May 18, 2017 —
The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) has released the new Anchor Inspection/Safe to Climb Protocol document. Corrosion, an electrochemical process, returns refined steel back to its native state. A lingering question in the tower industry has been, at what point do guy anchors return to their native state? Owners, managers and field staff can now reference the Anchor Inspection/Safe to Climb Protocol document to aid them in making a “judgment call” on whether or not to climb a tower without foreknowledge on the condition of the underground anchors.
As we have seen in the past, the results of not doing anything have been and can be catastrophic. This has always been a challenging subject in our industry as we continue down the path of the reality that is competitive bidding. Fortunately, we have had many leaders in our industry working diligently for many years on this problem, but we as an association need to continue to build on the ideas and effort that they have put forth. We need to continue to bring awareness within our industry on this out-of-site and unfortunately sometimes out-of-mind issue.
CLICK HERE to view the Anchor Inspection/Safe to Climb Protocol Document.
May 11, 2017 —
The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today unveiled a commemoration declaring Thursday, May 11, 2017 as Tower Technician Appreciation Day. This day has been set aside by NATE to coincide with OSHA’s National Safety Stand-Down Week in order to pay tribute to the important work that tower technicians conduct on a daily basis to enable a mobile society.
NATE was joined by U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in honoring the work of the men and women who deploy and maintain America’s communications infrastructure.
“It’s a privilege to join NATE to congratulate and thank the dedicated men and women who work in South Dakota and around the country to build, upgrade, and maintain our nation’s communication towers and infrastructure,” said Senator Thune. “Tower erectors and technicians put in long hours and hard work, and they possess a unique set of skills that is essential to effectively deploy today’s wireless broadband network and lay the groundwork for the 5G network of the future.”
“Access to ubiquitous wireless coverage is paramount for the public safety, economic development and welfare of all Americans,” said NATE Executive Director Todd Schlekeway. “Today, NATE is honored to celebrate the communications tower industry workforce by highlighting the tireless contributions and sacrifices these men and women make in order to keep us safe, connected and prosperous.”
“This is a great day and we are thrilled to provide this well-deserved recognition to the industry’s most precious resource…the men and women who make up our workforce,” said NATE Chairman Jim Tracy, CEO of Legacy Telecommunications, Inc. in Burley, Washington.
May 4, 2017 —
News of tragedies has come in from the field with technicians dying in two separate in the tower construction incidents. They were the first fatalities of 2017, according to Wireless Estimator.
Isido Morales, 49, died and another worker was injured when a boom truck crane collapsed last week in downtown Dallas, according to the Dallas News. They had been working on a T-Mobile tower.
Earlier this week, a technician died from a 228-foot fall from a tower in Meridian, Mississippi, according to a report 16 WAPT News. He was reportedly wearing a safety harness. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.
Runyon had been working for D&K Nationwide Communications of Bristol, Connecticut, Wireless Estimator reported, which was working as a subcontractor to turfing contractor MasTec on an AT&T LTE upgrade.
Event Planned Urging Industry to Discuss Safety
The deaths will certainly be a part of the conversation as the wireless industry takes part in the annual “National Safety Stand-Down To Prevent Falls in Construction” approaching on May 8-12, which is a voluntary event for employers to talk to employees about safety sponsored by OSHA, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Center for Construction Research and Training and the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 350 of the 937 construction fatalities recorded in 2015, according the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) encourages tower services companies to set aside time during the week and plan a toolbox talk, take a break to talk about how to prevent falls and provide training for all workers.
“In past years, more than 1 million workers participated in events,” according to the NATE web site. “They have worked for public and private sector employees and small and large businesses and the event has recently expanded to include industries beyond construction.”
For more information on how to join in this year’s stand-down, access free training and education resources in English and Spanish, and receive a personalized certificate of participation, visit OSHA’s webpage at www.osha.gov.
April 11, 2017 —
A National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) delegation consisting of Chairman Jim Tracy, Board of Directors member John Paul Jones, Executive Director Todd Schlekeway and Policy Director Jim Goldwater was in Washington, D.C. the week of April 3-7 for a series of Legislative & Regulatory meetings. The meetings in Washington, D.C. were timed to coincide with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai’s declaration of April 2017 as “Infrastructure Month”.
During the productive week, the NATE delegation conducted meetings on Capitol Hill, with various federal agencies and industry organizations. The meetings provided NATE’s leadership with an opportunity and platform to discuss the Association’s 2017 legislative and regulatory priorities.
Throughout the week, NATE officials highlighted the prominent role the Association’s member companies will be playing in the deployment of the FirstNet Public Safety Broadband Network, the post-Incentive Auction Broadcast “Repack” work on tall towers and the future build-out of 5G networks and related technologies. During the meetings, NATE also addressed the Association’s leadership role integrating Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) into the communications tower industry, NATE’s efforts to seek changes to the onerous tower marking provisions contained in Section 2110 of the FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016 and promote the Association’s efforts to streamline small cell deployment in the United States.
During all of the meetings, NATE emphasized workforce safety and raised awareness on the valuable resources, standards and materials the Association has available to ensure that the coming spike in work is conducted safely and in a quality manner.
“As I reflect on NATE’s recent trip to D.C., it is evident to me that the nation’s capital needs the influence of NATE and its membership. The real life experiences of our members lend credibility to wireless and broadcast policy. Our conspicuous presence in the wireless ecosystem is quite secure,” stated Jim Tracy, NATE Chairman and CEO of Legacy Telecommunication, Inc. in Burley, Washington. “Rest assured, NATE will continue to relentlessly build relationships in Washington, D.C. in order to ensure that policies and regulations are taking into account the prosperity, safety and welfare of our member companies who are so vital to advancing the networks and connectivity of today and tomorrow,” added Tracy.
April 3, 2017 —
ASSE recently published two Z359 Fall Protection Standards, which cover important components of an organization’s managed fall protection program.
ANSI/ASSE Z359.2 – 2017 Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program
This standard establishes criteria and requirements for an employer’s fall protection program including policies, duties and responsibilities, training, survey and identification of fall hazards, fall protection procedures, eliminating or controlling fall hazards, rescue procedures, program implementation, incident investigation and evaluating program effectiveness.
For further information or to purchase a copy, CLICK HERE.
ANSI/ASSE Z359.3 – 2017 Safety Requirements for Lanyards and Positioning Lanyards
This standard establishes requirements for the performance, design, marking, qualification and verification testing and instructions for lanyards and positioning lanyards for users within the capacity range of 130 to 310 pounds (59 to 140kg).
For further information or to purchase a copy, CLICK HERE.