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NATE partners with Teltronic Towers to host U.S. SBA and OSHA tower-site visit

In Associations News, Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Last Thursday, NATE partnered with founding member company Teltronic Towers, Inc. to host officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and OSHA at a communications tower site in Frederick, Md. During the visit, officials from U.S. SBA and OSHA witnessed in real-time a Teltronic Towers crew replacing cellular antennas with upgraded antennas and equipment at a monopole site. The U.S. …

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Outside engineer’s defective gin pole rigging plan is cited for three tower techs’ deaths

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Calculation errors in an engineer’s rigging plan is being cited as the reason a gin pole broke loose from the 1,000-foot Miami, Fla. tower it was attached to, causing the death last September of three tall tower technicians employed by Tower King II, Inc. of Cedar Hill, Tex. The disclosure came to light this afternoon from Tower King II’s attorney, …

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Washington’s ‘Little Red Book’ could easily save tower tech lives

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

  The State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries’ (L&I) extensive Safety Standards for Telecommunications became effective Jan. 1, 2018, and in order to get the rule into workers’ hands, the agency, at no cost to the individual or their company, is providing a downloadable copy of the 129-pages of rules in Chapter 296-32 WAC. The department is also providing …

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ISP worker falls to his death from a backyard broadband tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Update: January 2, 2018 – OSHA has opened their investigation into the workplace accident that took the life of technician Richard C. Andrews, the eight industry fatality in 2017. In 2016 there were seven fatalities. Update: January 1, 2018 – Services have been announced for Richard C. Andrews, age 31, a resident of Manitowoc, Wisc. who fell from a tower …

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NATE highlights really remote tower site access

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today released a breathtaking video on the topic of operating snow tracked vehicles to access tower sites in remote locations. The video, the latest to make its debut as part of Volume 2 of the NATE Climber Connection series, is designed to emphasize the exciting opportunities available in the industry for those workers …

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FedEx Ground’s safety chief is President Trump’s pick to lead OSHA

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Scott A. Mugno, vice president for Safety, Sustainability and Vehicle Maintenance at FedEx Ground in Pittsburgh, Pa., has been nominated by President Trump to be assistant secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. Whereas the former chief of OSHA, David Michaels, came from academia, Mugno comes from a safety-centric organization that has more than 100,000 fleet vehicles and more …

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Grant will provide hundreds of workers with rigger awareness training through NATE

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

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) announced today that it has been selected by the U.S. Department of Labor – OSHA to receive a $155,000 Susan Harwood Targeted Topic Training Grant for the 2017-2018 program year. The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program awards grants to nonprofit organizations on a competitive basis. Awards are issued annually based on Congressional appropriation. …

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Industry applauds OSHA / FCC’s long-awaited Communication Tower Best Practices guide

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The FCC and OSHA today released their Communication Tower Best Practices guide following a concerted joint effort on industry safety when the two agencies began the initiative with a workshop in Washington, D.C. in 2014 and continued the effort with another group of industry stakeholders in 2016. Although the guide is advisory in nature, and is not a standard or regulation, …

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Industry’s contractors readying for national safety stand-down

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Next week’s national safety stand-down, May 8 through May 12, to prevent falls in construction, is an ideal time for contractors and other aligned businesses to take time out to discuss the very real problem in wireless construction of civil workers and tower techs injuring themselves. And even though the industry has not had any fatalities of a wireless worker …

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New Washington telecom construction safety regs could see widespread adoption

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Exclusive “quick links” document is available for rule review The State of Washington Department of Labor and Industries has submitted a 106-page Safety Standards for Telecommunications proposal for public review that is expected to be adopted in July following three public hearings. And even though it would just affect those companies working in Washington, it is possible that a number of other …

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Rappelling tower tech may be disqualified from receiving workers compensation

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Supreme Court of Georgia has ruled that a tower tech who disobeyed his supervisor’s instructions not to use a controlled descent and fell, severely injuring himself, may not be entitled to workers compensation benefits, reversing a Georgia Court of Appeals decision. Tower technician Adrian Burdette, employed by Chandler Telecom L.L.C. of Eatonton, Ga. during November 2012, according to the ruling, …

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New tower construction regulations could be on the way if the CWA gets its way

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

New OSHA regulations directed at the wireless construction industry that were expected to be proposed in 2017 appeared to get a stay of execution when it seemed that the new administration will put a freeze on new regulations – especially since President Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 30 that for every new regulation, agencies would have to toss …

