Tower tech shortage of 5,000 is at odds with current downturn

Somewhere, at some time, someone said that the wireless infrastructure industry needed at least an additional 5,000 tower technicians to support an ever-looming shortfall of workers. And like lint on a velvet painting of Elvis, it stuck and was continuously buttressed by trade groups and the media who accepted it as gospel because, well, someone said it.
Please see: Tower Tech Shortage

Tower climber shortage

Being tied-off 100% saves a tower technician's life in Chicago 

Firefighters rescued a tower tech this evening after he was left dangling from a monopole in the Chatham neighborhood of Chicago, Ill. The unnamed climber and his co-worker were performing maintenance on a cell tower at 77th and State streets when he fell off an antenna mounting frame after losing his footing. Please see; 100% Tie-Off

Tower technician rescued in Chicago after falling from T-Arm

AT&T construction and engineering chief heading to Goodman

Ernie Carey, Senior Vice President-Construction and Engineering for AT&T, has reportedly been hired by Plano, Tex.-based Goodman Networks, according to individuals familiar with the appointment. Carey shepherded the carrier’s $14 billion Project Velocity- IP to expand 4G LTE and increased its U-verse business as well as its fiber offerings. Please see: Carey

Ernie Carey joins Goodman Networks
Wireless Estimator proudly introduces a new service that will increase vendors’ and contractors' revenues

Following its 5th Anniversary in 2009, Wireless Estimator unveiled the Emergency Services Locator. Trying to top that safety resource’s huge success for its 10th Anniversary became a year-long work in progress, but they’re convinced they have, with the new Wireless Estimator Blue Book Buyer’s Guide being launched today. Please see: Blue Book

Wireless Estimator's Game-Chaning Buyer's Guide

Lanyard monitoring system could become a reality in 2015

A Wireless Estimator Community Forum member posed the question, Could a safety lanyard monitoring system save lives?, and he received mostly a round of agreements; he also elicited from a Tennessee company that, not only could it reduce deaths, but one is in the works and might be in production next year. Please see: Lanyard

Tower Climber lanyard monitoring system

Faux cell towers are real, but fake intercept towers are phony

America’s newest snipe hunt created by a market-savvy handset maker is inspiring residents to identify the fake spy vs. spy cell phone tower in their neighborhood. The media bought into it quicker than an ice bucket challenge, and news outlets continue to contact Wireless Estimator to verify if those structures are real. Our reply: No, but yes, if you measure cell towers in eighths of an inch. Please see: Interceptors

Fake interceptor cell towers are phony

MasTec's WesTower buy has a common thread: AT&T

On the surface, MasTec’s announcement that it has acquired wireless infrastructure builder WesTower for $199 million appears to be a move by the Coral Gables, Fla.-based company to strengthen its branding and physical footprint throughout the nation, but a common thread for the deal seems to be three companies reacting to financial complications attributable to AT&T.
Please see: MasTec

Mastec's WesTower buy appears to have a common thread: AT&T

Man jumps to his death from tower a tech had jumped off in April

With a suicide note left in his car, a Manchester, N.J. man jumped from a Long Branch 400-foot self-supporting tower in the city’s downtown on Monday and died after crashing through an abandoned building at the Y107 tower site. In April, a tower technician also ended his life in the same manner. Please see: Suicide

Jumped from a tower a technician had previously jumped from

Media star Sarah Palin to deliver keynote at NATE UNITE 2015

The National Association of Tower Erectors announced that Sarah Palin will deliver the keynote address at NATE UNITE 2015 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. during the trade group’s conference Feb. 23, 2015 through Feb. 26, 2015. NATE UNITE is widely regarded as the premier and most comprehensive educational event in the wireless and broadcast infrastructure industries. Please see: Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin to speak at NATE UNITE 2015 in Orlando, Fla.

