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Hey, the price of safety can run into the thousands of dollars. I know that IT guys complain when they need to spend a hundred dollars on a program after they bought a laptop for $1,000, but the tower tech probably has a laptop as well. One that will need to be used at a tower site, on the seat of a truck, or on top of a transmitter in an outdoor cabinet. No matter what you do it takes money to run a business, we all know this. But when safety is involved, it takes money. Training, insurance, legalities, policies, enforcement, and gear all cost money. It ain’t cheap!

The price of safety is not only the classes you need to take, the OSHA classes, the CPR classes, the first aid classes, the climbing certification, and the hours that the tower crew owner has to pay the technicians to attend these classes. Many times the climber will need to travel and the training is only good for the company that you work for at that time. Remember that an employer is normally paying for all of this. If you are a contractor doing it on your own, then you know that you are spending your money. It is a tax write off. However, it is still money out-of-pocket. All this and remember that your certifications may not follow you, each company should certify you, I wrote about it here. If you want to price out training, go ahead and research it at http://safetyoneinc.com/ or www.lbauniversity.org or http://www.rfcomply.com/pc/index.php or http://www.comtrainusa.com/ for more information. There are plenty of safety programs out there. Maybe go to Wireless Estimator and see who they recommend.

I won’t get into insurance in this post, but maybe in the future. Insurance can make or break your business, and then if something happens, they may or may not cover you. Insurance companies often look for an out unless you have the right policy.

Governments spend money on safety as well! Safety is being addressed and the government is investing more in tower climber safety. If you are in the tower industry then you should be aware of TIRAP, http://www.tirap.org/ the organization formed to set standards for the climbing tech. The fact sheet is found here. The one thing I am not very clear on is whether they will have a database showing participating companies, but that is another blog post. That would help climbers know who to work for. I have blogs on the conference here and here and here.

Today I want to talk about gear, your safety gear and what is cost to be properly equipped. My good friend Daniel at GME Supply were nice enough to take the time to run several quotes for me. No, I did not pay them and they are not paying me for this advertising. Here is what I did, I sent them an email asking them to quote out safety gear for this post, and they did. Full disclosure. I don’t know if you would pay this price or get a discount, but I wanted to show everyone the price of the gear. I won’t have all of it, but you get the idea. If anything, this is on the low-end of the spectrum. Remember that each person on the crew needs to have gear, as well as be trained and insured.

Oh, to be clear, the employer must pay for the safety gear. There is a company in California that will deduct money from employees paychecks just so the employees can have safety gear. When do they tell the employees? Right after they are hired. They ask that they sign a form stating that they must have deductions taken from their paychecks to pay for their safety gear. Can you imagine around $70 per paycheck so you can climb safely for a company? Maybe up to 4 or more paychecks, that ain’t right! I would like to say now that is wrong. Proof is here, as required by OSHA! More information here and here. So if your employer makes you deduct money from your paycheck, get a copy of the form, then go to this OSHA Whistleblower Fact Sheet and it will tell you what to do. I used to post this at the bottom of my blog posts. Well here you go, all the information you need to make a difference! They do separate out some items, like non-specialty steel toes, everyday clothing, ordinary clothing or creams, ordinary sunglasses, winter coats, normal rain gear, normal hats, parka, lifting belts if not required. If you own the company of tower crews, why would you make them chip in to be safe? Let me know! I bet most of you will bring up all the times you have had employees steal from you, and that sucks. I get it, they took your tools, gear, whatever. However, it is up to you to make sure you do inventory and that the employee understands that they are responsible for anything lost or intentionally damaged or stolen. Do your due diligence.

So before I get into all of this, and you wonder what safety will cost, then think of what will happen if you don’t follow the process, if you don’t pay for the necessities of the climber. Let me ask you, what is the cost of one life? Why don’t you ask the families of the fallen while you go back and challenge the fines that were handed to the companies. Ask the friends of the climbers and ask fellow climbers what they think when another climber falls. They support each other and they try to understand what happens, how it happened, and why it happened. I found out that you may have someone looking out for you but most times you need to look out for yourself! Special thanks to www.gmesupply.com for their support and pricing!

So the quotes didn’t come out very well in the post, so you can download them;

http://wadesarver.com/Podcast/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Capstan-and-accessories-quote.pdf

http://wadesarver.com/Podcast/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Harness-and-equipment.pdf

http://wadesarver.com/Podcast/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Delux-Tower-Climbers-Kit.pdf

http://wadesarver.com/Podcast/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/WestFall-Pro-Climbing-kit.pdf

So for $679.99 you can have the deluxe climbers kit, GM-90002 which will include EAGLE TOWER LE HARNESS, 1″ X 6′ CENTURION ADJUSTABLE, 1-1/2″ X 6′ FLEX-NOPAC LANYARD, West Fall Pro 4-7/8″ x 3″ Steel Carabiner (2 each), West Fall 7″ x 3-3/4″ Steel Carabiner (2 each), 3/8″ WIRE ROPE GRAB FOR FALL, RED LARGE GME GEARBAG, EXTRA TALL TOP CLOSING CANVAS BOLT Bag, COMFORT PLUS 5151 HARD HAT.