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Trump’s election might have kayoed OSHA’s new tower industry regs

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The election of Donald Trump as the nation’s 45th president may provide ancillary benefits to contractors and stop – or at least delay – new OSHA regulations directed at the wireless construction industry that were expected to be proposed in 2017. According to John Newquist, a former OSHA assistant regional administrator from Chicago, it is likely that the new administration …

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TIA and OSHA explore new standards and serious safety climb concerns

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The Telecommunications Industry Association and representatives of the Occupational Safety and Health Administrating met in Washington DC to hold productive roundtable discussions to gain a better understanding of applying new TIA standards to communications structures. Developing and presenting the detailed presentation, available here, were John Erichsen, Bryan Lanier, Stephani Brewer, Scott Kisting, Richard Cullum and James Ruedlinger. In addition to …

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A long overdue game-changing tower safety standard is finalized

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The long-awaited game-changing ANSI standard, A10.48-2016 – heralded as being the first comprehensive standard encompassing the entire wireless construction, service and maintenance industry, and clearly living up to its expectations – has been finalized, according to the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) and other individuals knowledgeable of its completion. The 107-page standard, although currently not available for purchase, is …

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TIRAP encourages ongoing safety training with new video on standards for tower work

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP) Board Chairman Scott Kisting today announced the availability of a new video aimed at raising awareness of the critical role standards play in the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure throughout the United States. Because the responsibility for understanding and following task-specific standards is the responsibility of the companies and the professionals doing the work, it …

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Rescued tech is in a two-week coma as his employer and OSHA wait to see if it is work-related

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

UPDATE: June 2, 2016 – OSHA said today that they have thoroughly reviewed the incident that resulted in a 38-year-old Tennessee tower technician lapsing into a prolonged coma after being rescued two weeks ago off of a cell tower in Bethany, Mo., and have closed their investigation after finding that the incident was not work-related. OSHA Kansas City, Mo. Area …

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OSHA is readying new RF, fall protection and hoist standards

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had known that fall protection in the wireless construction industry has either been used improperly or inconsistently due to the high fatality rate of tower climbers, after analyzing the responses to their 38 questions on tower safety published last April, the agency has decided that it will be moving forward with revising their standards …

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OSHA issues workplace injury reporting rule alongside a chorus of concerns

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule on Wednesday designed to modernize injury data collection to better inform workers, employers, the public and OSHA about workplace hazards. A number of trade groups and professionals believe that it will create more harm than the intended benefits OSHA anticipates it will provide. OSHA currently requires many employers …

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Wireless industry tackles needed improvements for failing safety climb systems

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Officials from the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP), which aims to promote worker safety, quality and efficiency within the wireless infrastructure industry, gathered representatives from wireless carriers, tower companies and safety climb system equipment manufacturers to hold a Safety Equipment Manufacturers Summit to maximize the critical role safety climb equipment plays in protecting climbers. The purpose of the gathering …

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Safety trainer CITCA lands Jocko Vermillion to expand their services

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

Steve Wilder, Chief Operating Officer of CITCA, LLC of Bourbonnais, IL has announced that Jocko Vermillion will be joining the safety training organization effective April 18, 2016. Well-known in the tower safety industry, Vermillion will assume the role of Vice-President of Safety Management Services.  In that role he will work with both CITCA clients and with clients of CITCA’s sister …

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First climber death in 2016 reported in Iowa after tech falls from Hamilton County tower

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Hamilton County Iowa Sherriff’s Department has confirmed that a 28-year-old tower technician fell to his death yesterday at approximately 4:45 p.m.  from a cell tower. The man has been identified as Stefan Watermann who was employed by Tri-State Tower of Marion, Ia. A spokesperson said that Watermann lived in Anamosa, Iowa. The investigation is underway into finding the cause. …

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Great video tips unveiled in NATE’s 100% tie-off safety video

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today released a 100% Tie-Off Safety Video as part of the Association’s Climber Connection campaign. The video was released by the Association in advance of next week’s NATE UNITE 2016 Conference in New Orleans, La. The video highlights practical 100% Tie-Off safety tips for industry workers to follow to ensure that they are …

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Crew and subcontracting requirements could change with proposed OSHA/FCC best practices

