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Counterfeit RF training certificates join other tower tech false credentials

In Daily News Briefs, Safety, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

Counterfeit certificates have been a frequent headache for many of the industry’s fall protection trainers for many years due to high resolution printers and a few tower technicians’ Photoshop skills. In at least two climber fatalities, cards found in the deceased’s wallets were not identified as being accurate by the issuer. False radio frequency safety training certificates have also surfaced, …

Northeast Wireless Safety Summit presentations announced for Feb. 4, 2016 event

In Daily News Briefs, Safety by Wireless Estimator

HPC Wireless Services, a wireless telecommunications platform company servicing the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, has announced the agenda for their 2nd Annual Northeast Wireless Safety Summit (NEWSS), taking place from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Feb. 4, 2016 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Tarrytown, N.Y. The NEWSS program includes panels, keynotes and demonstrations addressing the safety issues and …

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New ‘junk’ RF science reports in media help pit communities against tower developers

In Featured News, Safety by Wireless Estimator

Parents nationwide are questioning the safety of cell towers on or near school campuses, and Wi-Fi within schools, and believe they are strengthening their position by embracing the recent publication of a study by Sultan Ayoub Meo of King Saud University that his research “has for the first time proved that the radiation from towers also causes diabetes mellitus,” according to …

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NATE’s 2016 educational campaign will also be tough on social media nonsense

In Daily News Briefs, Safety by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today released a video trailer promoting its upcoming 2016 Climber Connection marketing campaign that will combat climbers on social media whose dangerous activities set poor examples for an industry with tens of thousands of technicians who work safely. Equally as important, it will highlight safe work practices. The Climber Connection campaign was developed …

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Tractel fall arrest product alert in the U.S. proves to be a false alarm

In Featured News, Safety by Wireless Estimator

Tractel North America says that an industry news report that triggered Facebook posts today identifying that the company sent a “product alert to the tower industry” stating that their retractable fall arrester Blocfor 10AES should be checked for a possible device problem in the U.S., is inaccurate since the affected products that were manufactured in the U.K., not in Germany …

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Free February train-the-trainer and fall prevention worker training courses readied by NATE

In Featured News, Safety, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today announced the opening of the registration process for the first two Susan Harwood Training grant-enabled courses the organization will be hosting in 2016. NATE, in conjunction with curriculum and training provider Safety Controls Technology (SCT), is offering a five-day Train-the-Trainer Course from Feb. 21 to Feb. 25 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside in New Orleans, …

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Safety LMS’s new leadership greatly expands its tower training methods and locations

In Daily News Briefs, Safety, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

Safety LMS, a tower construction safety training company headquartered in Austin, Tex., has announced it has expanded its capabilities with a new leadership team and additional locations for training. Under new ownership, 39-year tower industry safety expert John Paul (JP) Jones has taken over as President of Safety LMS  with 25-year industry veteran Jimmy Hurt as Vice President and Director …

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NATE members elect four incumbents and one new director to its board

In Associations News, Featured News, Safety, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today released the results of the 2016 Board of Directors election. The Association announced that candidates John Paul Jones, President of Tower & Turbine Technologies LLC in Cedar Park, Tex.; Bryan Lee, President of Lee Antenna & Line Service, Inc. in Springtown, Pa.; Jimmy Miller, President of MillerCo, Inc. in Gulfport, Miss. and Don …

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Removing five diagonals and loosening 12 others cited for causing deaths, injuries

In Featured News, Incident Report News, Safety, Standards by Wireless Estimator

Four lawsuits that were filed in June against a tower owner and the contractor it hired to design and manage a structural reinforcement project in West Va. where two tower technicians died and two were injured after a tower collapsed, have worked their way from circuit court to federal court, and the defendants are alleging that it was the tower …

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Services set for Ernie Jones, an industry safety and structural icon

In Featured News, Incident Report News, Safety, Standards by Wireless Estimator

Services have been announced for Ernest “Ernie” Raymond Jones, 64, of Lynnville, Ind. who passed away Wed., Oct. 21, 2015 while inspecting a tower in Oklahoma City, Okla. He was born November 5, 1950, in Evansville, to the late Raymond E. and June B. (Beldon) Jones. Ernie attended Rose-Hulman Institute for Engineering. He also attended The University of Evansville. He …

