IWCE 2015 Flashback on Tower Safety and Compliance

I just got home from the IWCE show in Las Vegas. I had a good time catching up with many people. The exhibit floor was full of vendors for public safety and utility communications systems. I also saw tower companies and training companies. It was a good show for deployment. There were distributors and tower companies and training companies. There were also manufacturers of equipment for anything to do with backhaul, public safety, and utilities. If you would like to see a list of vendors, click here.

Oh, if you scroll down to the bottom you can see the proper way to inspect your harness from our sponsor

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Thanks to Josh Stremer of for posting on YouTube.

I spent most of my time in the sessions trying to understand more about deployments and FirstNet. There were many tracks and they also had certification classes for anyone who wanted to take them. It was a well-rounded show.

First, let’s talk about me and my session. I was in the Tower Safety and Regulatory compliance session. I talked about what the tower climber does and the safety aspects of it. My key point was to get the customers to realize that they too play a part in safety by putting in the requirements for certification. What I mean, specifically, that in the RFP that they write that they should make sure that they ask for the certifications of all the people on the job. All the tower climbers need to be certified. The customer does play a part in all of this. They should also ask to be shown the safety plan of the tower crew. Everyone should have a written safety plan.

The session I was in was moderated by Sharp Smith of AGL magazine. He did a great job leading the session. Cory Crenshaw talked about “Constructing and Operating in Compliance” where she reviewed the timelines for compliance, planning, and execution of tower construction. Anyone who has done this realizes you don’t just pop it up overnight. If you/re interested go to Crenshaw Communications Consulting website by clicking here.

Then we had a talk from Charles Ryan of Concepts to Operations about T-Mobile versus Roswell, Georgia. It was really about how the FCC has changed the zoning compliance issue in the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Local zoning boards need a solid reason to turn you down for building a tower, and when you add to an existing structure you still have to follow the local zoning process but they can’t turn you down if you are on an existing tower and within the compound. There may be more to it than that but you get the idea. It was interesting to hear how much things have changed in favor of the communications companies. For more information on Concepts to Operations click here.

Then Dr Denis Boulais spoke about RF hazards and compliance. Mostly the real problems they have in Australia and the compliance differences between the US and Australia. It seems that they have done extensive study into the effects of RF on the human body and what we should look out for. If you are interested reach out to Denis here, to get more information.

Finally there was a presentation from Robert Johnson who spoke about the hazards of RF and what to look for at the tower site and rooftop. He mentioned that experienced tower climbers probably have the Narda monitor and know what to look for. Unfortunately on rooftops the other workers are not prepared, like the Air Conditioner repairman and the window washers, they are not as experienced as anyone working tower sites, so they are at the most risk. Roofers also need to be alert. For more information look for Narda Safety Test solutions. He gave out a FCC website that was also interesting, the FCC Frequency Safety site, click here to see it.

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Tower Safety! Offering OSHA 10, OSHA 30, Authorized Climber, Competent Climber, Train the Trainer, RF Awareness, and CPR/First Aid.


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Work with a plan! Start with the Introduction to Tower Climbing, then get The Field Worker’s Aid for Tower Site Work, then to  get paid for the work take at the Scope of Work Training, and don’t forget the Tower Worker’s Logbook to log your high time and drive time and your project responsibilities, go to Wireless Deployment Products now!

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