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Tower construction worker dies following 40-foot fall from cellular tower in Missouri.

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 99MO138, 2001 May; :1-6
On November 26, 1999, a 38-year-old tower construction worker fell approximately 40 feet from a cellular tower. The victim and co-workers were in the process of constructing a 180-foot monopole tower. The victim was working outside of the tower at the 40-foot level where he was bolting together two tower sections. The tower design allowed the workers to reach through access ports from the outside, place the bolt through the section flange and tighten the nut to specifications. There were several bolts that could not be reached from the outside of the tower. The co-worker climbed down to the ground and climbed up the inside of the tower. The co-worker then could slide the bolt through the flange and the victim could tighten the nut to specifications. At the time of the incident the victim was wearing a saddle style-positioning belt. Attached to his positioning D-rings was a spreader bar, with a large hook. Apparently, the victim unhooked from the tower and was moving to the next bolt location when he fell. The victim was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and then life-flighted to a trauma center where he died the morning of November 27, 1999. The MO FACE investigator concluded that in order to prevent similar occurrences all 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. employers should ensure that proper personal protective equipment is available and 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; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Region-7; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-monitoring; Safety-practices; Safety-programs; Traumatic-injuries; Construction; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; 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-99MO138; 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