Deadliest job in America: Working on cell phone towers

Posted on July 9, 2008  /  2 Comments

According to a story in this week’s RCR Wireless News, building and climbing towers (which can be hundreds of feet tall) is more dangerous than ranching, fishing, logging, and even ironworking. The fatality rate is currently 183.6 deaths per 100,000 workers: Five tower workers died during one 12-day span earlier this year alone. 18 tower workers died on the job in 2006.

The cause for the runup in tower worker deaths isn’t completely clear, but it’s likely a combination of careless working practices (workers not using safety gear 100 percent of the time, or not using it correctly) and network operators pushing to build out and upgrade their networks too quickly. Hard to blame carriers for wanting to get faster networks up and running, but not at the cost of human life.

Read the full story in Yahoo Tech here.


  1. On e of the deadliest jobs in America is crabfishing. Another one is the camera man who films Deadliest Catch!

  2. Crab fishing has nothing on tower climbers. And the camera man is well taken care of during the shoot so that there will be plenty more for you to sit on your couch and watch.