Tower climbers are the brave men and women who climb telecommunication and broadcast towers, specializing in the maintenance, installation, and decommissioning of these structures.
Climbers routinely work on the road for weeks, sometimes months, in unfavorable conditions, to provide cell, radio, wifi and internet services to the public. It is estimated that there are approximately 15,000 telecommunication tower climbers in the United States and even fewer broadcast climbers.
A cell tower, also known as a cell site, is where electronic communications equipment and antennae are mounted, allowing the surrounding area to use wireless communication devices like telephones and radios. On average, cell towers range in height between 50- 200 feet with some standing over 400 feet.
Broadcast towers are used for transmitting a range of communication services including radio and television. The tower will either act as an antenna itself or support one or more antennas on its structure, including microwave dishes. Broadcast towers are among the highest with some being up to 2,000 feet.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), once called tower climbing the most dangerous job in America, yet there are no formal regulations in place to keep these men and women safe. Take a look at the first page of the OSHA document, Communication Tower Best Practices.
Because of the lack of regulations in place and the fact that climbers are not employed by the carriers ( AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile…) but small contract companies, when an accident or fatality occurs, the families of the injured/fallen are often left with little answers and even less compensation.
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