Workers performing tasks on telecommunication towers can be at risk due to the height of these structures. Ensure safety protocols are in place and use the necessary equipment to help maintain safety and avoid falls.
Below are some tips outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that can help crews reduce falls when constructing, repairing, or maintaining towers.
• Use personal protective equipment (PPE). Help safeguard workers climbing towers by providing PPE like ladder safety systems and personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) that meet OSHA standards. A PFAS can help reduce fall injuries by stopping a falling within a few feet of a fall. Systems may consist of a harness, connectors, an anchor, and a deceleration device, lanyard, or lifeline
• Train workers. Before they begin working, teach employees to properly use provided PFAS and ladder safety devices, including how to erect, utilize, disassemble, and maintain the equipment
• Inspect equipment carefully. Before PFAS Each time before using fall protection, ladders, and ladder safety devices, examine the parts and systems for damage or defects like faulty buckles, broken stitches, or metal fatigue. Perform inspections as recommended by the manufacturer
• Register products. To receive safety alerts and recall messages, register all equipment with the manufacturer. This will help ensure workers only use products that are functioning effectively
• Do not overload ladder safety devices or fall arrest systems. Never exceed the manufacturer’s load rating for any equipment. Include the weights of employees and equipment they will carry in load calculations
• Ensure equipment is properly connected. The correct equipment connections provide easy movement for employees going up and down telecommunication tower ladders. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions when connecting harnesses, carabiners, and other safety equipment
• Use only compatible ladder safety device components. Fall protection components are designed to be used with the same manufacturer's approved components and connecting subsystems. Fall protection is built, tested, and approved within the same manufacturer's fall protection components. Combining parts that were not designed to work together can result in serious injuries if an employee falls. Issue the correct fall protection system with components that can be used together for each job
Reduce fall hazards in the telecommunications industry by providing workers with thorough information and training, and the right personal protective equipment (PPE).