Cell Tower Accidents
Attorneys for Workers Injured on Cell Phone Towers
Working on a cell tower is one of the most dangerous occupations, with recent estimates suggesting that a cell worker is up to ten times more likely to die on the job than a construction worker.
However, there is a strong demand for this work, and the need to install and maintain cell towers is only expected to increase as newer, and more versatile mobile devices reach the public's hands.
Were you injured while working on a cell phone tower, or did you lose a loved one through a wrongful death caused by another's negligence? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can ensure your family receives the financial compensation they deserve.
Contact our Chicago workers' compensation accident attorneys (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or through the contact form, today to schedule a free case evaluation. All information you share with our law firm remains confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
More cell tower installations are occurring than ever before to keep up the ever-increasing demand for new electronic communication advancements, including 3G, 4G, and 5G technology commonly used in today's cell phones.
Many cell carriers outsource installation and maintenance to third-party construction workers and maintenance crews, creating excellent job security, even though the work is often treacherous.
Working on cell towers requires incredible physical strength, agility, alertness, skill, and no fear of heights when working thousands of feet from the ground. Many companies have chosen to outsource the work to third-party contractors skilled in ever-changing advanced technologies.
Potentially Disastrous Hazards: Cell Tower Accidents
Statistics show that nearly 300,000 cell towers in the United States are installed and managed by outsourced contractors and tens of thousands of communication tower workers.
Cell tower workers performing their duties at heights exceeding 2000 feet around electrically charged equipment must also endure adverse weather and natural obstacles.
Working on communication towers continues to be one of the most hazardous jobs among the most dangerous occupations. Over one hundred communication worker deaths have been reported, with the most common causes of a cell tower accident involving:
- Catastrophic falls from great heights. Many tall cell towers are constructed to an elevation of 2,000 feet or higher, giving workers no chance of survival if they fall to the ground while climbing cell towers.
- Electrocution. Workers on communication towers are constantly working with live electrical components, posing the risk of electrocution.
- Falling objects. Working near the ground while on a project can be just as dangerous as standing hundreds of feet up, as objects can fall from above if a worker drops a tool or inclement weather conditions cause objects to fall.
- Disfiguring burns. Many communication tower workers face burns from radiofrequency emissions exposure, electrical shock, and other workplace hazards.
- The collapse of a tower. It is always possible for the structure to fail, especially when inclement weather is involved.
- Lightning strikes. Bad weather can creep up on workers quickly, and the elevation puts workers in the path of possible lightning strikes.
- Faulty equipment, including tower climbing gear, aerial lifts, and fall protective gear, could create dangerous hazards leading to injuries and death.
- Poor training. Construction and maintenance contractors must properly train every employee. Unfortunately, many communication tower workers do not receive adequate training and are killed in preventable accidents that result from poor decisions on the job.
Many of the safety measures established by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) have made working on towers significantly safer in recent years, preventing issues that could cause a cell tower accident.
Employees' Rights to a Safe Work Environment
OSHA has established guidelines for all employers to follow, ensuring workers are kept safe while on the job. In addition to providing training guidelines, OSHA recommends personal protective gear and procedures for determining unsafe conditions for workers to proceed.
Many accidents occur when workers are forced to work at night or when the weather makes it unsafe when not using many of the safety measures necessary to avoid workplace hazards.
If an employee is injured or killed on the job, the worker has the right to worker's compensation benefits. These benefits can also help provide for his or her family in the event the worker dies from an injury.
In addition to medical expenses, you may be able to recover compensation for preventable death, permanent disability, or pain and suffering.
Many workers and the families of those killed in cell tower accidents prefer to have an attorney handle their claims because they don't trust that the company will not attempt to deprive them of the benefits they are entitled to receive.
Cell Tower Workers Fatalities and Injuries
In 2014, the US Department of Labor noted the alarming rate of communication tower deaths in recent years due to numerous factors, including malfunctioning fall protection gear, substandard training, and overworked employees.
Many construction tower accidents resulting in fatalities and serious injuries involve falling and striking the ground or other objects.
Other cell tower accidents resulted from collapsing structures due to defective guide wires, flanges, joints, bolts, and base plates. Some injured workers were harmed by a design defect, contractor negligence, or other workers involved in maintaining, repairing, or constructing the potentially dangerous structure.
Recent deadly cell tower accidents (categorized was workplace injuries) reported to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) include:
- Heatstroke-related death, July 2020 - OSHA reported a utility company death when a cell phone tower installer and repairer died of heatstroke during a high heat alert while installing cell phone telecommunication when operating a backhoe at a construction site.
- Communication tower fall, November 2019 - A cell tower worker fell approximately 90 feet above the ground from a communication tower on November 16, 2019, at 4:30 PM while attaching a leg section of the tower. The fall led to fatal injuries.
- Cell tower death, July 2019 - A 41-year-old communication tower worker fell to his death from approximately 80 feet above the ground while descending a 230-foot communication tower.
- Cell tower fall, March 2019 - A 29-year-old fell backward from a personnel basket attached to a crane 107 feet above the surface and struck the ground, causing fatal injuries. Initial reports indicate that the man was not correctly attached to the communication tower or personnel basket. The worker suffered blunt force trauma and died while being transported to a nearby hospital.
