When temperatures drop, tower personnel still must make repairs, install hardware, and perform inspections. Here are four ways to keep them safe during the coldest tower climbs of the season.
Spotting the Signs
Before any personnel start climbing in the cold, other crewmembers need to know the symptoms of hypothermia. Encourage crewmembers to regularly check for and immediately report any signs of cold stress:
- Trembling or shaking from the cold
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Loss of coordination
- Low body temperature
- A slower pulse
Having a Plan in Place
In the telecommunications industry, planning is prevention. Even in southern states, where cases of extreme cold are far less frequent, emergency planning for the winter season is an absolute must. Preparation and crewmember education can be even more beneficial in warmer regions — as local personnel might not have previous experience working in freezing temperatures.
What if a tower climber starts showing signs of hypothermia? Is there a rescue plan in place designed specifically for emergencies in freezing or icy conditions? Are there warm beverages, blankets, and extra clothing items available and easily accessible on site? These are some of the top questions to answer when creating an emergency tower plan for the winter.
There are a number of ways for tower climbers to minimize heat loss in low and freezing temperatures: using inserts, wearing extra layers, and carrying portable heaters. Here are six additional practices for keeping warm while climbing in the colder months.
- Combat wetness by carrying extra socks to change into, as needed.
- Protect the feet and toes with insole foot warmers.
- Use pocket heaters for quick added warmth.
- Keep the nose, mouth, and face warm with a face mask or ski mask.
- Choose boots that are high quality, insulated, and waterproof.
- Prevent dry eyes with anti-fog goggles.
Securing Critical Coverage
It may take only a few minutes of exposure for freezing temperatures to take a devastating toll. To protect your tower company and crew every moment of every season, consider securing all-lines insurance coverage from USA Telecom Insurance Services. Our policies are founded in the telecommunications industry, which means we can offer protection specific to your organization. If you’re interested in speaking with an agent to learn more, contact us today.