Enertech Resources, LLC
The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) has released a new resource, “Unmanned Aerial Systems Operations Around Vertical Communications Infrastructure,” to educate the wireless infrastructure industry and create guidelines for operating small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).
The safety document is a by-product of collaboration between the NATE UAS Committee and other prominent representatives from the commercial UAS industry. The intended focus of this document is on small UAS operations around wireless infrastructure, cellular towers, broadcast towers and electrical distribution towers.
“NATE is excited to offer this informative resource to the industry in order to provide important UAS operational and regulatory information to the workers and stakeholders in the communications tower industry,” stated Executive Director Todd Schlekeway. “This is the first of several best practices documents the NATE UAS Committee ultimately plans to develop as further regulatory clarity emerges surrounding UAS technologies,” added Schlekeway.
The NATE Unmanned Aerial Systems Operations Around Vertical Communications Infrastructure document includes UAS utilization guidelines associated with topics such as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements, flight operations, training provisions, documentation, safety reporting, emergency procedures, weather requirements, noise abatement and hours of operation. The NATE UAS Committee prioritized the safety of tower technicians, ground personnel, the general public and flight operations when developing this resource.
“The entire NATE UAS Committee is proud of what we produced to safely introduce the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems technology to the tower industry,” said committee member Greg Emerick, EVP of Business Development for Sentera. “All of us are proud of our leadership role and anticipate expanding and updating this document as technology and regulations change.”
The Unmanned Aerial Systems Operations Around Vertical Communications Infrastructure document is available to the industry as a free resource and accessible to be downloaded on NATE’s website HERE.
The NATE UAS Committee continues to actively participate and collaborate with federal agencies, policy makers, regulators and stakeholders to ensure that the wireless infrastructure industry’s priorities remain at the forefront of the conversation as future decisions are made regarding this technology. The UAS Committee has pledged to be a source of information by providing timely updates to NATE members and industry stakeholders as key developments emerge in the landscape surrounding Unmanned Aerial Systems.
For information regarding NATE, visit www.natehome.com today.
The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) has released a Capstan Hoist & Rigging safety video as part of the Association’s Climber Connection campaign.
The video highlights practical safety tips for selecting and utilizing capstan hoists. Additionally, the video footage includes a testimonial from a tower climber discussing the importance of performing function tests on the capstan hoist, checking the capstan hoist manufacturer’s guidelines before each use and emphasizing rigging best practices. The video also includes breathtaking aerial views of tower climbers utilizing a capstan hoist to lift antenna equipment to the designated location near the top of a monopole cellular tower.
“Proper training, rigging and respect of the capstan are essential for its safe operation,” said Justin Pitts, the Safety Director at East Coast Communications in Gorham, Maine. “It’s one of the cellular industries greatest tools when anchored and used correctly. The cathead turns, what could be a very laborious endeavor, into added muscle and time for other tasks,” added Pitts.
CLICK HERE to watch the Capstan Hoist & Rigging video. NATE encourages tower climbers and all wireless industry stakeholders to actively participate in this campaign by posting the Capstan Hoist & Rigging video on their respective social networking platforms using the hash tag #ClimberConnection. NATE also encourages tower climbers to share their personal capstan hoist and rigging 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.
CLICK HERE to access the PPE Inspection and 100% Tie-Off videos that have been previously released as part of the Climber Connection campaign. For more information on NATE, visit www.natehome.com today.
The Fall Prevention Worker Training Course, hosted by the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), in conjunction with Safety Controls Technology, was attended by 24 tower service and maintenance workers on April 28 in Sioux City, South Dakota.
NATE’s Fall Protection Worker Training courses are offered free of charge to eligible participants and are made possible due to a Susan Harwood Training grant (SH-27625-SH5) from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor.
The Fall Protection Worker Training course curriculum focuses on the hazards in the communication tower industry and includes employee rights, employer responsibilities, whistleblower protection, high angle rescue, principles of fall protection, principles of safe climbing, tower systems, testing safety climb systems, testing personal protective equipment (PPE) and conducting a job safety analysis.
Graduates include Eric Anderson, Tower Systems; Justin Friis, Harold Andrews, Dylan Elsik, Matt Andrews and Jesse Wickwire of SkyTop Towers; Nick Hauck, Landon Anker, Anthony Boyer, Todd Thorin and Antony Sargeant of Sioux Falls Tower & Communications; Frank Frahm, Tri State Tower; Dave Humble, Maguire Iron; Miles Mellor, Koda Mayrant, Aric Lowe and Michael Knudson, Kilowatt; Jayson Nelson, Anchorguard; Larry Nierengarten, Maguire Iron; Scott Riedesel ofTri State Tower; Lance Rosa, One Way Building Services; Vince Wellenstein and Shelby Soesbe, Needmore Towers; and Drew Stevens, Ehresmann Engineering, Inc.
The Senate has passed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2016, which reauthorizes the FAA and related programs through fiscal year 2017. Among other things, the bill, known as S. 2658, advances drone technology. In particular, language in the measure “addresses safety and privacy issues, boosts enforcement, and clarifies federal and local roles regarding drones while creating new opportunities for testing and promoting innovative uses of this technology, subject to FAA approval.”
The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) supports the Senate’s efforts to enhance education and safety in the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), according to Executive Director Todd Schlekeway.
“NATE is extremely interested in the commercial application of Unmanned Aerial Systems technology,” Schlekeway said. “UAS can complement and enhance the safety and well-being of communication tower workers by minimizing the risks associated with climber fatigue, weather, and distractions, while reducing repetitive stress injuries. Moreover, they can cut costs and promote efficiency while assisting with tower inspections and surveys.”
U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, spoke in support of removing barriers to innovation in UAS, while addressing safety risks. Specifically, he noted an incident where a Lufthansa Airlines A380 jumbo jet experienced a near miss with a drone that flew just 200 feet over the airliner.
“To keep drones out of the paths of commercial airliners, the Senate bill would implement standards so that existing safety technologies can be built into unmanned aircraft,” Thune said. “This legislation also takes steps to require drone users to learn basic “rules of the sky” so they understand the limits of where and when unmanned aircraft may operate. This is critical as we move into an era where drones share airspace with commercial aircraft, emergency medical flights, low-altitude agricultural planes, and general aviation pilots.”
The legislation now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.