Every company is responsible for the safety of its staff, regardless of industry, service, or location. Although the telecommunications industry ranks among the most dangerous for workers, tower companies have more health and safety resources at their disposal than ever. However, even the tightest protection systems can falter when tower owners fail to enact a strict pre-climb protocol.
Why Pre-Climb Registers Are Necessary
While having a pre-climb checklist is only one of the many practices needed to protect tower personnel, it is also one of the most important. Taking record of a tower’s condition before allowing any personnel to begin climbing, for example, may reveal hazards such as rust or steel decay. Without evaluating a tower structure and its environment prior to a climb, there’s a greater chance of overlooking such safety risks.
NATE-Recommended Checklist Items
According to the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), its members are “bound by local, state and federal regulations to provide a safe work environment for all their employees.” NATE also has detailed recommended instructions for tower owners to do so effectively. The following factors, as outlined by NATE, are undoubtedly among the most important to address in a pre-climb checklist:
- Environmental Risk — Rain, hail, lightning, and other inclement weather factors present serious health and safety risks for tower personnel. Examine forecasts in advance of each tower climb and record predicted weather patterns in the pre-climb checklist.
- RF Safety — Along with individual radio frequency (RF) training for each tower worker, a systematic lockout/tagout procedure is essential for protecting personnel from RF overexposure. Never deploy tower technicians to a site without identifying a Safe Work Zone and inspecting the RF transmitter in use.
- Tower Security — Inspections of the tower always should be conducted before permitting technicians to begin climbing. Check for signs of damage or deterioration and record any findings in the pre-climb checklist.
Insurance Services for Tower Owners and Operators
A serious amount of risk is ahead once a tower climb begins. By having and adhering to a pre-climb checklist, your ability to minimize accidents and foster a safer on-site experience starts on the right foot and helps keep your tower climbers protected.
USA Telecom Insurance Services is here to help your tower company through the most unexpected, unprecedented circumstances. If you’re interested in securing coverage crafted specifically for your industry, contact us today.