OSHA investigating death on television tower in Baldwin


ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death of a maintenance worker Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 20 in east central Baldwin County.

“Two of our investigators met with OSHA investigators on site (Wednesday),” said Capt. Clint Cadenhead with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Command, “and they are currently in charge of the investigation.”

Just after noon on Tuesday, three contract workers from Texas were performing maintenance near the top of the 1,300-foot tower located on County Road 87 near the Wilcox exit of Interstate 10 when an equipment failure caused safety equipment to break free.

Crews on the ground were able to rescue two of the workers, but a third worker was apparently struck by debris from the tower and fire department crews had to be called in to perform a recovery operation.

Crews from the city of Mobile and Escambia County fire departments assisted crews from Rosinton, Elsanor and Loxley fire departments, Cadenhead said.

“This was an unprecedented event and to watch the cooperation of the different departments involved in the rescue and recovery operation was truly impressive,” Cadenhead said.

The two surviving workers sustained minor injuries, Cadenhead said. The names of the three workers have not been released.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, based in Maryland, is responsible for providing maintenance on the tower, which houses the antenna for Sinclair-owned WJTC, Channel 44 television and a local radio station, according to reports.