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OSHA Struggles When Tower Climbers Die

Posted on May 24, 2012
Collapse The Light (CC BY 2.0)

By Ryan Knutson, PBS Frontline, and Liz Day, ProPublica

(Page 5)

For that to happen, OSHA would have to start systematically collecting information on contracting relationships when tower workers die. Barab said regulators faced obstacles in trying to do this.

“It’s a lot of work to try to trace things up to the ultimate owner,” he said. “We’re talking about sometimes multiple levels here.”

Still, ProPublica and PBS “Frontline” was able to obtain this data for fatalities since 2003, sometimes just by making a few phone calls, and Barab conceded that OSHA could do the same.

“It would probably not be a bad idea for us to do that,” he said.


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Travis Fox of PBS “Frontline,” Robin Respaut and Kirsten Berg of ProPublica, Habiba Nosheen and Sam Roudman contributed to this report.

This is the second of a two-part series. Read the first, In Race For Better Cell Service, Men Who Climb Towers Pay With Their Lives, and watch the PBS “Frontline” program.


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