That was one option, another is the Westfall Ascend Climbing kit, for $1,139.99 and you get MED WESTFALL PRO ASCEND TOWER Harness, White Petzl Vent Helmet, Grillon Adjustable Lanyard with handle, West Fall 4-1/2″ x 2-3/4″ Steel Ca (2 each), West Fall Pro 4-7/8″ x 3″ Steel Ca (2 each), EXTRA TALL TOP CLOSING CANVAS BOLT BAG,, DBI LAD-SAF 3/8″ Wire Rope Grab w/attach, and 1-1/2″ X 6′ FLEX-NOPAC LANYARD.

What if we break it out and buy it separately, well, maybe that is how you want to do it. Dan at GME was nice enough to put this list together for me. This has some extras in it but it’s a good break down. If these are hard to read, then download them from the links above.

Qty Description Part # Price Each Total ext
1 ALUMINUM, WESTFALL PRO MED WESTFALL PRO ASCEND TOWER HARNESS WF-88022 $410.00 $410.00
1 MED EXOFIT TOWER HARNESS DS-1108651 $374.95 $374.95
1 PETZL VERTEX VENT, WHITE PZ-A10VWA $115.00 $115.00
1 JSP 6151 HARD HAT, VENTED, WHITE PP-280-EV6151SV-10 $49.99 $49.99
1 I’D LG DESCENDER/BELAY DEVICE NFPA PZ-D200L0 $250.00 $250.00
1 STERLING 1/2″ HTP STATIC KERNMANTLE SR-P130060092E $349.16 $349.16
1 ASAP MOBILE FALL ARREST DEVICE PZ-B71AAA $215.00 $215.00
1 ASAP’SORBER LANYARD, 40CM FOR ASAP PZ-L71AA40 $49.95 $49.95
1 FRENCH CREEK, 5/8″ 3 STRAND 300′ LIFELIN FC-410-300Z $265.99 $265.99
1 FALLTECH 8355 ROPE GRAB W/ PARK AND LANYARD FH-8355 $215.99 $215.99
1 29506, 1″ X 6′ CENTURION ADJUSTABLE WEB FP-29506 $46.95 $46.95
1 GRILLON ADJUSTABLE LANYARD WITH HANDLE PZ-L52A002 $180.00 $180.00
1 35478, 1-1/2″ X 6′ FLEX-NOPAC LANYARD FP-35478 $99.69 $99.69
1 6′ SAL Internal Y-Leg Lanyard, Loop + Re FH-8259Y3 $69.95 $69.95
1 DBI LAD-SAF 3/8″ Wire Rope Grab w/attach DS-6116540 $369.95 $369.95
1 3/8″ WIRE ROPE GRAB FOR FALL PROTECTION RG-5000 $179.99 $179.99
1 ERGODYNE 5020 DUFFEL BAG, MEDIUM, BLACK ED-13321 $24.99 $24.99
1 LARGE DELUXE GME SUPPLY GEARBAG, BLACK GM-3050 $59.99 $59.99
1 CANVAS BUCKET WITH BLACK LEATHER BOTTOM GM-5104 $59.99 $59.99
1 CANVAS BUCKET WITH BLACK MOLDED BOTTOM GM-5109 $34.99 $34.99
1 EXTRA TALL TOP CLOSING CANVAS BOLT BAG GM-5416TCP $24.99 $24.99
1 BULL-PIN AND BOLT BAG, CANVAS, TUNNEL GM-5416T $12.99 $12.99
1 GME Supply Rescue Kit, Sterling Large Rope Bag,7/16″ HTP Static Red x 300′, PZ-D200S0 Descender/Belay device, 3 each West Fall Pro 4 7/8″ x 3″ Steel carabiner, 1.5Mx25mm Tube Tape sling, PMI Easy pick-off Strap GM-9025 $744.95 $744.95
1 MaxiFlex Ultimate, 15G Gry. Nylon Shell, Blk. PP-34-874/L $3.33 $3.33
1 CORDEX PLUS MIDWEIGHT GLOVE, TAN, SZ L PZ-K53LT $49.95 $49.95
1 6470 M Black Outer Layer Thermal Weight ED-41203 $129.99 $129.99
1 Ergodyne 6465 CORE Performance Work Wear ED-41103 $114.99 $114.99
2 Rope Connection/Termination Plate TR-V4260 $48.00 $96.00
1 fieldSENSE Occupational RF Monitor FS-8500 $490.00 $490.00
1 ZENON Z12 EYEWEAR, CLEAR PP-250-01-0920 $1.50 $1.50
1 BOUTON ANSER EYEWEAR, BLACK W/SMOKE LEN PP-250-AN-10112 $3.99 $3.99
2 07400, WestFall Pro 4-7/8″ x 3″ Steel Ca WF-7400 $18.99 $37.98
2 07420, WestFall 7″ x 3-3/4″ Steel Carabiner WF-7420 $25.99 $51.98
2 07430, WestFall 9″ x 5-1/2″ Steel Carabiner WF-7430 $34.99 $69.98
1 WESTFALL SEPARATOR SPREADER BAR WF-7475 $31.99 $31.99
1 3′ Anchor Pass-Thru Sling Web FH-7336 $27.99 $27.99
1 6′ Anchor Pass-Thru Sling Web FH-7372 $31.99 $31.99
Totals –> $5,347.11

