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Tower climber safety feb 2010


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An old ppt on tower climbing safety that was presented during an OSHA mtg in 2010. I would like to update it in the next five years. John Newquist

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Tower climber safety feb 2010

  1. 1. Climbing with Tree Belts Before 1995 Reforms Waist belt with a saddle to sit and rest in Adjustable Rope Lanyard 3-6 feet
  2. 2. • Implemented in 1995 • Safety Standards in the tower industry led to organization of – Response to burden put on tower companies to become compliant – Most companies had to buy expensive equipment that was sometimes not suited for tower work
  3. 3. Full Body Harness 1995 Fall Arrest Connecting Ring connected to antenna boom with a Shock Absorbing Lanyard Leg Straps Shoulder straps to prevent coming out of belt when upside down
  4. 4. – Wireless Estimator has been keeping track of fatalities since 2003 but many still only apply to those in communication business 13 10 7 18 10 12 3 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Fatalities by Year from 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
  5. 5. Prior to 2003 NIOSH studies estimated - The estimate was considered a minimum and averages over this period There are studies to date of tower climber injuries
  6. 6. • More and more antennas are being placed on crowded towers • Increases the likelihood of injury to workers
  7. 7. • In 2008, one half of the Fatalities were linked to AT&T Mobility expansion - 100% of the deceased climbers had proper fall protection but did not use it properly • April 2008- 5 climbers died within a 12 day period!
  8. 8. • Incredible demand is placed on tower companies to begin work on carrier sites – They want workers on the ground even when supplies for jobs are not yet present – Increases frequency of Free-Climbing in order to finish jobs faster
  9. 9. Work speed-up leads to worker error • Damaged, overused, and improper equipment • Not rigging safety lines on horizontals • Men pushed to work without proper gear
  10. 10. Rigging Errors Rigged with one choker in the center of the ladder (steel was fracturing here) Weld was broken by the weight of 120 feet of T-line Ladder Other Factors - Rigging with lanyards, not chokers - Homemade Blocks and Tackle
  11. 11. Fire Station Monopole Oswego, NY 2003 Steve Yablonski
  12. 12. Working Long Hours • Climbers have to work on Broadcast towers at night • Cell Switchovers also occur at night Work often goes on during the day at other sites
  13. 13. Extreme Weather - Getting caught in thunderstorms - Extremely muddy conditions - Excessive heat on compound stones - Sites are not prepared for climbers in advance (usually there are no buildings or shelters to get out of the weather)
  14. 14. Remoteness of Sites • Four wheeled vehicles are needed to reach most sites • Occasionally, helicopters are used and equipment is hauled up by Log Skidders • Many are located on mountain tops with winding, washed out roads
  15. 15. Structural Concerns- T-Booms - Many T- Booms are NOT designed to support the weight of a climber - Some companies built towers with warnings on the climbing ladders that it may not support the weight of a person - Climbers have died hooking into the top of these pipe mounts, which have rotated from their weight causing them to slide off the mount
  16. 16.
  17. 17. At least he has a hard hat
  18. 18. Oversight & Accountability • The fatality rate hasn’t changed much over the years • Many companies claim to comply with the OSHA blaming their problems on “The other guy” • Fatalities get the media attention but many more workers are badly injured from falls, crushed limbs, and repetitive strains
  19. 19. Watertown Daily Times 2007 This gentleman was polite enough to pose for a news photographer and not the slightest bit concerned about being fined by OSHA (he wasn’t, it went unnoticed) How many ways could he be risking his and the lives of other workers?
  20. 20. OSHA Violations! 1. Broken Safety Gate on hook 2. Hook connected by Cable Clamps instead of a Wedge & Socket 3. Man and Tagline hanging from Insulator Shackle 4. Tree Climbing Harness 5. No Fall Arrest line while riding a winch line 6. No Hardhat Who knows what lingers elsewhere on the site?
  21. 21. Culture of Free-Climbing This man is using his Fall Arrest to pull down the winch line coiled on the ground Taken November, 2005 in Pulaski, NY
  22. 22. July, 2008 Positioning Lanyard Fall Arrest Device Still hooked on the harness Rigging the tower to lower the microwave dish below. Free- climbing, no hard hat. 2008 Pierrepont Manor, NY Worker below working untied taking off hangers for the transmission line. 2008 Pierrepont Manor, NY
  23. 23. RF Radiation
  24. 24. Loaded Towers Climbers may be unaware being over exposed to RF Climbers are not always notified of “Hot FM Antennas” (FM Broadcast) and are told that the antenna is dead when it is not I climbed this tower in 2001- We turned off our RF monitors because they were beeping as soon as we turned them on
  25. 25. Washington State Takes Action 7560 - After losing two climbers in 2008, a news station investigation exposed ignored warnings within OSHA - North Carolina & Michigan have successfully implemented communication tower safety standards in an attempt to improve worker safety
  26. 26. What Next?