Ryan Knutson was an intern at ProPublica. A graduate of the University of Oregon, he's written for The Wall Street Journal, The Oregonian and The Daily
Graphic of Ghana. He's also spent time as a radio reporter for OPBNews in Portland, Ore.
A half dozen companies, including AT&T, played a role in the cell site project on which William “Bubba” Cotton died. So who controlled the work site? And who was responsible for the safety of subcontractors working on it?
Following a worker’s non-fatal 100-foot fall from a Texas cell tower last week, one of AT&T’s construction management firms has instituted a stand down across several states, requiring that its subcontractors review safety practices.
Corporate giants have outsourced the dangerous work of building and maintaining communications towers to tiny subcontracting companies. Over the last nine years, nearly 100 workers have died, 50 of them on cell sites.