Tower tech is shocked and burned after contact with power line

A  22-year-old Lansing, Mich. tower technician  was shocked and burned when a measuring tape he was using came in contact with a high-voltage power line adjacent to a tower he was working on off of I-96 in Coopersville, Mich. He was employed by Earthcom and working on an American Tower structure for an unknown carrier. Please see: Shocked

Tower climber is shocked and burned in Michigan

Pervasive free climbing seen as a top concern by working group

A workshop on tower climber safety and injury protection presented by the FCC and OSHA in Washington, D.C. had two panels of speakers exploring issues as divergent as their backgrounds, but there was a commonality of purpose amongst all panelists: America needs to move quickly to reduce and eliminate injuries and fatalities in the wireless construction industry. You can view the entire event recorded by the FCC. Please see: OSHA/FCC

OSHA/FCC workshop explores the high fatality and injury rate of tower climbers

TIRAP to elevate tower technicians with training and certification

A powerful consortium of telecommunications companies and industry associations have joined with the U.S. Department of Labor and the Federal Communications Commission in forming a public-private partnership aimed at developing apprenticeships to improve workplace safety, address industry workforce needs, and provide workers with greater employment and advancement opportunities. Please see: TIRAP

TIRAP to elevate tower technician's standing with training and national certification

Anti-siting community expected to run with poor RF report card

An article in The Wall Street Journal entitled “Cellphone Boom Spurs Antenna-Safety Worries,” will most likely become the newest anti-tower template at siting application hearings with protestors sidestepping the included statement that “The [radio frequency] power isn’t considered harmful by the time it reaches the street, but it can be a risk for workers and residents standing directly in front of an antenna.” Please see: WSJ

Poor RF report card for carriers and tower owners

Washington chiefs to tackle rising tower climber deaths

High ranking government officials will be meeting with wireless industry executives on Oct. 14, 2014, at FCC Headquarters in Washington, examine the causes of high fatality and injury rates in the wireless construction industry, and to identify best practices that have worked and how to implement them. A live webcast will be available. Please see: Workshop

Bogus call regarding tech's death highlights social media abuse 

Social media, more predominately Facebook in the wireless construction industry, has become an excellent and almost necessary platform for companies to get their message out. It’s also a great vehicle for workers to share information and friendship, especially for tower technicians who frequently cross paths across the nation. It’s also a tool for intentional misinformation bordering on criminal behavior. Please see: Bogus Death Report

Federal flogging of a tower contractor is OSHA's newest warning 

In advance of a joint OSHA / FCC workshop on Oct. 14, 2014 in Washington, D.C. regarding tower climber safety and injury prevention, OSHA has delivered a public flogging and a $134,400 fine to a St. Peters, Mo. tower contractor following the death of two of its workers after two towers collapsed in Blaine, Kan. in March. Please see: Wireless Horizon

Two techs are dead following the collapse of two Kansas towers

Deadline's near to order shirts to benefit injured tower tech

Friends and co-workers of Tommy Jeglum  continue to reach out to the industry to seek donations to assist the seriously injured tower tech who  currently suffers from brain injuries. Midwest Unlimited is offering a dedication shirt to all fallen tower workers that will benefit him in his recovery. The deadline for placing an order is Sept. 30, 2014. Please see: Jeglum

Midwest Unlimited to assist injured tower tech through t-shirt sales

CITCA expands with another safety training facility in Indiana

CITCA - the Communications Industry Training and Certification Academy in Bourbonnais, Ill., has announced the opening of a new regional training facility in Camby, Ind., near Indianapolis. The new facility features both indoor and outdoor training towers, allowing year- round training opportunities in the often challenging Midwest weather. Please see: CITCA

CITCA opens new tower climber training facility

Techs warned not to climb a tower until possibly faulty DBI-Sala safety climbs are identified and isolated on 2,000 towers

Fall protection equipment provider Capital Safety has issued a request for tower climbers to check a structure’s safety climb system prior to ascending the tower after a number of reports were received by the company that the cable had slipped from the carrier clamp in the top bracket assembly of DBI-SALA systems purchased from Capital Safety between Sept. 1, 2013 through May 13, 2014. A company spokesperson said that he believes that there may be up to 2,000 affected wireless communications structure. Please see: Climber Alert

Ham radio operator succumbs after 90-foot fall in Wisconsin

A Silent Key announcement, in remembrance of a deceased ham radio operator, was sent out after authorities announced that an Eau Claire, Wis. man fell to his death from a 100-foot tower in Eagle Point while performing maintenance. Although he was wearing a safety harness he was not tied off, according to authorities. Please see: Wisconsin

