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Region 3 News Release: 14-1421-PHI (osha 14-068)
July 31, 2014
Contact: Leni Fortson      Joanna Hawkins
Phone: 215-861-5102      215-861-5101
Email: uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov      hawkins.joanna@dol.gov

Cell tower company cited by OSHA for safety hazards following fatality in
Clarksburg, West Virginia, tower collapse in February 2014
New US Department of Labor OSHA directive seeks to protect communication tower workers

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Following the collapse of a Clarksburg communication tower in February 2014 that seriously injured two and claimed the lives of two employees and a volunteer firefighter, S and S Communication Specialists Inc. has been cited for two serious workplace safety violations. The citations issued to the Hulbert, Oklahoma-based company follow an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

S and S Communication Specialists was contracted to perform structural modifications to an existing cellular communication tower. The modifications included replacing diagonal bracing and installing leg stiffeners and new guy wires on the structure. The tower collapsed while the employees were removing diagonal bracing.

"These deaths are a painful reminder of the dangers associated with communication towers, and are at the root of OSHA's directive on communication tower construction activities," said Prentice Cline, OSHA area director for Charleston. "OSHA is concerned about the alarming increase in preventable injuries and fatalities at communication tower work sites. The agency is collaborating with the National Association of Tower Erectors and other industry stakeholders to ensure that every c