May 4, 2017 —
News of tragedies has come in from the field with technicians dying in two separate in the tower construction incidents. They were the first fatalities of 2017, according to Wireless Estimator.
Isido Morales, 49, died and another worker was injured when a boom truck crane collapsed last week in downtown Dallas, according to the Dallas News. They had been working on a T-Mobile tower.
Earlier this week, a technician died from a 228-foot fall from a tower in Meridian, Mississippi, according to a report 16 WAPT News. He was reportedly wearing a safety harness. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.
Runyon had been working for D&K Nationwide Communications of Bristol, Connecticut, Wireless Estimator reported, which was working as a subcontractor to turfing contractor MasTec on an AT&T LTE upgrade.
Event Planned Urging Industry to Discuss Safety
The deaths will certainly be a part of the conversation as the wireless industry takes part in the annual “National Safety Stand-Down To Prevent Falls in Construction” approaching on May 8-12, which is a voluntary event for employers to talk to employees about safety sponsored by OSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Center for Construction Research and Training and the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 350 of the 937 construction fatalities recorded in 2015, according the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) encourages tower services companies to set aside time during the week and plan a toolbox talk, take a break to talk about how to prevent falls and provide training for all workers.
“In past years, more than 1 million workers participated in events,” according to the NATE web site. “They have worked for public and private sector employees and small and large businesses and the event has recently expanded to include industries beyond construction.”
For more information on how to join in this year’s stand-down, access free training and education resources in English and Spanish, and receive a personalized certificate of participation, visit OSHA’s webpage at www.osha.gov.