Word on the tower!
OK, so I have been looking around and found a few articles that may interest you.
First off, there was a safety climb system failure that resulted in injury. It happened to a Kentucky tower climber that was working in Ohio on a Crown Castle tower. Allstate tower employee Taylor McDonald, 32, was climbing down the tower when he slipped on a step bolt around the 50 foot level and his safety climb did not properly slow him down. People on the scene said the cable grab appeared to be attached properly. OSHA did investigate the site and removed 50’ of the cable grab cable. He is currently in a coma according to Wireless Estimator. Just as a note, I reached out to Crown Castle to see what their safety policies were and I didn’t hear back. I have interviewed people in the industry before this happened and the common response was that Crown Castle doesn’t feel they play a role in climber safety. If you know more than let me know. I was told that they feel it’s not their problem. Can anyone corroborate that statement? Read about the accident here. There will be a law suit and I get the feeling that fingers will point blame both ways.
Did you hear? Wireless Estimator did a report stating that the tower climbing industry is 29,000 strong! Read about it here. If there are 29,000 climbers, it’s a huge industry and should grown even more next year, for those that can handle the work. Do you think seeing these numbers may make a union interested in recruiting these workers and helping train them? I wonder. Could 29,000 climbers agree to unite? Probably not. This is amazing since on that same day I read that tower climbing is one of the worst jobs, link here. There is also an interview about how one guy fell into the job, link here.
OSHA is busy, they handed out a $114,000 fine to Sherwood Tower Service. That is who Thomas Lucas, of Toledo, worked for when he fell from the tower in Stockton, Ca while paining. He had three children. OSHA handed out the hefty fine because companies that have workers at heights are required to provide adequate fall protection. Also, the harness should have been replaced due to visible signs of wear. These are called willful violations because it could have been avoided. Read about it here and here and here and here. To view current OSHA citation go to https://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/SherwoodTowerServices_989451_0206_15.pdf and you can check it out for yourself. Listen, I know most of you don’t appreciate OSHA, but they are trying to make a difference, so support them!
OSHA stand down week is coming up! May 4th to May 15th and the information is on OSHA’s website! They show the tower workers representing the worker’s at height. Inside Towers wrote about it here. What can you do? You can maybe take a day that week and practice rescue, maybe inspect all of your gear and tools and rope. Maybe spend the time working on your CPR and First Aid training. Review your OSHA 10 handbook. Take the time to make progress! Refresh your skills, inspect your gear, show that you care about yourself, your workmates, and your company! If you need more ideas here is the link to the FAQ on what to do! OSHA is trying to help, so accept what they offer and work with it. If it’s not good enough for you, then by all means, make improvements, that’s what you do in the field, right? Adapt, improvise, and overcome, where here is your chance to step up. If you take the 5 minutes it takes to read this, you will learn that it’s not about standing down for a week, it’s about educating yourselves. For some reason last year many of you said that you could not quit work for a week. Education takes time and you need to learn to read and listen. Nuff said!
Anyone going to NATE United? I wish I were but I just could not make it. If you are LBA is giving a RF Safety Awareness class, read about it here. It’s a great reason to go to Lake Buena Vista, Fl, this time of year.
What do you think????? Feedback!
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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 with Cory Crenshaw, Charles Ryan,Dr. Denis Boulais, and Robert Johnson. Our moderator will be J. Sharpe Smith of AGL 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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! Meet me face to face and let’s talk after the conference.