NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program

 Hispanic Tower Erector Falls to Death from
Television Tower in Nebraska

Nebraska Case Report: 03NE019
Report Release Date: January 4, 2005
All guest analysis comments are the writer's personal viewpoints and are not endorsed by NIOSH, OSHA or any other governmental body, association or company unless otherwise stated.
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Occupational code uniformity suggested to assist industy in identifying whether insurance is legit
FACE2Many of the FACE reports provide a great amount of detail, but this report is the only one that provides the employer's classification: SIC 1799 / NAICS 2359.

The company was identified by the FACE investigator as a tower erection/repair company, and perhaps their insurance premium was based upon those activities. However, there are a great amount of contractors that are using the SIC 1799 (Special Trade Contractors, Not Elsewhere Classified), but obtaining insurance policies under such professions as Ornamental Iron Work.

Then there are the companies that will use other SIC codes such as Radio Telephone Communications and Fabricated Structural Metal. Their singular intent is to get insurance coverage at greatly reduced prices.

Granted, most carriers will probably identify at some point that they are in a higher risk profession, and back charge their premium, but many others skate free for many years.
There is certainly no correlation to identify that if they cheat on their insurance coverage that they will deceive themselves that it's okay to cut corners on safety, but there may be some credibility to that concern.

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is replacing the U.S. Standard Industrial Classification System (SIC), and groups companies into 20 broad sectors, up from the 10 division of the SIC system.
It would be great if industry associations and insurance carriers could lobby for a NAICS code for Tower Erectors. Not only would it help the actuaries obtain a better accounting of the number of injuries and fatalities within the industry, but it would assist in keeping a more competitive contracting environment.

Many subcontracted companies will present their ACCORD form to their client with the proper levels of coverage. However, it doesn't identify if the company has the coverage for blasting and painting a 1,000' broadcast tower or if their insurance carrier believes they are painting a two-story Cape Cod.

Stephen SpeziakIndex


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