High Price for LTE Rush; Ten Deaths Just This Year From Wireless Tower Worker Falls

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Thread: High Price for LTE Rush; Ten Deaths Just This Year From Wireless Tower Worker Falls

  1. #1
    Editor in Chief dgstorm's Avatar
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    High Price for LTE Rush; Ten Deaths Just This Year From Wireless Tower Worker Falls


    Sometimes the price of progress is higher than we think behind the scenes. The big wireless companies have been pushing hard to quickly get their LTE networks deployed. That rush has resulted in ten falling deaths from wireless tower workers just this year alone. In fact, just last month saw four of those ten deaths. This is a huge spike and is now being investigated by OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration).

    For some time, being a wireless tower technician is considered one of the most deadly occupations when tracking the death rate per 100,000 employees; however, this rapid increase can only be accounted for by the rise in competition between wireless companies trying to beat each other to market with a wider LTE coverage area. Here's a quote with a few more details,

    "OSHA is taking a close look into factors that may be responsible for this tragic increase in fatalities and, based on those findings, we will initiate additional measures to improve safety in the cell-tower industry," said David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

    OSHA has estimated there are roughly 10,000 workers in the U.S. communication tower industry. Ten deaths may not seem like a huge number, but it is enough proportionally to rank the industry among the deadliest in the country.

    In 2008, citing data from 2006 when 18 tower workers died, OSHA said tower climbing was "the most dangerous job in America," ranking it above occupations such as fishing and logging. Fatalities had declined since then, with only one death recorded last year.

    The rise in tower fatalities comes as preliminary data from OSHA show overall workplace fatalities are down in the nine months that ended in June.
    We would like to take a moment and thank all of the folks out there brave enough to tackle this dangerous and difficult work. Stay safe... we don't need our LTE bad enough for you to lose your life!

    Source: WSJ
    grenefroggie likes this.

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  3. #2
    Rescue Squad grenefroggie's Avatar
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    Thanks DG for posting this story!! While most people are complaining about their carrier not having LTE service in there area, they have no idea what it takes to get it to them.
    dgstorm likes this.

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    Editor in Chief dgstorm's Avatar
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    Welcome froggie! Thank you for doing this work. Never let the execs rush you too much!

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    Super Moderator/RS SLAG IT!'s Avatar
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    Thanks DG for posting this. And thanks Froggie for what you do to bring us our signal and better network.
    CR6 and UltraDroid like this.

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    Super Moderator CR6's Avatar
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    This has been an issue for AT&T for quite awhile now. I know they've all had incidents, but I remember watching a documentary late last year about how widespread a problem this was with the 3G boom. AT&T went through a phase of outsourcing this type of work and those companies would often used unskilled workers while paying them very little.
    I wish I remembered the name of said documentary, but after watching it I gained a whole new respect for these guys. It was hard to believe how many people lost their lives doing this line of work.
    Thanks for bringing it to light again dg!

    tap'n

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    Android Lurker loonamark's Avatar
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    The work of the tower workers is risky and it requires special skill and strong security controls to avoid accidents. But this is really not an exclusive problem of the wireless industry. Before the boom of the smart-phones and other wireless devices, a lot of companies used the services of tower workers for a variety of other activities.

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