OSHA Cites Violations in Fatal Kansas Cell Tower Collapse

Following the death of two workers from the collapse of a cell tower they were dismantling March 25, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Wireless Horizon Inc. for two willful and four serious safety violations. OSHA placed the company in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program following the incident. So far in 2014, 11 workers have lost their lives nationwide in the communication tower industry; and 13 deaths occurred in 2013.

OSHA’s inspection found that the equipment the company provided the workers was in poor repair. The company did not use proper engineering plans to ensure the workers were protected against this type of collapse.

OSHA’s investigation found that Wireless Horizon failed to inspect the wire rope slings prior to use and provide protection to the slings when rigged over sharp objects. These failures resulted in the issuance of two willful violations. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Wireless Horizon also failed to conduct an engineering survey and develop a rigging plan prior to beginning the demolition process. Additionally, the company did not provide the technicians a load chart for the gin pole in use or operator manuals. OSHA issued four serious citations for these violations. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

To view current citations, visit http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/WirelessHorizonInc_964654_0919_14.pdf

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