Convenience can come at a cost. The price of worker injuries and worker deaths, however, is not worth better cellphone service, right?
OSHA is attempting to answer that question with a "no." The worker safety agency is reaching out to employers to remind them that they are responsible for preventing the worker injuries among cell tower workers that are becoming too common these days.
Those electrical towers you likely see around your community make the cellphone service you appreciate every day possible. But they do not fix themselves. Workers are sent up those towers to improve the speedy service we as consumers want and pay for.
Unfortunately, too many cell tower workers are paying an unacceptable price for the public's desire for new and improved services. Last year alone, 13 employees working on cell phone towers died from injuries on the job. This year, the fatal accident rate among workers in the field is looking even worse.
Those fatal work accidents are not the consumers' fault; rather, they are the result of a disconnect and possible negligence within the cell tower industry. The contractors and the service providers that rely on them must have clear regulations that are set, understood and adhered to in order for worker safety measures to be applied and to actually save lives.
There is nothing inherently wrong with pushing for better products and services for consumers, but those goods are bad if they are provided through dangerous, unethical means. Someone who is injured at work because of unsafe work conditions should speak up and talk to a workers' compensation lawyer who can help protect their rights and the rights of other workers.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, "OSHA Warns Companies After Rise in Cellphone Tower Deaths," Ryan Knutson and Melanie Trottman, Feb. 10, 2014