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Category Archives: Safety

NATE Webinar Covers NWSA Tower Tech Certification

On Wednesday, March 14 at 10:00 a.m. CST Duane MacEntee, Executive Director of NWSA, will be conducting a live NATE webinar entitled Becoming NWSA Certified.

This webinar session will educate attendees on NWSA’s transformative and nationwide certification programs available to the communications tower industry workforce and will guide participants through the steps required to obtain NWSA credentials.

NWSA’s certification examinations are aimed at developing a safer, more knowledgeable industry workforce through the organization’s individual technician certification process. The philosophy is that if the technician’s knowledge and skills are improved, the skills of the workforce, as a whole, will rise within the industry. The credentialing program allows customers to verify an individual’s in real-time status with online verification.

CLICK HERE to register.


Leading Wireless Companies Join NWSA in the Name of Worker Safety

By Don Bishop, Executive Editor, Associate Publisher

Safety for workers whose jobs take them to wireless telecommunications antenna sites, and especially those whose tasks include climbing towers, receives elevated attention each year at the time of the National Association of Tower Erectors’ convention, NATE Unite. Tower owners, mobile network operators, tower construction and maintenance companies, executives, managers, supervisors and workers all have roles to play every day that workers spend time on towers. The programs that NATE offers contribute much to worker safety. We’re pleased to see the time and talent devoted to pursuing worker safety.

Through the National Wireless Safety Alliance, workers can obtain safety certification that travels with them when they change employers.  NWSA offers two programs: Telecommunications Tower Technician 1 and Telecommunications Tower Technician 2.

The organization has plans to issue certification that will create a credentialing system for industry workers who supervise crews that work on communications structures, whether they are antenna and line crews, construction crews or structural modification crews.

It’s good to see so many leading lights in various wireless infrastructure business segments helping NWSA with its mission.

In February, the assessment and certification organization appointed many industry representatives to its board of directors. The new directors are Bernard Borghei, executive vice president of operations and cofounder of Vertical Bridge; Doug Dickinson, western region environmental health and  safety manager at Ericsson; Bruce Eades, president of USA Telecom Insurance Services; Pat Moore, field service specialist at Stainless; Paul Roberts, vice president of compliance for American Tower; Jose Tarafa, corporate operations manager at Mastec Network Solutions; and Gary Trent, quality assurance engineer for U.S. Cellular.

Our thanks go to these individuals for their focus on worker safety.

Don Bishop
Executive Editor and Associate Publisher
Don Bishop joined AGL Media Group in 2004. He helped to launch and was the founding editor of AGL Magazine, the AGL Bulletinemail newsletter (now AGL eDigest) and DAS and Small Cells magazine (now AGL Small Cell Magazine). He served as host for AGL Conferences from 2010 to 2012, appearing at 12 conferences. Bishop writes and otherwise obtains editorial content published in AGL Magazine, AGL eDigest and the AGL Media Group website. Bishop also photographs and films conferences and conventions. Many of his photographs have appeared on the cover, in articles and in the “AGL Tower of the Month” center spread photo feature in AGL Magazine. During his time with Wiesner Publishing, Primedia Business Information and AGL Media Group, he helped to launch several magazines and edited or managed editorial departments for a dozen magazines and their associated websites, newsletters and live event coverage. He is a former property manager, radio station owner and CEO of a broadcast engineering consulting firm. He was elected a Fellow of the Radio Club of America in 1988, received its Presidents Award in 1993, and served on its board of directors for nine years. 

NATE Debuts Video on NWSA Worker Certification

#ClimberConnection Volume 3 Video Released from IWCE 2018; Shines Spotlight on National Wireless Safety Alliance Programs

NATE unveiled a video highlighting the National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) worker certification programs as the second to debut in Volume 3 of the Association’s critically acclaimed Climber Connection series. The video release announcement took place live from the 2018 International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) in Orlando, Florida.

