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SBA Communications heralds 100 injury-free days milestone

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

In 1989 when SBA Communications was the nation’s first company to actively build and acquire towers the company entered unchartered waters but was fully aware of the 1986 requirement to maintain their OSHA 200 log of recordable injuries and illness and maintain a safe environment for their employees. But as Boca Raton, Florida-based SBA staffed up over the years to …

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Environment oftentimes weaves dangerous webbing, a Planning Advisory Notice explains why

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Equipment exposed to the environment can have an effect on technician safety, effective use, and longevity. The focus of this Planning Advisory Notice (PAN), published with permission by the Telecommunications Industry Foundation, is:  Best safety practices for slings, ropes, harnesses, and hard hats to help technicians identify and prevent environmental exposure and ultraviolet degradation. In 2017, Brigham Young University conducted …

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An Alabama miracle: Two men are alive after a rigging failure collapses the 349-foot tower they were on

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: June 15, 2020 —  OSHA has identified that the company decommissioning an AT&T sector in Seale, Alabama when the structure collapsed was Strong Tower Enterprises of Brownwood, Texas. According to individuals knowledgeable of the incident, the tower techs that miraculously survived when they rode the tower down from about the 225-foot level were Qualyan Moore and an unnamed minor, …

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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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NATE shows raptors on towers a danger to techs in newly released “Birds of Prey” video

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association today released a video titled “Birds of Prey” focused on the topic of raptors nesting on communication towers. The video is the second to debut in Volume 5 of the Association’s popular #ClimberConnection series. The video, released to coincide with bird nesting season in many parts of the United States, includes important information that …

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Contractors cautioned: Don’t underreact in protecting wireless field workforces against COVID-19

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

By Michael Devers and Jim Tracy The wireless communication industry we work in is as dynamic and fast-paced as it is critical. Over the past week, we’ve been witness to history as the dynamic, fast-paced, and extraordinary development of the impacts and storylines surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) have begun to play out. This is especially true here in Western Washington, unfortunately …

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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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Readers question why Tennessee rescue required emergency services assistance

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A Tuesday rescue of a tower tech in LaVergne, Tennessee ended successfully, but it started a slew of social media posts and emails to Wireless Estimator questioning why the individual could not have self-rescued himself or rely upon a co-worker bring him to the ground instead of waiting almost an hour-and- a-half. HIPAA compliance prevented officials from responding to requests for additional …

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Pennsylvania techs shot at by a more than tipsy felon who is now behind bars after seven shots

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A Pennsylvania man, reportedly intoxicated, was arrested by police after he returned to the scene of his alleged crime of firing gun shots at tower techs while they were working on a 400-foot guyed tower in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. According to a report from the Hanover Township Police Department, officers were dispatched to a tower owned by Crown Castle off of …

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Pure Safety Group recalls SRLs with stainless steel or web lifelines

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Pure Safety Group (PSG)  has issued an immediate recall and stop-use alert for its Guardian Fall Protection Self-Retracting Lifelines that use a stainless steel or web lifeline. “A small number of SRLs were identified as noncompliant with ANSI Z359.14-14 and must immediately be removed from service,” PSG states in a press release. Under certain conditions, the stainless steel or web lifeline may …

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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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Two tower workers on the mend after 30-foot fall from Pennsylvania tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Two unnamed men were injured this afternoon when the tower they were working on in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania collapsed. According to multiple news reports the men were taken to a hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries after falling aproximately 30 feet. Firefighters and paramedics had to use all-terrain vehicles to rescue the pair off of a hilltop …

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Tower Family Foundation awarded $295K to climbers in 2019 and needs your support

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Tower Family Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is encouraging all wireless industry companies and stakeholders to make an end of year tax-deductible donation to the organization prior to December 31, 2019. All contributions to the Tower Family Foundation are granted directly to eligible tower workers and/or their families to help assist them in paying for their immediate needs and …

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Having saved more lives than he ever knew, Winton ‘Dub’ Wilcox Jr. passes at age 74

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Simply said, what Guglielmo Marconi did for radio, Winton (Dub) Wilcox Jr. achieved for climber safety as he took a cottage industry with loosely knit safety practices to a heightened professional awareness to save tower techs’ lives through his advocacy and establishment in 1995 of one of the first schools to teach tower climbing safety – ComTrain. He passed away …

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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 …