Wisconsin Tower Climber Dies

Authorities looking into whether fire was started by T-Mobile site

Authorities are looking into the possibility that a three-alarm blaze on the top of an auto repair business last night might have been started by an electrical fire originating from a T-Mobile cell site on the building located in Ramsey, N.J. A firefighter suffered a shoulder injury and was transported to a hospital. Please see: N.J. Blaze

Cell site fire in New Jersey

Lighting standards were observed, but insurers pay $6.7 million

Constructing towers just shy of 200 feet in height to avoid the cost of installing, monitoring and maintaining obstruction lighting is a common and legal practice.  However, a recent wrongful death insurance settlement of $6.7 million has one trade group advocating that all heights of meteorological towers should be lamped. Please see: $6.7 Million

Tower Lighting Lawsuit

A $400,000 donation buoys launch of Tower Family Foundation

Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” Two wireless executives personified the late poet’s message when it was announced at CTIA’s Super Mobility Week that they made a $400,000 donation to the Tower Industry Family Support Foundation. Please see: Foundation

Tower techs' conditions unknown following rescue injuries

A tower technician has received life-threatening injuries after passing out and possibly being injured while he was being rescued from a monopole he was working on in Norman, Okla. His co-worker was also injured while bringing him down too quickly, according to authorities. Please see: Rescue

Techs injured following rescue mishap

Services set for two techs killed while securing a trailer load

Services have been set for two tower technicians who lost their lives in a tragic roadside accident on Tuesday in Newcastle, Okla. Authorities said that Joshua Oglesby, 22, and Trevor Flum, 37, were off the side of H.E. Bailey Turnpike with their vehicle when a man driving a red pickup truck crashed into the MUTI trailer, killing both men. Please see: Services

Two tower techs die following roadside crash

Journalist's beheading kindles sad reminder of tower tech death

Terrorist organization ISIS released a video of the beheading of journalist James Foley. For many, it was an unnerving reminder of the horrific decapitation of Promethius Methods Tower Service’s owner, 26-year-old Nicholas “Nick” Berg, by Islamic militants in Iraq ten years earlier. It also presented an uncomfortable media double standard. Please see: Berg

Nick Berg remembered

With $45,000 fine, OSHA cites FWT after two workers are injured

FWT LLC has been cited for one repeat and one serious safety violation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration after two employees were injured in separate incidents at the company's Ohio facility, which manufactures telecommunication towers.OSHA has proposed penalties of $45,500. Please see: FWT

Fort Worth Tower cited for injuries to two workers

Safety task force's second tie-off PSA is unveiled in Colorado

The Wireless Industry Safety Task Force released the second in a series of public service announcements as part of the 100% Tie-Off 24/7 Awareness Campaign. The PSA entitled “100% Tie-Off…It’s the Law” was unveiled prior to the Task Force meeting that is being held in Denver, Colo. in conjunction with the NATE summer conference. Please see: 100%

100 Percent Tie-Off-PSA is announced

Two techs injured when their man lift drops them 30 feet

Two tower technicians working on a flagpole cell site in Kingston, Mass. were injured Monday evening when their man lift dropped them 30 feet, but only suffered minor injuries, according to Kingston Fire Captain Adam Hatch. Having their harnesses attached to the cage most likely saved their lives. Please see: Man Lift

Two tower climbers injured in man lift accident

Tower painter succumbs after falling from tower in Illinois

The Jo Daviess County Sheriff's Department announced that a Toledo, Ill tower painter was killed after he fell 80-to-90-feet from a guyed tower. The 49-year-old man was with a crew near rural Stockton. He was employed by Sherwood Tower Services of Terre Haute, Ind. The structure's owner is Midwest Tower Leasing, Inc. Please see: Illinois

FCC and OSHA join forces to explore industry's high fatality rate

In a joint announcement, the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said they will be holding a workshop on Oct. 14, 2014 to explore why the wireless infrastructure industry’s elevated workers have a fatality rate 10 times higher than that of the construction industry. Please see: FCC

