Journalism in the Public Interest

A Deadly Surge in Tower Climber Accidents

Nineteen workers have died in communication tower accidents since 2013, a sharp rise from recent years. OSHA has announced new changes in how it polices the industry, including tracking what cell carrier or tower owner subcontractors had been working for when accidents occurred. | Related Story »

Workers Harmed in Communication Tower Accidents, 2013 to Present

Key: Worker Died Worker Injured

Workers' Names, Ages and Who They Were Working For the Day of the Accident

In communication tower jobs, workers can be working on T.V., radio or cell equipment. After an accident occurs, OSHA generally investigates the worker's direct employer, who is often subcontracting for another entity, such as a cell carrier. When known, the carrier or entity is displayed. In many cases, OSHA's investigation is still open, making details limited.

Sources: Federal and state OSHA, ProPublica research,, News reports

Notes: For injured, workers’ age is age at the date of the accident; The date shown is the date of the accident, in a few cases workers died shortly after. B Mac Wireless is not included in OSHA's death count because OSHA classifies it as a crane related fatality.

* OSHA did not investigative the accident.