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Two workers killed in telecommunications tower collapse

Construction workers in Texas may be interested in this story about the recent collapse of a communications tower in Kansas. Two Missouri men, who were working on a tower in Blaine that was being dismantled, lost their lives when it collapsed. One was transported to a local hospital where he died later and the other died at the scene.

The accident is currently under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Both workers had on proper personal protective equipment at the time of the collapse, according to the Pottawatomie County Sheriff. That equipment includes harnesses to protect against falls.

In 2013, 13 fatalities that were tower-related occurred in Kansas and these two deaths bring the 2014 total to four. The 2013 figure is double the total for the combined years of 2011 and 2012, according to the acting area director of the agency. In addition, tower workers are suffering injuries or death from other hazards, as well as falls, such as equipment failure and falling objects, according to the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

In this incident, the two deceased men were working for a subcontractor of the Union Pacific Railroad. In a workplace accident such as this one that takes the life of a loved one, members of the worker's family may be able to pursue claims under applicable workers' compensation statutes. Alternatively, if it is believed that the death occurred as a result of a negligent or willful act or omission of the employer or a third party, a wrongful death action could be maintained on behalf of the family members.

Source: EHS Today, "Telecommunication Towers Claim More Lives: Two Workers Dead in Kansas", Sandy Smith, March 27, 2014

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