Tower Accident Leads to Lawsuits, Tougher SafetyComments Off on Tower Accident Leads to Lawsuits, Tougher Safety
In Clarksburg, West Virginia, the fatal collapse of the Despard Cell Tower on February 1, 2014, has resulted in four federal lawsuits, and a push to implement more stringent safety guidelines for workers as the maintain towers. According to the West Virginia Record, the lawsuits named SBA Communications Corporation; SBA Towers LLC; SBA Infrastructure LLC; SBA Network Services LLC; FDH Velocitel; FDH Engineering Inc.; FDH Innovation; and FDH Inc. as defendants.
The first complaint was filed on September 2 in the Harrison Circuit Court, but was then moved to federal court on November 2. The plaintiffs claim SBA and FDH either knew or should have known that the maintenance workers replacing structural supports on the tower did not have sufficient knowledge or understanding of engineering to replace them in a safe manner.
The plaintiffs claim the cell tower industry has increased too rapidly to maintain proper training and safety for all their workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has recognized an increase in injuries and fatalities at communication tower sites while work is in progress. A final ruling has not been made, but the lawsuits have focused the spotlight on safety regulations.
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