The NIOSH, OSHA, NATE partnership for the prevention of injury to telecommunication tower construction and maintenance workers.
NOIRS 2000--Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA, October 17-19, 2000. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2000 Oct; :57
The widespread use of wireless communications services has fueled the construction of towers to hold transmitting devices for cellular phones, personal communication services, and television and radio broadcast antennas. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) estimates that at least 75,000 towers have been constructed in the United States, and industry groups indicate that 20,000 to 50,000 towers are erected each year. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is expected to promote more tower construction to meet the increased demand for wireless communication services. Based on an analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, a minimum of 95 workers died during the construction or maintenance of telecommunication towers during the 6-year period 1992-1997. Falls accounted for the majority of deaths of workers involved in telecommunication tower construction or maintenance. Eighteen percent of the deaths were associated with tower collapse. The remainder of deaths occurred when workers were struck by objects, such as parts of equipment or towers. NIOSH has investigated 8 tower-related fatal incidents. Two of the case studies will be presented. In an attempt to improve the safety and health of tower workers, OSHA established a Tower Task Force in 1997. NIOSH has been an active member of this task force and has made several key contributions to the task force's products. NIOSH and OSHA, together with the National Association of Tower Erectors, have addressed several key issues affecting the safety and health of tower workers. NIOSH input has been instrumental in the development of OSHA compliance directives, has disseminated safety information through trade magazines, and has developed preventive recommendations for tower owners, tower construction companies, and tower workers.
Accident rates; Accident statistics; Accidents; Accident prevention; Injuries; Traumatic injuries; Injury prevention; Surveillance programs; Statistical analysis; Epidemiology; Construction workers; Construction industry
NOIRS 2000 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA., October 17-19, 2000