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Tower climbers and the risk of injury

The potential dangers for tower climbers in Louisiana can't be overstated. These workers, many of whom are employed by subcontractors, may not have adequate training or appropriate safety equipment on which they can rely.

Many of these climbers work on communications towers for cellular companies. Their employers are often companies who contract with general contractors in order to complete a portion of the job. According to OSHA, 36 communications towers climbers died on the job between 2011 and 2015. In order to learn more about the problem and its contributing factors, OSHA and the Federal Communications Commission held a workshop at which industry stakeholders were able to give feedback regarding the particular safety issues they see.

Some of the attendees believed adding language addressing safety measures to contracts would help. Others, however, stated a major issue is that subcontractors that insist on safety are often denied jobs in the future. Some indicated workers are asked to free-climb in order to save time and complete jobs more quickly, putting them at a greatly increased risk. Others indicated that many are not sufficiently trained to climb.

Construction is one of the more dangerous professions. Many people are seriously injured while working on various constructionsites. When an employer pushes its workers to cut corners and fails to provide adequate training, the risk of injury may increase significantly. Those who are injured on the job may be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits, which can include partial wage replacement as well as medical care and treatment. Many who are in this position find it advisable to obtain the assistance of an attorney when preparing their claim.

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