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Ernie Jones succumbs following tragic tower elevator-related accident in Oklahoma

In Featured News, Incident Report News, Safety, Standards by Wireless Estimator

An industry icon who helped shape and advance structural and safety initiatives during his service to the tower industry was killed yesterday in an elevator-related accident on a broadcast tower in Oklahoma City, Okla., according to individuals knowledgeable of the incident. Although there are few verifiable details, Ernest “Ernie” Jones had reportedly been working with a crew on KOCO’s broadcast …

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Broadband tower tech is severely shocked in Indiana incident

In Featured News, Incident Report News, Safety by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: Sept. 24, 2015 – John Richardson, 24, was identified as the man who was severely shocked while installing internet services yesterday. He is in a medically induced coma and will likely be so for many more weeks, according to a GoFundMe page that has been set up for his recovery which may take months. His wife, Elaina Richardson, will have to leave her …

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Carabiner’s use in lieu of shackle could have caused tower tech’s decapitation

In Featured News, Incident Report News, Safety by Wireless Estimator

The Kentucky Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (KY FACE) has released a comprehensive examination of an industry fatality that happened last year when a 28-year-old Indiana worker died in Cynthia, after he was decapitated by a cable when a 5/8” shackle failed while his crew was lifting a 1800-pound boom with antennas on it. One of the key findings was that …

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NATE Receives U.S. Department of Labor Susan Harwood Training Grant

In Associations News, Featured News, Safety, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

$140,000 Grant to Develop Curriculum and Provide Training for Communication Tower Industry Workers and Employers The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) announced today that it has been selected by the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) to receive a $140,000 Susan Harwood Targeted Topic Training Grant. The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program awards grants to nonprofit organizations on a competitive …

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TIRAP taps into top Verizon talent to complete its Board of Directors’ seats

In Associations News, Featured News, Safety, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

The Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP) has announced that Laurie Gebhardt, Verizon Wireless Director of Network Engineering & Operations Support, has joined its Board of Directors. She fills the final seat in its list of experienced industry thought leaders. Gebhardt will provide board oversight of TIRAP’s communication and liaison with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).  In this role, …

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Texas climber succumbs to injuries after falling from water tower

In Featured News, Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

Update: September 1, 2015: The employer of the 21-year-old Texas tower technician, Pedro Samuel Salazar, who died yesterday, Orbit Broadband, released the following statement: “We at Orbit are deeply sorrowed by this and our prayers go out to the individual and his family. There is an ongoing investigation and we are working with all those involved. Out of respect for …

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Some techs don’t appreciate the long history and reasons for riding the line CPLs

In Featured News, Safety by Wireless Estimator

Riding the line, when done properly, can be the safest method of ascending or descending a tower, but some industry workers continue to flout the current riding the line instruction that took safety stakeholders almost 19 years to get OSHA to agree to a compliance directive (CPL) that made sense. The picture at right, which could pass for a sepia-toned …

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Climber’s fall in Rhode Island proves to be not industry related

In Featured News, Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

Bloggers, social and industry media began asking yesterday whether a man who fell from a cell tower was an industry worker because they had viewed a link to an NBC 10 news video which, other than stating that someone had fallen off the tower, provided no details, nor did they. The ensuing speculation resulted in dozens of emails and numerous …

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National Wireless Safety Alliance’s Board selected to guide assessment and certification programs

In Associations News, Featured News, Safety, Standards by Wireless Estimator

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) unveiled the organization’s inaugural Board of Governors roster today in an industry-wide announcement. The NWSA is a national non-profit assessment and certification organization that is under development to provide thorough, independent assessments of knowledge and skills and provide verifiable worker certification in order to enhance safety, reduce workplace risk, improve quality, encourage training, and …

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Memorial fund set up after fiery crash takes the lives of five cell site workers in Florida

In Featured News, Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE – July 31, 2015 – Memorial services for all five crew members that died following the accident earlier this week will be on Monday, August 3, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. at the Mission of Guadalupe Catholic Church, 2150 Bomber Rd., Eagle Lake, Fla.  The Wingate Communications Lost Employees Children’s Memorial Fund, has been set up to assist the deceased’s children. Donations have been coming …