So that is what it will cost to outfit the climber with the basics. This is the normal gear they will use daily. Not anything for weather like sun screen or winter clothing or gloves. I always used gloves, paid for them out of my own pocket because my hands are a very valuable asset. What about boots? Steel toe, winter and summer, steel shank for support. It all matters and the climber normally pays for all of that just to work.

But wait climbing fans, just sit back and think about the other necessities, not the fluids that should always be on site but the other necessities like ropes, brackets, tools, and other necessities. If these are hard to read, then download them from the links above.

Qty Description Part # Price Each Total ext
1 C3081170 AB Chance Capstan 120 Volt AC P HB-C3081170 $2,089.95 $2,089.95
1 CAPSTAN WINCH, Hitch Mount HB-T3080999 $299.95 $299.95
1 C-Bracket HB-C3080890 $114.99 $114.99
1 SWIVEL BRACKET HB-C3080903 $299.99 $299.99
1 C3080856- ROPELOCK HB-C3080856 $154.95 $154.95
1 COMPOSITE DOUBLE BRAID PULLING EN-CDB160600 $400.00 $400.00
1 3/8″ COMPOSITE DOUBLE BRAID, 600′ EN-CDB120600 $240.00 $240.00
1 4″ ALUMINUM ROPE BLOCK 2500LB WLL WF-B2500 $365.00 $365.00
3 1250 LB BLOCK W/ FORGED STEEL HOOK HB-22301 $139.99 $419.97
4 GREEN ENDLESS ROUND SLING, 3′ LX-ENR2-03 $10.25 $41.00
4 Yellow Endless Round Sling – 3′ LX-ENR3-03 $13.50 $54.00
8 5/8″ SCREW PIN ANCHOR SHACKLE WS-SHA58LR $9.99 $79.92
8 TUF TUG MATERIAL HANDLING CARABINER, 150 TT-TTMHC-1500 $32.95 $263.60
4 CANVAS BUCKET WITH BLACK MOLDED BOTTOM GM-5109 $34.99 $139.96
Total –> $4,206.50 $4,963.28

 

No, I didn’t think of everything but I put together some basics. This will help show you some costs before we even bought tools. Tools area another subject, but this is for one crew. You will need tools to work, and it depends what you do. Like I aid they will need a laptop to do close out packages, you will need a phone, probably a smart phone to do your work. It is not cheap. Tools are easily over $1,000 for a person, into the thousands when you start doing steel work.

So now you know what goes into a crew’s gear, not laid out in the cleanest way, but you get the idea. It ain’t cheap and it ain’t free! Get it people, it costs money. Money is a big part of safety, like it or not. If the crews don’t get paid, they can’t afford to be safe. If a company takes deductions from the climber, it is wrong!

Be smart, be safe, and pay attention!

Thank you GME! www.gmesupply.com

GME Icon

Phone: (800) 940-6762 ext. 2250
Fax: (888) 511-0457

www.gmesupply.com

For more listen to  iTunes or Stitcher for more commentary! Podcast Download

Start learning with some products I created just for you! Start with the Introduction to Tower Climbing, then get The Field Worker’s Aid for Tower Site Work, then to do the work you need to look at the Scope of Work Training, and finally the Tower Worker’s Logbook to log your high time and drive time and your project responsibilities, go to Learn more about my products! for more information!

Go to theIWCE conferenceand see me! I will be on the“Tower Safety and Regulatory Compliance”panel on March 17th, 2015. Don’t you need an excuse to go to the Las Vegas convention center. I will share the stage withCory Crenshaw, Charles Ryan,Dr. Denis Boulais, and Robert Johnson. Our moderator will be J. Sharpe Smith ofAGL Magazine. Here is a list of exhibitors that will be there. I will be speaking and I may need some safety gear, email me at wade4wireless@gmail.com so we can talk! Make sure you sign up for this forum running 1:00PM to 4:30PM because let’s face it, these are issues you deal with on every job!If you want to talk after the conference, let me know.

If someone can lend me a climbing harness and helmet at IWCE, I would appreciate it! I would like to show the crowd what the climber needs to wear everyday.

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www.HubbleFoundation.org

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