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Tower collapse deaths spark OSHA call for greater worker safety

Every job has its risks. Some jobs are riskier than others, however. Based on statistics provided by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, one of the riskiest jobs a person can hold may be working on the multiplying towers that are so essential to the country's wireless communications network.

Just such an accident occurred last week. It didn't happen in Iowa, but it easily could have, so we think it bears mentioning in this blog.

It also may be worth noting for readers that, by law, any employer is required to provide workers' compensation coverage that provides benefits to workers who are injured on the job. But obtaining all the benefits you may be eligible for isn't always easy. It's for that reason that contacting an attorney is always recommended.

According to authorities, the result of this latest tragedy is that two veteran tower workers are dead. The circumstances are said to be under investigation and it could take six months to get the final report.

What is known is that both men, ages 25 and 38, were from Missouri. They were working on a site in Kansas, tearing down an old tower. They were 250 feet in the air when the structure gave way and collapsed. Officials say that in addition to killing the two workers, the tumbling wreckage took out a new tower that was nearby.

One report by KTVI-TV in St. Louis says both men were wearing safety harnesses, but clearly they did little good in this instance.

OSHA officials say such deaths among tower workers are not uncommon. Thirteen fatalities related to tower accidents were recorded last year alone -- more than double what were recorded in 2011 and 2012 combined. So far this year, four people have died.

An OSHA spokesman says all such accidents are and should be preventable. He says it would be easy to accomplish if employers would take the time to double check they are taking all necessary precautions.

Source: WIBW-TV, "Two Men Identified, Tower Related Fatalities Increasing In Kansas," Riana Cohen, March 27, 2013

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