FCC and OSHA to explore high tower climber fatality rate

Some see OSHA's $14,000  fine in the deaths of techs too low

When it became known earlier this year that two tower technicians were killed  in West Virginia because their company did not instruct them on how to properly change out bracing during a tower modification project, it was expected by many that OSHA would cite the company with some of the largest fines issued to date. It didn't happen. Please see: OSHA

OSHA fine seen too low

AT&T's additional radios puts some structures over capacity

An increase in weight and wind loading caused by additional remote radio heads appears to be a primary contributor to AT&T's decision to reassess their cell site of the future and put many new cell sites on hold throughout the nation. The new loading was in some cases tripling the anticipated build cost. Please see: Radio Heads

Remote Radio Heads

Riding the line is now legal anytime when working on a tower

After dozens of meetings over a dozen years, OSHA has released a new compliance directive for hoisting personnel to or from their workstations on a tower. The previous OSHA instruction only allowed hoisting personnel during new tower construction. The new instruction allows  companies to use a hoist for all workl. Please see: Directive

Riding the line is now legal at all times on structures

ATexas tech is rescued after suffering from heat exhaustion

A Texas–based tower technician was rescued from a tower in Crawfordville, Fla. after heat exhaustion began to immobilize him as he worked at the approximately 260-foot level on a Talquin Electric microwave tower. He was transported in good condition and great spirits to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital for medical assessment. Please see: Rescue

Bottle of urine revamped a contractor's drug screening program

In an industry that appeals to young men and women who tend to have risk-taking personalities, it is inevitable that a percentage of that workforce would engage in drug use. Once you have your policies in place, what kind of drug test is best for your situation - urine or hair analysis? One company came to a fairly quick decision and restructured their drug testing program after finding a urine bottle in their parking lot. Please see: Hair

Tower Climber Drug Testing

A dropped dime adds up to a $52,200 OSHA fine for contractor

An unknown caller concerned about a tower company’s employees free climbing on a monopole dropped a dime on a contractor, and after an OSHA investigator responded to the Ohio site, one willful and eight serious citations were issued totaling $52,200 in fines for West Virginia contractor Morlan Enterprises. Please see: OSHA

Tower climbers caught free-climbing in Ohio

Friday night lights are minus one after cell tower fire

A subcontracted crew that was retrofitting a combination cell tower and stadium lighting pole reported to authorities that the structure was on fire. Fire department personnel responded and extinguished the fire that was reportedly started when the structure’s transmission lines caught fire while a crew was welding. Please see: Ohio Fire

Ohio Monopole Fire

Rigging accident severs off a tech's head and arm in Kentucky

A tower technician was dismembered and decapitated this afternoon while working on a Verizon tower in Cynthiana, Ky. when rigging failed and a rope wrapped around his neck and arm, according to Harrison County Sheriff Bruce Hampton who said the man was part of a four-member crew from Indiana. Please see: Accident

Sometimes you have to get graphic to get the message across

The Wireless Industry Safety Task Force’s 100% Tie-Off 24/7 awareness campaign is driving home the message that there should be a zero-tolerance policy regarding this law. Technicians understand the law, but some end up dying because they don't observe it. The message isn’t new, but the way it’s being presented is. Please see: 100%

CommScope's HELIAX Fiber Feed Direct cuts time and OpEx

Surging mobile data demands are making network modernization a priority, but the current patchwork of hardware makes it difficult to match the interfacing that OEMs place on the remote radio units. CommScope Heliax FiberFeed Direct minimizes common fiber to the antenna cabling challenges — time consuming, expensive, non-standardized connectors — while deploying quickly and easily, delivering true OpEx savings. Please see: CommScope

CommScope HELIAX Fiber Feed Direct cuts time and OpEx

Risky behavior might have contributed to tech's 80-foot fall

A technician fell approximately 80 feet from a Crown Castle International cell phone tower on Ingaham Rd. in Old Saybrook, Ct. on May 31, 2014, and fortunately his only injury was a broken femur. Unfortunately, his YouTube selfies signaled that it was bound to happen and risky behavior might have contributed to the accident. Please see: Risky Behavior

AT&T's hurry up and wait forces WesTower and Velocitel layoffs

Wireless network service providers WesTower Communications and Velocitel have terminated employees as AT&T’s spending freeze continues to cut into revenues of companies committed to the 4G build-out plan which came to a grinding halt as first reported by Wireless Estimator on May 22, 2014. Please see: Layoffs

