Update to Tower tragedy in Harrison County, WV.

Hello all,

I have a few links to update you on sad incident in West Virginia.

S&S had a fine back in 09 when they had a climber fall from 330′ on Oregon County, Mo. OSHA fined them $3K back then so this would be a second offense. OSHA claims it was a preventable accident. http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/southeast/2014/02/10/244226.htmhttp://www.theet.com/news/local/company-involved-in-tower-collapse-cited-previously/article_43ed6578-8fae-11e3-afb5-0019bb2963f4.htmlhttp://www.wvva.com/story/24662567/2014/02/07/firm-involved-in-towers-collapse-was-fined-in-09http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/211379efb14647d68cffe450a2a34bee/WV–Cell-Towers-Collapse, http://wajr.com/common/more.php?m=15&r=1&item_id=18941,

Comtrain had some updates on their page as well. http://www.comtrainusa.com/safety-industry-news.php They also had an update on the poor soul who was climbing alone in Texas and fell. His name is mentioned in this article, http://www.valleycentral.com/news/story.aspx?list=195030&id=1002039#.UvqTwPldUVA.

I thought some of you may be interested.

I would like to add some notes sent to me by J. Nigel Ellis.

It is amazing how this tragic story has touched the tower industry nationwide in just two or three days. Looking forward as we must, can we have more contribution toward the draft tower standard ANSI A10.48 meeting in San Diego later this month of February, Sunday before the NATE Conference. Also do you know if the next tower under contract has been upgraded to TIA 222 rev. G? The standard is that all old towers must have fall protection installed permanently before antennas are added or changed. Second, that Fall protection must be used 100% of the time by invitee contractors. Thirdly, that foremen/supervisors must be held responsible for non-compliant climbers. Can anyone disagree with these rules?



  1. As a H&S consultant working in the UK and specialising in the telecoms industry I whole heartedly agree with the standards suggested in this article. Having gone through similar changes over the last few years of having installed fall arrest on our large transmitter masts and setting rigorous regimes on climber competence and equipment inspection I can categorically say that these controls really do work and create a culture where ‘non-attached’ climbing is never acceptable. The challenges to be faced come from knowing who is on the sites and who is climbing the towers. With long term contracts from telecoms operators, poor record keeping by tower owners, climbing contracts being subcontracted and poor security onto sites it is very difficult to police that competent individuals are on the tower.


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