Climbing Alone and more Feedback

So, did you ever try to climb quickly just to get things done? You’re alone and thought it wouldn’t take long so you would go up to finish something. First off, you should not climb alone, second always be 100% tied off no matter what. I wanted to bring this up because it should go without saying. I know that tower workers are quick to criticize anyone who can’t rescue a fellow climber, but if you are alone, then no one can rescue you! If you are alone, no one can call for help! If you are alone then no one can do anything. Do you remember when that fellow fell in Texas? He was found beside the tower. He was there for maintenance repair and then someone found him 30 feet from a tower near Bluetown, Texas tower, post here. The company sent him out there alone! This man was Ronaldo Eduardo Smith, according to Sheriff Omar Lucio. He was 62 years old, climbing alone, no one is sure how high he was on that 1,000 foot tower. Unfortunately I could not get more information. This happened about the same time that the West Virginia accident happened. So here we are, 9 months later and we don’t know any more that we did that day except his name and that he is gone. So sad, our prayers go out to his family.


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Listen, I climbed alone, I would call in when I started to climb, called in when I reached my height, and called in when I was heading down, and called in when I got on the ground. Did that make it right or smart, no, I was completely stupid! I want to make sure no one makes the same mistakes I did! I want to get the word out that the money is not worth the risk! I want to make sure that OSHA and TIRAP are doing all that they can to make sure that everyone who works in the tower industry is 100% safe! Many of you think that it may not be possible to get to 0% fatalities, 0% accidents, but I don’t! I just think we need to work as a team and try harder! Did you ever hear of Albert Einstein, not a climber but he had a great quote. Quoting the great Mr. Einstein, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Any idea what he means? I will tell you how I interpret this, we can’t use the same methods we were using when we created all of these problems! So we now have 100% tie off, which from what I hear only about 20% of you actually follow! Not an accurate number, just some of the feedback I am getting from people who brag about it on Facebook. Are you being as safe as you can be? Do you think about what you’re going to do before you do it? Or do you think, “That won’t happen to me!” Just like climbing alone, most people think nothing will happen to them, and chances are good that only about 10% will die. Are you one in 10? Let’s quote the great Clint Eastwood from his character “Dirty Harry” movie, video clip here, “You have got to ask yourself, do I feel lucky? Well do ya punk?” So think about it, do you feel you are too good to have an accident or too lucky?

This wasn’t a tower climber but a mountain climber that fell 40 foot off of First Flatiron in Chautauqua Park in Boulder County, Colorado. He thought he could climb alone without safety gear. This is a good example of what happens when you don’t have safety gear. I wanted to get this out because people thought it was a tower climber, links below. Thank you Dave Harrison! You are the man!

Hey, just to offer you a helpful link, is something that someone sent me and I thought I would share with you. It is a good reference for some RF formulas that may help you work in your job. Trust me when I say most stuff today is fixed but in case you actually get to do some RF work, it may help. Something that is really cool is their RF Exposure calculator, it is pretty neat because they not only let you enter the values, but they show you the formulas. See if there is anything you can use on there.

Tell me, what do you think about this?

More Feedback!

So here is more feedback.

Someone responded on the “Let’s all TIRAP, FCC and DOL team up” post.

Comment: I work for Premier Utility Service! I’ve been climbing for 3 years now and absolutely see the need for an apprenticeship! It is so great that the industry is finally taking the correct steps to better the future of all of us in the telecommunications industry!
Thank you for being such an advocate for all of us. Being that you attended the event I had a couple of questions for you!
Is there an estimated length for the apprenticeship? And when is the expected date for completion of the program?
Thank you

Response: Thank you sir! I appreciate the words of encouragement. There are so many ways to learn about safety and it is up to all of us to make sure that we can all stand for a safe work environment. For information go to and here is what I know. The expected length of the apprenticeship doesn’t seem to be set, and I don’t know if they have a set length. I am thinking it has less to do with a time period and more has to do with skills and training. I don’t have a date for program completion at this time but I do have an email into them for more information. It is taking longer than expected to get a response. Once I do, and if I get permission, I will write something up. Just because you get answers doesn’t mean they will let me print it. I had some interviews with the FCC and they would not let me associate their name with anything in print. For more on TIRAP here and here and here. More information on guidelines here and here.

