Last month Kelly, our store manager from TowerClimbing.com, and I had the pleasure to attend the annual NATE (National Association of Tower Erectors) conference in San Antonio, TX. In addition to meeting a bunch of great people, we learned a lot about the tower industry. Kelly is here today to tell you a little bit more about what we learned.
NATE Annual Conference & Exposition offered a unique chance to speak with individuals of the tower erection, service and maintenance industry. The highlight of the show was the opportunity to take the tower-specific OSHA 10-hour training, taught by Ed Dennis of Com-Tech Construction Inc. and Jeremy Buckles of SBA Communications Corporation. While discussing real challenges faced by tower hands, a story was shared about a crew’s safety assessment of the tower footings, anchor heads, guy wires, and overall structural condition – which revealed nearly complete underground corrosion of the guy anchors. With just a 10-20% loss of steel, there is roughly a 70% loss of integrity to the structure. It doesn’t take much!
While everyone in the audience shared a laugh at how the OSHA classroom isn’t the most exciting place for tower hands to sit for 10 hours, both instructors brought home the reality of why safety in this industry is so important. As an industry that has historically been the most dangerous in the U.S., it was humbling to speak with the men and women tower hands that have lost a coworker or loved one to the job. A running theme throughout the show and exhibitor showroom was the importance of fall protection training, equipment knowledge, and having the right gear. Given the multiple job sites tower hands work, with varying environmental and weather hazards, knowing the proper application for your safety gear and its limitations is critical. Our team at PK Safety is here to help find solutions to any of the fall protection challenges you encounter.