I got 3 things to talk about today – drugs, morons, and steel.
Let’s start with drugs, yes drugs. In fact, I will make it simple, let’s talk about marijuana, pot, hemp, or the wacky weed. Whatever you want to call it, pot stays in your system for quite a while. I read this article about POT on Truth on Pot which says that detectable amounts are in the system for up to 12 hours, but could be detectable for up to 27 hours. Why am I telling you this, because if you smoke the night before and then you have a drug test the following day, guess what, you may fail. If there is an accident and they test everyone, then if there is a trial it is no longer about the accident but about the incompetent drug user on the site. In fact the blame may be put on the guy smoking. So we probably will have drug testing for all tower crews in the near future. Apparently, from the feedback I have been getting most people just can’t stop. One big party on the road. More pot articles are here and here or here. Remember that if something bad happens, there will be someone looking to lay blame, who better to blame than the pothead? Drug test should be mandatory after every incident. Random drug tests may become the standard. Get ready for the changes.
If you care about the coworkers on your site, you need to curb your habits! Even if you are on cold medicine, you need to speak up and say something. Anything that could dull your senses or could cause problems should be brought to the chief’s/boss’ attention. If you are the chief, then wake up and let your crew know. Team relies on each other to live. Lives matter, blame is too late.
Wake up pothead, I don’t care what you do on your own time, none of my business, but if a family loses anything because you’re smoking dope then we have real problems. This industry needs professionals!
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So now we come to the morons section. This is something that most of you don’t want to admit. Hey, I was a moron a few times, what set me apart was that I learned from my mistakes and I asked for help. Isn’t it great that when someone on Facebook has a legitimate question and all the people can do is rip that guy apart for being stupid! I would like to start my own forum so I can kick those guys out. We are all professionals here, grow up. Are you a skilled professional or a laborer? Which is it? There are places for both on the crew – it’s just nice to know where you stand. What can you tell me about the job you are on? I have done both, but if you are just there for the paycheck, remember that lives are on the line. Don’t be a moron!
And now the steel section, we need to be safe on the steel. Are we looking at the big picture when it comes to safety on the tower? Do we know how safe the tower is? Did someone look at the structural? Yes, they usually do because it is an obvious hazard that can be easily, although not cheaply, looked at.
What about the tie off points? Did anyone look to see if the tower was safe to climb and if the climber had tie off points? Ever climb a monopole where the pegs are loose? I did. Ever climb a tower where the face is so huge you need to go to the top and climb down another leg to rig in safety lines? Yup, did that too. Did you ever take two people to rig a safety line to cross a face? I did that too. It’s all extra work.
What if the tower has a ladder up the middle then you need to be able to descend to the point you are working at. Usually in something like that there is very little to tie off to for your positioning lanyard much less another point to tie off your safety lanyard. You probably will need to stay attached to the rope but it’s not an ideal situation. Should the tower owner clean that up? Should they make an effort to make the towers or monopoles as safe as possible for the climbers? Yes, absolutely! Are they doing this? You tell me! Tell me in the form below because I think that when there is an accident they are often overlooked. I worked on many towers where there were so few tie off points. It really helps when they are readily available. They can be added but it costs money. Remember this article?
Feedback let’s me know what you want to know!
I think the goal should be that if there is an accident at the tower, we can unconditionally look at the guy that’s hurt and see he was at fault! That should be the goal, to clearly identify the fault, equipment failure or stupidity. Now, however, we are still not doing that. We are still guessing at what happened. Isn’t it time we start taking every excuse for an accident away? We all know that people have to work at heights, we all know how to improve some towers, and we all know that no one wants to spend the money to do it. This is one way to eliminate a problem.
We really need to work together. Remember that this is only one hazard. Keeping hydrated on the tower is a simple way to eliminate another hazard. Working as a team will eliminate more hazards. Daily inspections eliminate another hazard. Tailgate meetings and planning, eliminate more hazards. Hazard assessment – make things as safe as possible, as a team. Training will eliminate another hazard. Practice rescue techniques, keep first aid kits and trauma kits handy.
Did you do the ALS Ice Bucket challenge?