Only one worker died falling from a wireless tower in 2012. That figure was up to eight in 2019. Many more were injured. Tower climbers are among the workers at the highest risk for fatal falls in the workplace. Workplace fatalities in the U.S are three times higher in the U.K.
The danger makes it hard to recruit new workers. DC believes the U.S. needs more trained workers for 5G success. The easiest way to make that happen is to enforce existing OSHA safety standards. Some simple steps: FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, active in this topic, should meet with an OSHA counterpart and find ways for the FCC to help. I'd suggest
- Add to the FCC website a section on tower safety. OSHA can provide the information and the FCC could add links to training. Training options can easily be found at Wireless Estimator. A yearly press release with data could draw attention.
- Require all parties - telcos, towers, contractors - be responsible for safety. Too often, they just blame others.
- Making sharing networks and radios easier, which reduces the number of towers, cost, and time.