This will not be easy, since the lowest bidder gets the work. We will need to make sure that we have good and realistic pricing to start with. There will always be someone who thinks they can do it for less, but I think the carriers will have a responsibility to make sure that the climbing companies are doing everything as safe as they should be. They need to help us help ourselves. I am talking safety, but also in getting the crews paid! It is impossible to be safe when you don’t get paid! So if they have a turf vendor who won’t pay, then they should find a new manager for their contractor! We all need to do the best work we can so we can get paid in a timely manner. The acceptance process needs to be improved!

Next comment is from the “Notes on Workshop on Tower Climber Safety” post.

Comment: That workshop meeting reads as though it has a great consensus for all to build a common safety & procedures platform for us all to work from which will help all of us tower worker bees immensely. I look around my tower crew workers & worry & wonder who will be my first tower worker that may chose to ignore their safety training & get themselves or somebody else injured or killed? I am going to pass along & have parts of your article read aloud plus parts of the workshop meeting since our weekly safety meeting on the fall protection subject normally amounts to 100% of our worker having no feedback or suggestions. It’s amazing that they must perceive that everything is perfect until they arrive at their tower site & everything is not.  It is a difficult job for tower climbers & ground crew to adjust & adapt to daily changing safety challenges! My hat is off to those of you that were able to make time to attend & participate at the workshop.

Response: Thank you for the feedback and I really appreciate the support. This made me happy that I went! Knowing that you appreciate the notes on this makes me understand how important this was for the industry! You make a great point, nothing is ever perfect when you arrive, and no climber has a perfect life! Far from it! Tower climbers deal not only with work problems, like when they who up at the site something is missing or something is in the way or something is hanging where you need to put your equipment. They deal with financial problems like customers not paying or the boss being late with a paycheck or the boss not covering expenses for the tower climber. They also deal with personal problems, like marital problems from being away from home for long periods of times and missing their children growing up. They deal with work personnel, let’s face it, there are some great guys in the industry, but we have our share of jerks! Those jerks could cause a problem when on the tower putting people at risk. I just brought up some common issues that you need to be aware of if you don’t know what the climber has to deal with. It is not an easy job that is why for some it is a passion to not only climb but to do the best they can do to be safe and do a good job! While most tower climbers really care, like the both of these people who left comments, many do not care. It is just a job or a way to kill time or something they do just to impress the women! I say that because most of the female climbers I talk to seem to be more conscientious than many men and really care. It seems like there are a bunch of guys out there that need to be straightened out. My opinion!

OK, let’s end this by announcing that NATE is going to have a webinar on December 9th if interested, about the “Achieving Zero Injuries – Best Practices in Workplace Safety” that I will listen to. Oh, Todd Schlekeway, if you read this, please put a meeting invite in the article so I can add it to my calendar. Just being selfish here but the sooner I put it in the better chance I have of making it. This is probably more for the tower crew owners because it is presented by the law firm of Fisher and Phillips. Presentation by Edwin G. Foulke, Jr who is a partner there.

OK, finally, support Hubble, they care for you tower workers! Did you hear that? Gette and Kathy are very passionate people who give every moment of their spare time to the families of the tower workers. Why, because they have been through tragedies of the wireless industry! They have suffered the tragic loss of someone they loved. Someone who they loved dearly, someone they thought they could not live without. Someone that they would like to be remembered forever by their work in this charity! Do you want to be remembered for something good? Do you want to leave a legacy of helping people? These two women suffered more than anyone should. Did they quit on life? Maybe for a little while due to grief, but then they came fighting back to help your families tower workers. Isn’t it time you give something back? Isn’t it time to show you care? Isn’t it time you fulfilled your legacy of helping a fellow climber’s family? Just do what you think is right! These people are here to help and help they have, so I am thinking it’s time you return the favor! Click on the picture below to go to the website!

Soon I will release my training for the SOW and more, to build your library of basic knowledge so you can advance in your job and the industry! My books will help teach someone the basics of tower work.


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