Workers who erect, maintain and repair cellphone and electrical towers face some serious hazards. This job is often called the most dangerous in the country, and this likely isn’t far from the truth. There are many reasons why this is the case, so the employers of these workers must ensure that they are being as safe as possible.
Mitigating hazards for someone working in this industry isn’t a simple task. Things can change from one job site to the next and from one day to another. For this reason, each day might require a new safety plan even with the job site doesn’t change. It is up to the supervisors to relay the appropriate information to the workers.
Danger of working from heights
The towers are very tall, so workers must have the proper technique and safety equipment each time they climb. The employer must provide fall arrest devices and these must meet or exceed the applicable standards. If any part of the device, including the harness or tethers, is not in good condition, it must be taken out of service and either repaired or replaced.
The weather plays a role in keeping these workers safe. Employers have to consider the impact of rain, which is common for outdoor work. They also need to check into wind speed, but this can’t be the speed at the ground level. Instead, they must monitor it at the higher elevations. Wind speed is an issue at those elevations because they are often stronger than the ground and could cause the worker to fall off the tower. Limits must be set for sustained wind speeds, as well as gusts. These must be set and never violated.
Working with electrical currents
Electrical currents always require extra attention. For workers who are atop these towers and working with live lines, extreme care must be taken. A shock could lead to an injury, as well as a fall. Together, those events could be fatal for the worker.
Any tower worker who is injured while working should seek medical care right away. They also need to remember that workers’ compensation coverage applies in these cases. The benefits should pay for the medical care. It may also cover partial wage replacement if the victim can’t return to work right away because of the injuries.