Worker killed in fall from Middlesex County tower

Yesterday afternoon in Newton, Massachusetts, a utility worker was killed when he fell about 500 feet from a communications tower. Police said the worker was pronounced dead at the scene of the 1,200-foot old WHDH-TV tower, which is a landmark along Route 128.

According to a spokeswoman for the Middlesex district attorney’s office, the worker had been doing repairs on the tower when the fatal workplace accident occurred. Apparently, there were other repairmen at the tower as well, but no one else was injured.

The district attorney’s office and the State Police are conducting an investigation into the incident in effort to determine what led to the fall. Investigators from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration were also called to the scene and said that “there doesn’t appear to be anything suspicious or any criminality.”

According to a spokesman for American Tower Corp., which owns the tower, the workers had been contracted to install a safety ladder and perform routine maintenance on the structure. He also said that tower is still actively used and has radio and television equipment on it.

The spokesman released a statement yesterday expressing sympathy and sadness for the loss of the contract worker.

“We are working closely with the relevant authorities and cooperating fully with all inquiries into the cause of this tragic accident. We have suspended all work at this site pending a thorough review,” the statement said.

Although very few details have been released on the fall victim, it has been reported that he was not from Massachusetts.

Anytime a serious accident occurs in the workplace, there are several ways that injured worker or family members may be able to receive compensation for their losses. They can seek workers’ compensation benefits, file a third-party injury claim or apply for disability benefits. They may also be able to receive benefits from multiple sources.

Source: The Boston Globe, “Man falls to death from tower near Rt. 128,” Dan Adams and Martin Finucane, Oct. 13, 2011.