OSHA Cites Wireless Horizon Following Cell Towers' Collapse

The collapse killed two workers last March.

OSHA has cited Wireless Horizon Inc. for two willful and four serious safety violations following the deaths of two workers in the collapse of a cell tower they were dismantling on March 25. Following the incident, OSHA placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. Eleven workers have lost their lives nationwide in the communication tower industry during 2014, according to the agency.

"Two families lost their loved ones in a preventable tragedy. No one should ever have to endure that loss. Inspecting and ensuring equipment is in good working order is a common-sense safety procedure that stop injuries and fatalities," said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "OSHA expects tower owners and operators, such as Wireless Horizon, to protect their workers on job sites in this hazardous industry by increasing training and implementing all known safety precautions. Our nation's growing need for telecommunications should not cost workers their lives."

The tower technicians were using a load-lifting gin pole attached to the side of the tower with a wire rope sling. The sling failed, causing the gin pole to fall and bring the tower down with it. One of the employees was above the gin pole near the top of the tower, and the second employee was approximately 20 feet below the pole. Both workers fell to the ground during the collapse. The company did not use proper engineering plans to ensure the workers were protected against this type of collapse.

An investigation by OSHA found that Wireless Horizon failed to inspect the wire rope slings prior to their use and provide protection to the slings when rigged over sharp objects. Wireless Horizon also failed to conduct an engineering survey and develop a rigging plan prior to beginning the demolition process. Additionally, the company did not provide the technicians a load chart for the gin pole in use or operator manuals.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Safety Management Software - Free Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Software’s comprehensive suite of modules help organizations to record and manage incidents, inspections, hazards, behavior based safety observations, and much more. Improve safety with an easy to use tool for tracking, notifying and reporting on key safety data.

  • Create Flexible Safety Dashboards

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations allows you to easily create and view safety KPIs to help you make informed business decisions. Our best of breed default indicators can also save you valuable time and effort in monitoring safety metrics.

  • Schedule and Record Observations

    IndustrySafe's mobile app allows managers, supervisors, and employees to conduct observations on employees involved in safety critical behavior on the go, with or without an internet connection. IndustrySafe’s pre-built BBS checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • The 4 Stages of an Incident Investigation

    So, your workplace has just experienced an incident resulting in the injury or illness of a worker. Now what? OSHA recommends that you conduct investigations of workplace incidents using a four-step system.

  • Why Is Near Miss Reporting Important?

    A near miss is an accident that's waiting to happen. Learn how to investigate these close calls and prevent more serious incidents from occurring in the future.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

Free Whitepaper

Stand Your Ground: A Guide to Slip Resistance in Industrial Safety Footwear

This white paper helps to clarify this complexity, so you can better navigate the standards and better ensure the safety of your employees.

Download Now →

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2019

    October 2019

    Featuring:

    • WINTER HAZARDS
      Preparing for Old Man Winter's Arrival
    • CONSTRUCTION
      Staying Safe in the Trenches
    • INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE
      Setting a Higher Standard: The Limitations of Regulatory Limits
    • ELECTRICAL SAFETY
      Five Important Things to Know About Arc Flash PPE Programs
    View This Issue