The Serious Health and Safety Issues For Workers Posed by Cell Towers
According to the US Labor Department, the rate of cell tower worker accidents has sharply risen over the last few years as towers are being built at a rapid pace with minimal regulations and worker safeguards in place . The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is currently investigating the “alarming increase in preventable injuries and fatalities at communication tower work sites.”
In 2013 the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers wrote the FCC in 2013 that “ensuring compliance with existing FCC RF human exposure limits by the FCC licensee is not effective and cannot/is not being enforced.” Concerned about the health of their workers they state “When there is a hazard, the hazard creator has a duty to warn others against the hazard.”
The EM Radiation Policy Institute wrote the FCC in 2013 with documentation of Failure to Regulate Antennas and the Lack of FCC Monitoring of Compliance with FCC RF Safety Policies stating that “the FCC does not monitor compliance and does not take any effective enforcement action against violators.”
Quotes From Submissions to the FCC on RF Safety for Workers of note
“We continue to be concerned about the thousands of construction workers who are put at risk daily of being exposed to harmful levels of radio frequency (RF) radiation generated by wireless antenna systems across the country. “
“RF antennas are often intentionally disguised as building features making it impossible for a construction worker to know the hazard even exists.”
“The association is concerned that mechanical service technicians may at times be unwittingly overexposed to radiofrequency (RF) radiation because their employers are rarely informed about the presence of and the potential hazards associated with telecommunications antennas.”
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
“5 Terrifying Realities Of My Job As A Cell Tower Climber” A news article on falling objects, radiation concerns lax regulation and how pressure to work fast results in accidents by a cell tower climber.
February 2015 OSHA and the Federal Communications Commission conducted a workshop to discuss comments received in response to the RFI and guidance on best practices for improving tower climber safety.
The Center for Construction Research and Training together with the Roofing r2p Partnership and the RF Radiation Work Group, have developed the Radiofrequency (RF) Radiation Awareness Program for the Construction Industry, intended to raise construction contractors’ and workers’ awareness of the potential risk, how to identify the hazard, and steps to work safely.
Download 2016 PPT Comment_Excerpts_from Workers on Safety Issues
Letters to the FCC
Safety and Health Magazine
Below is a video about a telecommunications worker who was injured and rammed a tower with a bulldozer.