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A Texas tower contractor is facing a proposed $12,934 fine for a serious workplace safety violation after three employees suffered fatal injuries while attempting to install a new antenna on a communications tower in Miami.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Cedar Hill, Texas-based Tower King II Inc. after its investigation determined that a gin pole system — a device that attaches to a communications tower to hoist loads — failed, causing the employees to fall, the agency said Tuesday in a statement. Investigators determined that the employer failed to ensure the capacity of the rigging attachments was adequate to support the forces imposed from hoisting loads, according to the statement.
The tower contractor was issued one serious citation for exposing employees to fall and struck-by hazards.
“This tragedy underscores the importance of having a qualified individual conduct an analysis before performing construction work on communication towers,” Condell Eastmond, director of OSHA’s Fort Lauderdale, Florida, office, said in the statement.
A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.
Washington regulators have adopted new safety and health rules to protect cell tower climbers and telecommunication workers in the state, becoming the third state to adopt such rules.