The video, entitled “NWSA: A New Badge of Honor” focuses on the transformative and portable certification offerings now available in the marketplace to the communications tower workforce. The fast-paced video also provides a comprehensive overview of the steps and processes involved for workers to achieve NWSA certification.

“NWSA’s nationwide, portable and verifiable worker certification programs are a game changer for the industry,” said Justin Pitts from East Coast Communications who is a NWSA Accredited Practical Examiner and certified worker. “This video does a great job educating industry employers and employees on the benefits associated with NWSA credentials and the steps involved in order to ultimately achieve certification,” added Pitts.

Click HERE to watch the NWSA Certification Video. NATE encourages tower technicians and industry stakeholders to actively participate in this campaign by posting the video on their respective social networking platforms using the hashtag #ClimberConnection. NATE also encourages industry workers to share their comments on the video through social interaction on the Association’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Climber Connection Volume 3 campaign was developed by the NATE Member Services Committee in conjunction with the NATE Safety & Education Committee and is designed to provide specific resources and communicate the Association’s message directly to the industry’s workforce.

NWSA to Hold PEAP Workshops

Workshops Provide Opportunity for Participants to Obtain NWSA Accreditation to Administer Field-Based Practical Exams

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) is encouraging industry employers, trainers and workers to register for several upcoming Telecommunications Tower Technician Practical Examiner Accreditation Program (PEAP) Workshops scheduled for this spring. NWSA announced today that it is facilitating workshops in Missouri, Virginia and Texas on the following dates:

March 12-16, 2018 – Grandview, MO (Hosted by Black & Veatch)

April 30 – May 4, 2018 – Windsor, VA (Hosted by Design Telecommunications)

May 21-25, 2018 – Cedar Park, TX (Hosted by Safety LMS)

The organization made the announcement from the NATE UNITE 2018 Conference that is being held this week in Nashville, Tennessee.

Industry stakeholders who attend the workshops will be provided an opportunity to complete both the NWSA practical exam to become certified as a Telecommunications Tower Technician (TTT) while also obtaining official accreditation from the NWSA as a Practical Examiner. NWSA Practical Examiners are authorized to administer practical exams to anyone seeking technician certification from the organization.

The first two days of each workshop will be dedicated to practical exam testing and the remaining three days will be devoted to the PEAP workshop. NWSA is allowing workshop attendees to complete their practical exams as part of the workshop. Each workshop host site will facilitate practical testing along with NWSA Workshop Instructor, Clint Cook.

Individuals interested in participating are encouraged to complete the NWSA PEAP Workshop application HERE and return it to NWSA via email to pe@nws-a.org. The deadline to register for a workshop is two weeks prior to the first day of the scheduled event.

NWSA reviews all potential participants’ applications before admission to the workshop is granted. All applications must include payment and the submission of a resume or will be considered incomplete and will not be processed. Each workshop is strictly limited to eight (8) participants and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

After an applicant’s workshop application is approved, they will be notified of the open time slots for practical testing and can make their request at that time. Once confirmed, NWSA will provide the candidate with their scheduled time slots for practical testing.

Certification fees for practical testing are separate from the workshop fee and will be due upon onsite practical testing registration.

It is important to note that all applicants must have taken and passed NWSA’s Computer Based Test (CBT) prior to participating in the PEAP Workshop. NWSA will allow prospective participants to submit a workshop application now, but a passing score on the CBT is required before acceptance is granted for the PEAP Workshop. Interested candidates who have yet to complete NWSA’s CBT exam are encouraged to register for their CBT exam as soon as possible.

Industry workers, companies and stakeholders are encouraged to visit the NWSA website at www.nws-a.org to learn more about the organization and how to begin the process of obtaining certification.