ATT spending freeze forces layoffs

Sprint's T-Mobile deal will have few standing up for contractors

If the rumored deal of Sprint Corp. buying T-Mobile USA becomes a reality, it could sound the death knell for many contractors and their workers, and cut heavily into suppliers’ margins. Although trade organizations and vertical realtors will privately agree that it’s detrimental, there will be a deafening silence on their part. Please see: T-Mobile

Fatal fall claims the life of a 28-year-old tower tech in Texas

A tower technician fell to his death in San Angelo, Tex. this afternoon from a self-supporting tower, according to a police department press release. The report said that the man was at approximately the 140-foot level when he fell. He was employed by Microwave Transmission Systems, Inc. of Richardson. Please see: Fatality

AT&T's capital spending freeze blindsides contractors

AT&T’s widespread capital spending project freeze, as first reported by Wireless Estimator on May 22, 2014, is requiring many industry contractors, both large and small, to find additional opportunities to keep their employees working as they assess whether they’ll make future commitments to the nation’s second largest wireless carrier. Please see: Blindsided

Observing 100% tie-off saves a tower tech's life in Georgia

Observing 100% fall protection saved the life of a technician after rescuers used a harness system to lower the 28-year-old tech to a waiting ladder truck bucket after he was injured when he slipped off a step bolt at about the 125-foot level of a 150-foot monopole in Norcross, GA. Please see: Tie-off

AT&T puts new builds on hold as it discusses DirecTV buy

AT&T said during a presentation at PCIA’s annual convention in Orlando that their pending acquisition of DirecTV won’t affect how the carrier invests in its network buildout. But they didn’t address a construction detour due to new site builds reportedly being put on hold this week. Please see: AT&T

Successful Positions Wanted board gets even more powerful

HR directors spoke and  Wireless Estimator listened – very carefully –  and restructured the nation’s most popular Positions Wanted board to be the industry's leading employment resource. It also provides workers with a platform that will get their resume in front of more employers than all other industry web sites combined. Please see: Changes HR will love

“Cisco” Francisco dies, leaving a legacy of assisting contractors

Robert “Cisco” Francisco, of East Syracuse, NY, passed away April 27, 2014 at age 83, leaving a legacy of many tower company owners who learned their craft from the affable tower erector whose friendship encouraged them to advance industry safety and professionalism. Please see: Francisco

A 12-month record of rolling over 100,000 jobs is made

More than 100,000 of the nation’s wireless construction and maintenance projects have been rolled in the past 12 months using Wireless Estimator’s Emergency Services Locator to ensure that information is available to safeguard workers in case of an emergency -- a daily jobsite requirements to be OSHA compliant. Please see: ESL

Over 100,000 wireless jobs rolled on Wireless Estimator

Wireless Estimator simplifies training course selections

Wireless Estimator’s newest version of its popular training resource locator will now allow users to easily search any region of the country to quickly identify the companies and the hundreds of available courses that are available. It also features virtual and on demand offerings to assist in minimizing expenses and travel time. Please see: Training

Wireless construction industry training courses

New Jersey tower tech takes his life by jumping off 400-foot tower

It may never be known why a 60-year-old tower technician committed suicide Monday evening by jumping off of a tower he had previously worked on performing a Verizon project a week before in Long Branch, N.J. According to authorities, Pedro Macias from Elizabeth was on the tower for approximately an hour before he jumped. Please see: Suicide

ATC acquires Richland Towers’ assets in a $350 million deal

Richland Towers, the U.S.'s largest privately owned tall tower company, has been acquired by American Tower Corporation for an estimated $350 million. Approximately 50 towers were involved in the deal which is expected to be discussed during ATC’s first quarter conference call scheduled for May 1, 2014. Please see: Richland

Richland Towers' tall towers sold to American Tower Corporation

Pinpoint Towers fined $21,000 fine for violations involving death

OSHA has cited Optica Network Technologies, which it states in a press release operates as Pinpoint Towers LLC, with three serious safety violations after a worker was fatally injured during a fall from a communications tower on Nov. 23, 2013 at a work site in Wichita, Kan. The fine for the alleged violations is $21,000.  Please see: Pinpoint