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First ever NATE regional meeting to be hosted in Kankakee, Illinois in September

In Associations News, Featured News, Safety, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) will be hosting a Midwest regional meeting on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 at the Kankakee Community College Banquet Center in Kankakee, Ill. The meeting will focus on key industry safety initiatives and offer tremendous networking and professional development opportunities for attendees. The meeting is open to NATE members as well as those companies …

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National Wireless Safety Alliance moves forward with NCCCO partnership for certifications

In Associations News, Featured News, Safety by Wireless Estimator

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) and the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) announced today that they have entered into a professional partnership for the development and administration of nationally accredited certification programs. The partnership puts the NWSA a strategically important step closer to rolling out their certification programs for tower technicians expected to be  available sometime …

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Sheriff’s report: Woman’s death in March was 2015’s first fatality

In Featured News, Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

Although OSHA has not stated whether 28-year-old Stephanie Gurney’s death on March 28, 2015 was industry related when she fell off of an SBA Communications tower near Eden, Tex., a Concho County Sheriffs Office Deputy’s report obtained by Wireless Estimator identifies that the woman was being assessed for her ability to climb by the owner of Jostan Communications for possible …

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NWSA delivers a detailed overview of their tower worker certification program to OSHA

In Associations News, Featured News, Safety, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

In response to OSHA’s request for information regarding communication tower safety due by Monday, the National Wireless Safety Alliance provided an emphatic ‘yes’ to the agency regarding its question: Is there a need for a standardized, industry-wide training or certification program? Provided by NWSA consultant Chuck Slagle, a former Sprint EH&S executive, the safety alliance said, “The NWSA will standardize …

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NATE submits its OSHA tower safety comments as Monday’s deadline looms

In Associations News, Safety by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) has submitted its formal comments to OSHA’s Request for Information on Communication Tower Safety which ends on Monday, June 15, 2015. The trade group’s response to the RFI ‘s questions can be viewed here. “The Association’s responses to the questions outlined in the RFI reflect NATE’s role as the industry leader in safety, standards …

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Leading safety expert steps forward as the tower industry’s response to OSHA tanks

In Featured News, Safety by Wireless Estimator

Whereas an embarrassing majority of industry safety professionals and tower climbers, as high as 99% or more, have ignored an opportunity to assist OSHA in assessing current practices and ways that will result in lowering fatalities and injuries in tower construction and maintenance, an Illinois State University professor, Dr. Thomas P. Fuller, while traveling in France, took the time today to …

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Four new lawsuits claim tower owner and its engineer are liable in deaths and injuries

In Featured News, Incident Report News, Industry News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: June 9, 2015 – Wrongful death lawsuits have been filed on behalf of the administrators of Kyle Kirkpatrick and Terry Richard, both of Oklahoma, who were both killed when an SBA Communications tower collapsed on February 1, 2014, and personal injury lawsuits were filed on behalf of Randall McElhaney, of Texas, and Jerry Hill, of Oklahoma, who also sustained …

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Deputy Secretary Barab is busy in the background driving OSHA’s tower safety efforts

In Safety by Wireless Estimator

Although Assistant Secretary of Labor David Michaels is frequently identified as the drive behind OSHA’s enforcement and regulatory emphasis for the wireless construction profession, Deputy Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab continues to champion the need to focus upon the industry, most recently, touching upon the thorny topic of when a subcontracted worker is injured on the job, who is ultimately responsible? …

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Wireless safety alliance seeks tower techs to serve on its inaugural board of governors

In Associations News, Featured News, Safety, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) announced today that it is seeking nominations from qualified tower technicians to serve in leadership roles by filling several available seats on the inaugural NWSA Board of Governors. The NWSA is a national non-profit assessment and certification organization that is under development to provide thorough, independent assessments of knowledge and skills and provide verifiable …

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Industry’s 2015 fatality record still undecided as OSHA continues to investigate woman’s death

In Featured News, Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

Whether or not the industry this year is close to having no fatalities for the longest period of time since deaths have been accurately tracked since 2003 will not be known until the OSHA Austin, Tex. Area Office makes a decision as to whether a fatality near Eden was training related or an unauthorized climb of a tower technician’s girlfriend. …

