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Tag Archives: National Association of Tower Erectors

NATE Secures U.S. DOT Vehicle Exemption

December 13, 2016 — The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) recently worked with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S.DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to address an issue involving the inconsistent and inequitable enforcement at the state level regarding hours of service and log-book provisions.

Under federal rules, commercial vehicles classified as utility service vehicles are exempt from hours of service and log-book requirements.  Accordingly, in the association’s discussions with FMCSA officials and congressional staff, NATE strongly asserted that its members’ commercial vehicles involved in utility work – such as repairing, maintaining or operating any structures or physical facilities that deliver wireless services – should similarly be exempt.

“This interpretation clarification helps resolve one of the most pressing regulatory burdens  our members have been confronted with for many years,” said NATE Chairman Jim Tracy who serves as CEO of Legacy Telecommunications, Inc. in Burley, Washington. “NATE listened and proactively responded to the complaints and needs of our membership by vigorously addressing this issue at the federal level and obtaining important regulatory relief for our members,” added Tracy.

The Association requested, and subsequently received, a national interpretation letter from the U.S. DOT – FMCSA confirming our understanding of the definition of utility service vehicle as outlined in  49 C.F.R. § 395.2  to include those commercial motor vehicles engaged in repairing, maintaining and operating structures or other physical facilities for wireless communications and broadband internet.

According to the U.S. DOT – FMCSA interpretation letter, the definition of a USV in §395.2 reads in part:

“Utility service vehicle means any commercial motor vehicle:

(1)  Used in the furtherance of repairing, maintaining, or operating any structures or any physical facilities necessary for the delivery of public utility services, including the furnishing of electric, gas, water, sanitary sewer, telephone, and television cable or community antenna service;

(2)  While engaged in any activity necessarily related to the ultimate delivery of such public utility service to consumers, including travel or movement to, from, upon, or between activity sites (including occasional travel or movement outside the service area necessitated by utility emergency as determined by the utility provider) ;…..” [Emphasis added].

The U.S. DOT – FMCSA interpretation goes on to state the following:

We consider broadband internet and wireless services to be public utilities as they are provided ultimately to consumers and are comparable to the “telephone, and television cable or community antenna service” stated in the regulation above. They are transmitted to consumers over the same types of cables as television and telephone services. At the time the §395.2 definition was written, broadband internet services were not in common use.

NATE has mailed an official copy of the letter to all of its contractor and construction members and encouraged these companies to place copies of the interpretation letter in the glove compartments of all of their commercial motor vehicles. NATE members have been instructed to utilize the letter as documentation that their firm’s scope of work is classified as a utility service by U.S. DOT – FMCSA.  As such, these companies would therefore be exempt from hours of service regulations and log-book requirements and not subject to citations when their commercial vehicles are involved in utility service work.

NATE Debuts Safety Video on Anchor Corrosion Topic

November 3, 2016 —

Part of #ClimberConnection Campaign Series

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today unveiled an Anchor Corrosion video as part of the Association’s acclaimed Climber Connection campaign.

The video provides detailed information on the conditions and factors that contribute to anchor corrosion on guyed-towers. The video also includes practical testimonial footage from a tower climber highlighting the options available to the industry to mitigate and eliminate anchor corrosion.

“Anchor corrosion is an issue that all tower climbers need to be cognizant of and this video is a great resource for the industry’s elevated workforce to utilize to help combat corrosion at guyed-tower sites,” said Ryan Schock from Design Telecommunications Inc. in Charlottesville, Virginia. “It is paramount that workers at the tower site be familiar with the factors that lead to anchor corrosion and also the tools available to eliminate the corrosive effects of the anchor,” added Schock.

Click HERE to watch the Anchor Corrosion safety video. NATE encourages tower climbers and all wireless industry stakeholders to actively participate in this campaign by posting the Anchor Corrosion video on their respective social networking platforms using the hash tag #ClimberConnection. NATE also encourages tower climbers to share their personal night climbing safety tips through social interaction on the Association’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Climber Connection 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 elevated workforce. A central element of the campaign is the official release of monthly Climber Connection safety videos; each focused on a unique safety topic or issue involving working at heights.

Visit HERE to access the PPE Inspection, 100% Tie-Off, Capstan Hoist & Rigging, Workforce Professionalism, Tower Inspection, Gravity, Weather Conditions, RF & Antenna Identification and Night Climbing videos that have been previously released as part of the Climber Connection campaign. For more information on NATE, visit www.natehome.com today.

NATE Releases Safety Video on Night Climbing

Video is Latest in Popular #ClimberConnection Campaign Series

(Watertown, South Dakota) – The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today unveiled a Night Climbing safety video as part of the Association’s popular Climber Connection campaign.

The video highlights practical safety tips for conducting elevated work at night and includes insightful testimonial footage from a tower climber discussing the extra steps and precautionary measures that must be incorporated at the tower-site when working in the dark.

“In the communications tower industry, performing work at night is often required by our customers and the safety recommendations offered in this video can help all tower climbers perform night-time work in a safe and efficient manner,” said Clayton Armstrong, a Top Hand with Tri State Tower, Inc. in Marion, Iowa. “As pointed out in the video, fatigue can play a big factor and it is extremely important to have an increased level of communication between the ground and the Tower. This video should be required viewing by all who work in our industry,” added Armstrong.