NWSA Appoints Members to Board of Governors

Borghei, Dickinson, Eades, Moore, Roberts, Tarafa and Trent to Provide Leadership and Oversight for NWSA’s Certification Programs

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) has appointed several industry representatives to its Board of Governors, including Bernard Borghei, Executive Vice President – Operations and Co-Founder of Vertical Bridge, Doug Dickinson, Western Region Environmental Health & Safety Manager at Ericsson, Bruce Eades, President of USA Telecom Insurance Services, Pat Moore, Field Service Specialist at Stainless, Paul Roberts, Vice President of Compliance for American Tower Corporation, Jose Tarafa, Corporate Operations Manager at Mastec Network Solutions and Gary Trent, Quality Assurance Engineer for U.S. Cellular.

NWSA, headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, is a national non-profit assessment and certification organization established to provide thorough, independent assessments of knowledge and skills and provide verifiable worker certification in order to enhance safety, reduce workplace risk, improve quality, encourage training, and recognize the skilled professionals who work on towers and other non-standard communication structures.

The NWSA Board of Governors consists of representatives from a broad cross-section of the industry and is tasked with developing policy and overseeing the activities of the various committees that will serve under their jurisdiction.

“NWSA is thrilled to welcome the expertise and talents of Bernard, Doug, Bruce, Pat, Paul, Jose and Gary to the Board of Governors,” said Executive Director Duane MacEntee. “The Board of Governors continues to play an integral role in the organization as NWSA certification requirements become commonplace in the marketplace and as the industry continues to evolve,” added MacEntee.

NWSA currently offers two industry-wide certification programs: Telecommunications Tower Technician 1 (TTT-1) and Telecommunications Tower Technician 2 (TTT-2). Additionally, an NWSA Task Force is currently in the process of developing a new certification and credential for Telecommunication Tower Foreman. This new certification will create a credentialing system for industry workers who supervise crews that work on communications structures, whether they are antenna and line crews, construction crews, or structural modification crews.

Other assessment and certification programs NWSA will likely unveil in the future include Rigging, DAS Systems, Small Cell Systems, Broadcast Structures and Outside Plant/Fiber to the Home and Business.

“NWSA’s nationwide and portable certification offerings are a game-changer for the industry and the new members of the Board of Governors will have a major impact in terms of shaping a skilled and safe workforce who are capable of meeting the industry’s intense buildout demands,” stated Board of Directors President Don Doty.

Industry workers, companies and stakeholders are encouraged to visit the NWSA website at www.nws-a.org  to learn more about the organization and how to begin the process of obtaining certification.


Bernard Borghei

Bernard Borghei is the Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Operations of Vertical Bridge. He is responsible for Vertical Bridge’s daily operations, regulatory compliance, vendor management, engineering services, human resources and emerging technologies.

Borghei has over 24 years of experience in wireless industries and before co-founding Vertical Bridge, he served as Senior Vice President and Partner at Global Tower Partners (GTP), where he oversaw domestic and international market operations, including a portfolio of more than 6,500 towers and 12,000 managed properties.

Borghei has also held executive and senior management positions in operations, engineering, sales, supply chain, site development, and customer care at several wireless operators and service providers including SkyBitz, Wireless Facilities, Inc., Western Wireless International, and at Triton PCS where he successfully ran operations across 24 different countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and North and South America.

Bernard has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Villanova University and an MBA in global management from the University of Phoenix. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the Villanova University School of Engineering.

Doug Dickinson

Doug Dickinson oversees all environmental, health, and safety issues for Ericsson’s western region locations to include Ericsson and customer offices, warehouses, switches and cell sites. Doug’s responsibilities include writing policies, practices, and procedures, conducting audits and inspections and facilitating employee safety training.

Bruce Eades

Bruce Eades has been serving the insurance needs for the telecommunications industry for over 20 years. He consults regularly with telecommunication executives across the country to help executives understand how risk management concepts can impact their business and to give them a better understanding of the current commercial property and casualty trends. He is very active in NATE and is currently serving on the Trade Show Committee. He is also active in most of the state wireless associations. Bruce is currently President of USA Telecom Insurance Services and the Georgia region of Insurance Office of America as well as serving on the Board of Directors for Insurance Office of America (IOA).

