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Tower construction worker dies following 940-foot fall from television tower.

Missouri Department of Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 98MO161, 1999 Sep; :1-5
On December 8, 1998, a 21-year-old tower construction worker was killed after sliding approximately 1,000 feet down a supporting guy wire. The victim and co-workers were in the process of attaching dampeners to the guy wires when the incident occurred. The tower being constructed was a three-sided, 10-foot-face, 1,040-foot tall structure to be utilized for a high definition digital television antenna. The victim was at the 940-foot level when the incident occurred. He was wearing a positioning safety belt with a T-Bar attached to the D-rings of the belt. Attached to one end of the T-bar was an adjustable length lanyard with a large hook and the other end was a large hook. It appears the victim placed the hook attached to his T-Bar over the guy wire. Apparently the victim did not attach his other positioning lanyard to the tower before sliding out onto the guy wire. As the victim slid out onto the wire he discovered he was not attached to the tower. At this point he was able to hang on and not slide down the wire. The closest co-worker who was aware the victim was in trouble climbed out to help him back to the tower. The victim had one foot over the top of the wire but could not keep himself from sliding. He started sliding and could not stop. The victim then slid rapidly down the wire striking the anchorage point on the ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The MO FACE Investigator concluded that in order to prevent similar occurrences employers should: 1. provide employees with a 100% fall protection system compatible with the work being performed, instruct employees in the proper use of the system and equipment, and ensure their use; 2. provide workers with a proper work-positioning system, instruct workers in the proper use and limitations of the system, and ensure its use; 3. develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive written safety program which includes a commitment to 100% tie off and written procedures to implement 100% fall protection. Additionally, manufactures of tower components and tower owners should: 4. consider installing fall-protection fixtures on tower components during fabrication or erection that would facilitate the use of fall protection.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Control-equipment; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Region-7; Safety-education; Safety-engineering; Safety-equipment; Safety-monitoring; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Training; Traumatic-injuries; Construction-workers; Construction-industry; Protective-equipment; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-98MO161; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-707084
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Missouri Department of Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division