For many Americans, their cellphone is the last thing they see before falling asleep and the first thing they reach for in the morning. Phones are woven into our lives as never before, which is why there are tens of thousands of wireless towers and broadcast towers now dotting the nation.
The towers help link us together, but they also pose risks to construction workers and maintenance workers who must regularly climb hundreds of feet, and sometimes thousands of feet, to erect and keep up the metal structures.
The federal government’s Occupational and Safety and Health Administration notes that workers use fixed ladders, step bolts and support structures to climb the towers. Maintenance workers must clamber the towers even when thunder storms, lightning and high winds rage through Coachella Valley.
Inclement weather is just one of the many hazards construction and maintenance workers must deal with in their communications tower work, says OSHA, including the following:
- Electrical hazards
- Hoisting hazards (lifting workers and equipment up the towers)
- Falling objects
- Equipment failure
- Structural collapse
Injuries sustained in tower work can be severe, requiring surgery, and resulting in partial or full disability that can be temporary or permanent. Obviously, the medical costs in these cases can be astronomical.
When a badly injured employee is denied workers’ compensation, the decision can be devastating to not only the worker, but the worker’s family. That’s why so much rests on effectively appealing the denial of benefits, and why injured workers turn to attorneys experienced in the appeals process to help in the fight for benefits.