Free Consultation Toll Free: 888-470-6967 Cell: 713-205-2242 Houston: 713-664-3600 Dallas: 214-449-1922 San Antonio: 210-764-5235
Menu Contact

New OSHA rules ban free climbing

Texas residents may know that electrical lineworkers often climb high towers without the benefit of a harness. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is banning this practice. According to reports, approximately 74 lineworkers die each year on the job. Deaths are due to falls and electrocution. Although some utility companies continue to allow their lineworkers to free climb, others have disallowed it. According to opponents, free climbing is a dangerous practice where the worker climbs up a tower on studs and back down without a belt.

According to a representative of Puget Sound Energy, there were fatalities before the practice was stopped about a year ago, and if a harness had been used fatalities may have been avoided. With 110,000 individuals who repair and maintain power lines employed in this country, lives will be saved if the new OSHA regulations are followed. Telecommunication companies have been prevented from free climbing since the 1990s, but adherence to this restriction is not always followed. Last year, 14 telecommunication workers died in such accidents.

The new regulations OSHA announced in April went into effect in July. With a few exceptions, OSHA said that companies have until April 2015 to comply. New regulations are introduced to prevent employees from being hurt at work. OSHA regulations should be followed but many times are not. When this happens and an employee is injured, companies may be fined.

If this was to happen in Texas, a worker injured on the job would be able to apply for workers' compensation benefits if covered. These include both medical expense reimbursement or coverage as well as partial lost wage recovery . The application process may be somewhat daunting, and the assistance of an attorney may be valuable.

Source: KUOW, "Feds Ban Free Climbing By Electric Utility Workers", John Ryan, July 23, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Email The Firm?

Bold labels are required.

Please note that First AND/OR Last Name, and Email AND/OR Phone are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

FindLaw Network