- Cell tower death, January 2019 - A 23-year-old male worker fell approximately 180 feet to the ground at 9:30 PM while repairing a cellular tower radio head, causing fatal fractures.
- Cell tower collapse, April 2018 - Four cell tower employees working at 105 feet above the ground were changing rods to a 2000 foot communication tower for radio and TV. The tower unexpectedly began moving, causing a structural collapse, leading to three injured workers and the death of another.
- Communication tower worker death, December 2017 - OSHA reported a fatality involving a telecom equipment worker who fell approximately 35 feet while installing an updated Internet communication trans-receiver. The 31-year-old worker disconnected his fall protection safety equipment from the structure and fell while descending the tower and hitting a garage rooftop.
- Three cell tower deaths, September 2017 - Three male tower climbers working on a communication tower from a gin pole at 4:00 PM fell to the ground when the fall protection system failed, leading to their deaths.
- Spider basket injury, February 2017 - A cell tower employee fell from a spider basket approximately 13 feet above the ground while removing steel reinforcement. The employee attached himself to the outside of the aerial lift basket while checking the power cord because the unit was not working correctly. The fall led to a severe lower back fracture.
- Cell tower fatal fall, June 2016 - A 73-year-old male communication tower worker fell backward off the structure, falling to the ground. The cell tower accident caused fatal blunt force trauma.
- Cell tower death, May 2016 - OSHA reported the death of a communication tower worker who fell approximately 105 feet from a 300-foot structure while reaching for a bolt bag attached to one of the tower's legs. The fall caused a fatal concussion.
- Cell tower fatal fall, May 2016 - A 24-year-old male communication tower worker was documenting and measuring newly installed equipment when he fell 208 feet to the ground due to incorrectly attaching his double lanyard to the cell tower's radio head unit. The worker fell backward away from the tower and struck the side of a one-story building, causing his death.
OSHA maintains a long list of cell tower accidents that have left cell tower workers with catastrophic harm, including traumatic brain injuries, internal injuries, spinal cord damage, internal organ damage, fractures and crushed bones, and burns from electrical exposure.
In addition to the physical harm, many cell tower accident survivors deal with the emotional trauma, mental anguish, and post-traumatic stress that could last a lifetime.
Radio Frequency Emission Injuries
Structure and antenna cell tower installations and maintenance expose workers to radiofrequency (RF) emissions due to the prolonged proximity of the tower's transmitting antennas.
While the numerous hazards of RF emissions have yet to be proven, many cell tower workers have complained of RF burns and other known symptoms, including dizziness, headaches, and confusion.
Whether exposure to radiofrequency emissions plays any part in the higher death rate of cell tower workers and the number of fall-related deaths, employers should still provide RF safety gear and monitors at every job site.
Cell Tower Accident Liability and Worker's Compensation
Who is legally liable when a construction employee or installation worker suffers injuries or dies falling from the tower? Determining who might be legally responsible can be complicated when turf vendors and subcontractors do the work.
Many cell carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Mint Mobile, Metro, Boost Mobile, Consumer Cellular, and Xfinity Mobile outsource their cell tower and antenna installation & maintenance to outside contractors.
In some cases, subcontractors hired by cell phone carriers employ other subcontractors to fulfill the work, creating a long chain of command among involved parties. In nearly every case, an injured communication tower worker or surviving family members of an employee who died working on a tower can obtain worker's comp benefits, including hospital bills, lost wages, medical bills, and burial costs.
Additional financial recovery is available by filing a workers compensation claim against all parties, including the major carriers, responsible for causing the victim's damages. A personal injury attorney specializing in worker's injuries can determine liability and ensure all those responsible for causing the harm are held liable.
Hiring an Attorney Can Help Maximize Financial Compensation
Is hiring a lawyer necessary if I'm already receiving worker's compensation? For-profit insurance companies pay benefits through the worker's compensation program and often look for any available options to reduce the injured worker's weekly or monthly payment.
- Insurance companies might require you to visit a doctor that serves in their best interests by discounting the extent of your injuries
- The insurance carrier might deny providing money for more expensive medical and surgical procedures that would allow you to heal completely
- Workers' comp benefits do not provide benefits for your pain-and-suffering
- The insurer might try to limit your benefits from the time you were injured until you are partially healed, not considering any future medical treatments and physical therapy you might require
Allowing an experienced attorney to handle your personal injury claim can ensure you receive maximum benefits, including payment from workers' compensation and seeking additional funds from other parties involved.
Let Us Fight on Your Behalf
The cell tower injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have helped thousands of people with their worker's compensation and wrongful death claims. We understand the emotional and financial turmoil you are undergoing and know that you should not be paying for anything due to the injuries caused by another's negligence.
Contact a cell tower accident lawyer at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form today to schedule a free case review and get legal advice. Let us file an injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf.
We understand that not all families are financially able to pay for an attorney. Because of that, we accept all cases through contingency fee agreements, meaning that no upfront payments are required until after we have successfully resolved your case.
Our law firm provides representation and free legal consultation in various practice areas, including car accidents, construction site injuries, nursing home abuse, product liability, dangerous drugs, premises liability, defective medical devices, and wrongful death.
Every cell tower accident lawyer on the legal team follows CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Covid-19 (coronavirus epidemic) social distancing guidelines to protect our clients.
- OSHA - Communication Tower Incident Investigations
- Frontline Report - US Labor Department - Cell Tower Deaths