OSHA fines Pinpoint Towers following tech's death

Rescuers and a lanyard help save a tower tech's life in NC

Fall protection equipment and two firefighters helped to save the life of a tower technician who fell while providing maintenance on a monopole late this afternoon. According to news report and available video, the tech was working alone on the tower when he fell and hung from his safety harness and lanyard for over an hour. Please see: 100% Tie-Off Works

PPE helps to save a climber's life

Sprint raises its cell site shuttering to at least 6,000 locations

According to a filing with the SEC, Sprint expects to decommission at least 6,000 cell sites by the end of 2015 as part of its plan to shut down WiMAX service. When the carrier announced last fall its plan to sunset WiMAX as it moved to LTE technology their redundant Clearwire sites totaled 4,300. Please see: Sprint

Sprint to shelter 6,000 cell sites

RSI introduces SATIMO personal protection monitors in the U.S.

Radiofrequency Safety International (RSI) has announced that it can provide immediate delivery of the SATIMO Personal Protection Monitors. Leading the way in 21st century technology, SATIMO RFR monitors were just released for sale in the USA and RSI is the only authorized distributor for these state of the art devices. Please see: SATIMO

RSI introduces EME Guard monitors in the U.S.

Two techs are dead following the collapse of Kansas towers

Two tower technicians were killed when two towers collapsed in Blaine, Kan. The Pottawatomie Co. Sheriff's Office said the structures fell about 9:30 a.m. near the junction of Highways 16 and 99. A four-man crew was removing a decommissioned tower when the accident occurred. Please see: Kansas

Two techs are dead following the collapse of two Kansas towers

AT&T’s tower crew program could be an industry game changer

AT&T’s Tower Crew Augmentation Program (TCAP), a plan designed to provide the carrier with a quicker and more quality-driven build-out, could adversely affect the contracting landscape of smaller tower construction companies if its rollout proves to be successful. It might also cut into Verizon’s 4G construction lead. In building out 4G it appears big is better again. Please see: AT&T TCAP Program

ATandT National TCAP program could affect smaller tower companies

Maryland accident claims the life of another tech

A 21-year-old tower technician was pronounced dead after he fell approximately 180 feet from a water tower in Pasadena, Md., according to a press release issued by the Anne Arundel County Fire Department. The man, whose name hasn’t been released, was the industry’s fourth fatality in 2014. Please see: Maryland Death 

Fourth tower tech fatality in 2014

Industry is quick to weigh in after Hang Men’s debut

Realty TV has no bounds and a recent successful entry is Game of Arms, an unscripted program about arm wrestling – a wristy business. So it was no surprise that the Discovery Channel saw the profit potential of riding on the shirttails of tower erection and maintenance – a risky business - and they premiered Hang Men last night to mixed reviews. Please see: Hang Men 

Hang Men will put tower work’s dangers back in the spotlight

NBC’s Tower Dogs, Frontline’s Cell Tower Deaths and Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs took the tower construction industry out of the shadows, but the profession will be cast in a brighter spotlight on Friday, March 14, 2014 at 11:00 p.m. eastern when Hang Men, an original presentation on the Discovery Channel, showcases the heroic work of the industry's men and women. Please see: Docudrama

Hang Men will make its debut on the Discovery Channel

Tower contest provides world’s tallest human shish kabob grill

The Turkish seaport city of Canakkale has announced the winner of an international competition for a broadcast tower design that, if built, might eclipse visitor attendance to their wooden horse exhibit from the 2004 movie Troy – placed there because Canakkale is the closest city to the site of ancient Troy. But like the Trojan horse, it’s hiding an elite and deadly RF force inside. Please see: Turkey Award 

RF takes a back seat in international tower design contest

NATE doesn’t disappoint as it unites and ignites enthusiasm

The National Association of Tower Erectors’ annual convention in San Diego, Calif.
ended Thursday, and the four day confab not only lived up to its promise to unite the wireless construction industry, but provided a conference that is being recognized as the best event the trade group has ever held. Please see: UNITE

Martin Cooper keynotes NATE UNITE 2014
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