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Woman’s death linked to her boyfriend’s tower tech profession in Texas

In Featured News, Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

It is not known why 28-year-old Stephanie Gurney of San Angelo, Tex. was on or fell from an SBA Communications 500-foot tower in a rural area 10 miles east of Eden on Saturday at approximately 11:15 a.m., but it is has been established, that her boyfriend, Stephen Butler, who met Stephanie in September of 2014, was a tower technician for …

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Safety group begins branding its approaching skills-based training efforts

In Associations News, Industry News, Safety by Wireless Estimator

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) unveiled the organization’s official logo during a presentation last week at the 2015 International Wireless Communications Expo in Las Vegas, Nev. The NWSA is a non-profit assessment and certification organization that is being created to serve as the governance entity of the Wireless Industry Safety Task Force’s National Wireless Skills-Based Training Standard. The mission …

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OSHA cites wireless contractor with $114,800 fine following painter’s death

In Incident Report News, Safety by Wireless Estimator

The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration has issued a $114,800 fine for an Indiana wireless contractor, which it charges did not provide adequate protection for a 49-year-old worker who fell about 90 feet to his death while painting a communication tower on August 10, 2014. Thomas Lucas of Toledo, Ill. fell 80 to 90 feet while painting a communications …

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NIOSH issues report on tower collapses that killed two techs and a fire fighter

In Featured News, Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

In a detailed summary by the National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH), the federal agency investigated the collapse that killed two tower technicians last year in West Virginia in addition to a volunteer fire fighter who died after two towers collapsed at the SBA Communications site. Although the focus of the report was to ensure that fire departments should …

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Two technicians injured after a tower section collapses in Nebraska

In Featured News, Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

Update – 1.28. 2015, 5:55  p.m – Two tower techs that were erecting a new cell site tower for their employer, Viaero Wireless, were transported to the hospital after they had been trapped under a collapsed structure in Scottsbluff, Neb. In a prepared statement, Viaero Executive Vice President Mike Felicissimo said a wind gust caused a section of the tower …

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RF could have been the real killer of a BASE jumper who fell to his death

In Featured News, Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

Although it will not be able to be identified until a coroner examines tissue samples, there’s a strong possibility that a Michigan BASE jumper might have died, not because his parachute’s canopy didn’t open, but because he might have been unconscious before he ever had the opportunity to pull his ripcord as he fell from the 1,000-foot WLAJ-TV tower he …

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Michigan tower BASE jumper is killed after chute doesn’t deploy

In Featured News, Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

A well-known and highly skilled skydiver plunged to his death off a television tower yesterday when his canopy failed to open during a jump. Authorities say that Josh Sheppard, 31, was found dead at the bottom of the 1,000-foot WLAJ-TV tower in Jackson County west of Detroit, Mich. at 5:30 p.m. Sheppard, who was from the Detroit suburb of Southfield, was …

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South Carolina technician, 44, is 10th industry worker to die this year

In Featured News, Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: Authorities have identified the tower technician who fell approximately 100 feet from a cell tower in Greeneville, Tenn. yesterday as 44-year-old Allen Lee Cotton of Sumter, S.C. Two of his co-workers from Central USA Wireless did not see him fall, according to Greeneville Police Officer Shawn Hinkle’s report which provided information regarding the 12:25 p.m. incident. “Mr. Cotton was …

Technician succumbs following a 100-foot fall in Greeneville, Tennessee

In Featured News, Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

A tower technician fell to his death this afternoon in Greeneville, Tenn., according to Greene County EMS Director Robert Sayne, who said he was at approximately the 100-foot level when the incident occurred. Sayne did not have any additional information. An individual familiar with the worker’s death, said the tech was working on an Ericsson project for Sprint on a 197-foot …

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Four miraculously survive crash after aircraft clips Verizon tower in Missouri

In Incident Report News by Wireless Estimator

Excellent emergency piloting, luck or a combination of both on Friday evening allowed a pilot and his three passengers to live and recount their harrowing experience after their aircraft clipped a self-supporting tower in Springfield, Mo. and continued for a mile and a half before crashing into a vacant lot. The pilot, Bill Perkins, was well-aware of the obstruction hazards …