Last year, injuries suffered at American Tower dropped from 12 to 2, while its workforce grew from 5,026 to 5,454, according to the towerco’s 2019 Corporate Sustainability Report, which was released last week.
“While we outsource a portion of our tower technician crews, in 2019, our reportable injury rate (incidents per 100 full-time equivalent employees) was 0.04, comparing favorably to the 2018 rate of 0.24 and significantly below the industry average of 2.5.* We attribute our low rate of injury to a comprehensive focus on safety training, protocols and oversight,” the report said.
In 2019, after training and testing its platform, American Tower received pre-approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly drones at 8,000 towers across the United States. The drone program leverages automation technology to digitize its assets and automate information collection across our portfolio.
“The advancement allows us to achieve greater accuracy in tower data, with the end results to improve safety, increase operational efficiency and, ultimately, enhance the customer experience,” the report said. “The successful launch of the program also opens opportunities to develop additional innovative solutions for the business and has reinforced the value of the program as we explore expanding it internationally.”
American Tower has helped set the standards for training and certification in the wireless industry. It is a member of organizations such as the Telecommunications Infrastructure Registered Apprenticeship Program and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association. In 2019, the tower provided engineering services for more than 53,000 structural analyses across its markets.
“Safety is a priority at American Tower. We conduct risk assessments, invest resources in making certain everyone working on an American Tower property (regardless of their affiliation with the company) can do so safely, and ensure continued vigilance on all aspects of compliance,” the report said. “American Tower has extensive operational manuals with details on tower and site safety protocols, a strong commitment to incident reporting and corrective actions and a comprehensive program for ensuring vendor compliance with safety standards and certifications.”
*As of the preparation of this report, 2019 data had not been released; 2018 industry data used.