The Economics Behind One of the Deadliest Jobs in the United States

Over parts of the last decade, cell-phone tower climbers were 10 times more likely to die on the job than construction workers. As cell-phone carriers struggled to keep up with new technologies, fix their towers to work properly after company mergers, and make sure their networks could handle rising demand, the climbers often paid a price. From 2003 to 2011, 50 climbers died while working. This news is coming to light thanks to a cooperative investigation by Pro Publica and Frontline. Some of the details in their investigation, listed below, show a lack of regard for safety and an economic scheme that favored middlemen, rather than the men putting their lives at risk.

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