Click HERE to watch the Night Climbing safety video. NATE encourages tower climbers and all wireless industry stakeholders to actively participate in this campaign by posting the Night Climbing video on their respective social networking platforms using the hashtag #ClimberConnection. NATE also encourages tower climbers to share their personal night climbing safety tips through social interaction on the Association’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Climber Connection 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 elevated workforce. A central element of the campaign is the official release of twelve Climber Connection safety videos; each focused on a unique safety topic or issue involving working at heights.

Visit HERE to access the PPE Inspection, 100% Tie-Off, Capstan Hoist & Rigging, Workforce Professionalism, Tower Inspection, Gravity, Weather Conditions and RF & Antenna Identification videos that have been previously released as part of the Climber Connection campaign. For more information on NATE, visit www.natehome.com today.

NATE Unveils RF & Antenna Identification Safety Video

August 30, 2016 —

Video Series Part of NATE’s #ClimberConnection Campaign

NATEThe National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today released a RF & Antenna Identification safety video as part of the Association’s 2016 Climber Connection campaign.

The video outlines the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) guidelines for maximum permissible RF exposure limits in both controlled and uncontrolled environments. The segment also features testimonial footage of a tower technician discussing the thermal and health effects of RF exposure and articulating the importance of antenna identification when assessing RF hazards. Additionally, the video includes best practice tips on working safely around the different types of antennas that are found on today’s communication structures.

“RF is not visible, but don’t be blind about the effects of exposure,” stated Tim Tanner, Director of Wireless Implementation at Noash Construction, Inc. “RF Awareness Training is important and following the guidelines in your training is top priority to keep you and your co-workers safe,” added Tanner.

Click HERE to watch the RF & Antenna Identification safety video. NATE encourages tower climbers and all wireless industry stakeholders to actively participate in this campaign by posting the RF & Antenna Identification safety video on their respective social networking platforms using the hashtag #ClimberConnection. NATE also encourages tower climbers to share their personal safety tips through social interaction on the Association’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

The Climber Connection 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 elevated workforce. A central element of the campaign is the official release of twelve Climber Connection safety videos; each focused on a unique safety topic or issue involving working at heights.

Visit HERE to access the PPE Inspection, 100% Tie-Off, Capstan Hoist & Rigging, Workforce Professionalism, Tower Inspection, Gravity and Weather Conditions videos that have been previously released as part of the Climber Connection campaign. For more information on NATE, visit http://www.natehome.com today.

Comprehensive Tower Safety Standard Reaches Completion

J. Sharpe Smith

Senior Editor
AGL eDigest

J. Sharpe Smith

Smith

August 9, 2016 — The wireless infrastructure industry now has one place to go for knowledge of safety practices for the construction, demolition, modification and maintenance of communications structures with the completion of the  A10.48-2016 Standard by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) and National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE).

“It is the most comprehensive standard encompassing the entire tower construction, service and maintenance industry. Prior to this standard, many of the topics contained in the standard were scattered across other standards or were not referenced at all in a standard,” said Todd Schlekeway, executive director, NATE. “The standard will act as ‘one stop shop’ and … will make it much easier for contractor firms, tower owner/vertical realtors and tower technicians to find the information they need to ensure a safe and quality build-out.”

The standard establishes minimum criteria for safe work practices and training for personnel performing work on communication structures including antenna and antenna supporting structures, broadcast and other similar structures supporting communication related equipment.

“The A10.48 Standard will provide the ultimate road map for companies and workers to adhere to in order to raise the bar on safety and quality in the industry,” said NATE A10.48 Subcommittee member Kathy Stieler from ERI Installations. “This transformative standard will fill a huge void that currently exists right now in the industry,” Stieler explained.

The standard is example of industry attempting to police itself, according to sources, in lieu of increased government regulation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The standard addresses: pre-job planning, job site conditions, fall protection, RF energy, base-mounted hoists, personnel lifting accessories, rigging, gin poles, climbing access, structural construction loading, capstan hoists, demolition and helicopter use.

The final version of the A10.48 Standard is a by-product of more than six years of work by ANSI, ASSE and NATE, which formed the A10.48 Subcommittee in 2010 to write the standard. As the standard draft neared completion, NATE appointed a committee to edit and format the document per ANSI and ASSE guidelines, which included Gordon Lyman, eSystems Training Solutions; Don Doty, FDH Velocitel; Stieler; and Shelly Trego, NATE Operations Director. The final document was then approved by ASSE’s members.

“NATE led the charge on this as our A10.48 Subcommittee members played an invaluable role in its completion,” Schlekeway said. “NATE is proud to have played a crucial role in establishing the standard and helping get this valuable resource across the goal line.”

Representatives from NATE, ASSE and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) will be providing additional information and educational opportunities regarding the new A10.48 Standard in the coming weeks. Additionally, NATE will be providing an update in the near future to members and industry stakeholders on how to purchase the A10.48 Standard when it is officially published.

“The release of the A10.48 Standard is one of the most significant developments to have occurred in my 43 years working in the industry,” Doty said.