A veteran of the insurance industry since 1984 he was raised in Gainesville, Georgia, Bruce continues to live in Gainesville with his wife and three children. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama. He received his Accredited Advisor of Insurance designation in 1996 and received his Certified Insurance Counselor designation in 2005. Bruce was IOA’s 2009 agent of the year and was appointed to IOA’s Board of Directors in 2010. He is active in his local church and currently serves on the North Georgia Mountain’s YMCA Board of Directors.

Patrick Moore

Patrick Moore is a Field Service Specialist at Stainless. Patrick assists in field specialist crew selection, timing, rigging plans, allocation and equipment coordination for all field projects. Pat has worked very closely with the field personnel to help understand the challenges of multi-tenant broadcast tower sites. Starting in the tower erection business in 1976, Pat has performed in every area of broadcast tower related service. In 1995, Pat was one of the first members of the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) Safety & Education Committee, of which he is still a member. In 2000, Pat joined Stainless during the hectic DTV (digital) transition period assisting in very complicated projects. Pat was also a member of the team that created the TIA-1019A gin pole standard which later was moved into ANSI A10.48.

Paul Roberts

Paul Roberts is the Vice President of Compliance for American Tower Corporation. In this role, Mr. Roberts guides the Environmental Compliance, FAA/FCC Regulatory Compliance, Safety and Health initiatives of the company as well as regulatory advocacy. Mr. Roberts is actively involved in advocacy efforts across all federal agencies that both regulate and support the telecommunications industry and has been a key voice in helping to shape rulemakings that affect us all. With 15 years managing telecom regulatory operations rooted in legal, systems safety and quality engineering principles, Mr. Roberts brings valuable insight and perspectives that will contribute to the NWSA mission.

Jose Tarafa

Jose Tarafa manages corporate operations, which includes Safety, D.O.T., Quality, Integration, Mobility Maintenance, Systems and Analytics, Disaster Recovery, Small Cell Process, and Special Projects. Jose joined MasTec Network Solutions in 2014, after a long telecommunications career with AT&T where he led teams in varied disciplines including, Engineering, Planning, Construction, Central Office, Mobility Implementation and Field Operations, Digital Electronics, and Technical Support.

Jose emigrated from Cuba when he was eight years old. He has lived in the Miami area ever since, and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Miami. Jose was one of the first engineers to introduce digital electronics into the field of telecommunications at Bellsouth in the eighties. He is just as excited about the future of telecom now as he was then. “Telecommunications not only changes lives; it changes everything. I don’t know what’s coming next, but it will revolutionize the way we live, work and play. It all hinges on the next big development in communications.”

In 2009, Jose was part of an engineering team that built and maintained broadband telephone facilities at Bellsouth, now AT&T. He was asked to pivot to mobility field operations and embraced the new challenges of a combined broadband and wireless network. No matter how the industry changes over the years, Jose leads by encouraging transparent communications and relationship development.

Throughout his career, Jose has been routinely asked to transition into under-performing operations and takes pride in his track record of managing those organizations up and turning them into high-performing groups. He carries that leadership skill into community improvement endeavors. Jose was a board member of the Junior Achievement for Greater Miami for 20 years, and has recently joined the board of directors for the Hispanic Unity of Florida charity. He enjoys offering guidance to minority, impoverished or disenfranchised youth.

Gary Trent

Gary has worked in the communication industry for 35 years and has seen the industry evolve as the United States migrated from wireline to wireless; Gary started his career in long distance communications with Microwave Communications Inc. (MCI), installing telephone switching equipment and building telephone offices throughout the United States. Gary then joined MCI Metro installing fiber optic equipment and deploying fiber rings around all major U.S. cities, for local and long distance telephone service. For the last 15 years Gary has been with U. S. Cellular writing policies, procedures, standards, and quality assurance auditing.