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For cell tower workers, work injury is par for the course

A former cell tower worker asked people in New York and other states to think of the men and women who see to it that they have constant cell phone contact with whomever they want, whenever they want. Their occupation has been dubbed the most dangerous job in the country -- one in which every worker could potentially suffer a work injury that could be fatal. The 55-year-old is the author of a book describing the life-threatening conditions to which approximately 15,000 workers are exposed as they work on maintaining 215,000 cell phone towers at heights of up to 2,000 feet every day.

He says these workers have to deal with gale-force winds, rain, snow and subzero temperatures while putting their lives on the line. He gives graphic descriptions of a co-worker's decapitation by a cable and says others have died after falling off towers and from baskets that were attached to cranes. Some lost their lives after being struck by falling debris, being electrocuted or struck by lightning.

The man said seven tower workers lost their lives in 2016. However, he also stated that almost all deaths in this job are the result of faulty equipment or by workers misusing the equipment that is meant to keep them safe. Workers tend to get accustomed to the dangers, and that leads to them taking shortcuts -- often with fatal consequences.

Cell tower workers in New York who have suffered any type of work injury -- or witnessed the traumatic death of a co-worker -- are entitled to seek the financial support offered by the workers' compensation insurance system. Victims of work-related injuries or post-traumatic stress may find that the most logical step to obtain benefits is to secure the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney. He or she can advocate for the victim while navigating the complexities of the claims procedures.

Source: New York Post, "Keeping up your cellphone service has killed 35 people", Michael Kaplan, April 22, 2017

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