A Texas-based contractor faces $12,934 in proposed penalties after three of its employees suffered fatal injuries while attempting to install a new antenna on a communications tower in Miami. That total corresponds to $4,311 per worker.
The incident involving Tower King II Inc. occurred in a Miami suburb on Sept. 27, 2017 and involved a tower that transmitted signals for two local television statements. During its investigation, OSHA determined that a gin pole system – a device that attaches to a communications tower to hoist loads – failed, causing the employees to fall.
A witness said the workers were near the top of the structure when he heard a sudden loud boom and saw debris in the air. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the scene, but the workers were pronounced dead.
Investigators determined that the employer failed to ensure the capacity of the rigging attachments were adequate to support the forces imposed from hoisting loads.
“This tragedy underscores the importance of having a qualified individual conduct an analysis before performing construction work on communication towers,” said Condell Eastmond, Fort Lauderdale OSHA Office Director Condell.
Tower King II was issued one serious citation for exposing employees to fall and struck-by hazards.