. and enlisted …

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OSHA levies largest fine in its history involving a tower tech’s death: $141K

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

With one Willful and two Serious violations, OSHA has cited Pegasus Tower Co. for exposing employees to falls after a fatality at a Starkville, Mississippi, worksite. The tower erector faces $140,720 in penalties, the highest fine ever issued by the agency that involved an industry fatality. John Wayne Womack, 43, of Mountain View, Arkansas  suffered a fatal fall from a …

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

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

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. …

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Mississippi gin pole failure crushes top-hand resulting in 2020’s first industry fatality

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE – February 18, 2020: Wireless Estimator has learned that the tower tech that died February 7 in Lumberton, Mississippi was Jim Tinsley, 59, of Baxter, Kentucky. February 16, 2020 — A Kentucky tower technician passed away on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020 in Mississippi when a gin pole collapsed atop the tower he was working on, crushing the man and causing …

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T-Mobile axing its projects led a baker’s dozen top news stories during 2019

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The top stories in 2019, according to Wireless Estimator readership analytics, followed previous years’ subject matter favorites based upon the site’s in depth and exclusive articles as well as its comprehensive coverage of industry fatalities. T-Mobile’s unexpected new build cancellations in August came in first with 41,362 views. However, a Crosby product recall in November for certain 7/8” shackles surprised …

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Fatal falls from heights are at a five year low, but not for the nation’s tower techs

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) has released its Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Report for 2018, and OSHA and media have been heralding the marked 14% decrease from 2017 of fatal falls to a lower level totaling 615, a five-year low since 2014 when there were 674 deaths. The wireless construction industry also saw a marked improvement in 2018 …

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Employer of inexperienced 1099 tower tech who died Saturday was laden with OSHA violations

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Neither OSHA nor Oktibbeha County authorities have released the employer’s name of 43-year-old John Wayne Womack of Mountain View, Arkansas who passed away on Saturday after falling from a 348-foot self-supporting tower that was being erected in Longview, Mississippi, but according to knowledgeable sources, the company was Pegasus Tower, Inc., an OSHA citation-laden company from Calico Rock, Arkansas.   Pegasus …

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Arkansas tech dies in Mississippi during erection of 348-foot self-supporting tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

An Arkansas tower technician died Saturday after he fell approximately 80 feet from a self-supporting tower being constructed in Mississippi. It was the eighth industry fatality this year. Oktibbeha County Coroner Michael Hunt identified the deceased as 43-year-old John Wayne Womack of Mountain View, Arkansas. Womack’s employer, provided to Wireless Estimator by an individual knowledgeable about the fatality, could not be …

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Fraud felony agreed to by contractor whose worker’s death started insurance investigation

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A 2016 fatality of a 19-year-old West Virginia tower technician in Kentucky has resulted in the young man’s employer and the company’s owner entering pleas to the felony offense of engaging in a scheme to defraud Brickstreet Mutual Insurance Company, now known as Encova, of approximately $186,700 in insurance premiums. Kanawha County, West Virginia Prosecuting Attorney Charles T. Miller, in …

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U.S. pales in comparison to India’s unauthorized tower climbers

In Featured News by Craig Lekutis

Since Americans are largely exposed to national headlines when an unauthorized person climbs a cell or broadcast tower and has to be talked down, there might be a perception that the U.S.’s towers are fertile ground for unbalanced individuals doing a high steel balancing act. Such was the case in Orlando, Fla. yesterday when a reportedly disturbed man climbed to the …