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

If the best practices (BPs) being developed by the Federal Communications Commission and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration are implemented nation-wide, it is likely that the industry will see a marked improvement in fatality and injury counts. It will also assist in reducing the number of companies in the industry that provide lower bids because they’re not burdened by …

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Workshop panelists ferret out tower climber concerns and possible solutions

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

During his opening statement at a Department of Labor / Federal Communications Commission tower climber safety workshop on Feb. 11, 2016, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that “everybody has to be proactive,” emphasizing the need to champion pre-emptive strikes by all wireless industry stakeholders in order to continue to improve upon a lower climber fatality rate that was achieved in 2015. …

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FCC Chairman’s zero fatality message is clear even with slightly different fatality count

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Thursday’s message at the Occupational Safety & Health Administration and the Federal Communications Commission workshop was loud and clear as stated by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “The industry that provides world-class wireless service must have world-class safety for its employees and contractors. Period,” said Wheeler in his opening remarks during the half-day session (video available here) at FCC headquarters in …

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The cell phone in your pocket shouldn’t cost a worker’s life

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

By Dr. David Michaels and Roger Sherman – Wireless services have opened up avenues of communication and resources unlike any in history. We rely on these connections to stay in touch with friends and family members, operate businesses and communicate on a global scale. But providing these innovative services through networks of communication towers should not come at the cost …

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Australian tower tech’s death is a sad reminder of lower international fatalities

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

A tower tech fell to his death from a communications tower in Australia today, according to a local news report that stated he was 43-years-old and died after falling off of a structure near Adelaide River around 4:00 p.m., but offered no additional information. The worker’s death accents what appears to be a safer environment throughout the world for tower …

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TIRAP investigates life-threatening tower safety climbs, a problem that needs to be fixed

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

The Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP), announced the release of the latest installment in the TIRAP Telecommunications Video Series: “Safety Climb Systems.” Although it’s an instructive and well-produced presentation of the important role safety climb systems play on telecommunications towers, it strikes an uncomfortable chord in identifying the number of incorrectly installed safety climbs that are in the industry …

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NWSA subject matter experts continue their tower technician certification program efforts in Texas

In Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

The National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) convened its distinguished group of leading subject matter experts this week to continue the assessment and certification development process for the Telecommunications Tower Technician I (TTTI) and Telecommunications Tower Technician II (TTTII) programs. The intensive NWSA task force meetings occurred over a three-day period and were hosted by AT&T at the AT&T Center for …

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NATE releases PPE inspection safety video as part of Climber Connection campaign

In Associations News, Daily News Briefs by Wireless Estimator

‘When in doubt, take it out!’ The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today released a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Inspection Safety Video as part of the Association’s 2016 Climber Connection campaign. The video highlights practical safety tips for industry workers to follow when inspecting the required PPE associated with working at heights on a communications towers. The video includes …

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Former OSHA construction safety chief believes some companies see agency’s fines as a ‘business cost’

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Jim Maddux, Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Directorate of Construction, retired at the end of December from the position he held since Dec. 20, 2010. During his leadership at OSHA he was instrumental in creating a serious conversation about climber safety in America, and shepherding new proactive initiatives targeting the telecom industry. He began his carrer with OSHA …

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FCC and DOL announce second workshop on tower climber safety and apprenticeship program

In Featured News, Training News & Initiatives by Wireless Estimator

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Employment and Training Administration (ETA) have announced preliminary details of a second workshop on tower climber safety and the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP). The first joint FCC-DOL workshop on these subjects was held on October 14, 2014. The upcoming workshop, to be …

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Lawmakers’ RF concerns are on target, but media inflates dangerous site totals

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D. Calif.) have raised concerns to the FCC in regards to radio frequency radiation and the impact such exposure can have on tower technicians and other workers not involved in wireless work such as HVAC technicians and electricians. They’re also concerned about residents who might be exposed to excessive RF exposure on …

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Deceased tower techs’ signatures were forged to falsely state they were W-9 contractors

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

A U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Administrative Law Judge has found that a Louisiana tower erector’s owners, during a hearing to vacate a $7,000 Serious OSHA fine received following the death of two of the company’s workers in 2013, purposely misled the court, fraudulently altered documents and were deceitful in a number of representations, and he denied their …

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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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Going beyond compliance standards and use of SAUCE could curtail tower-site accidents

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

Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program (TIRAP) board chairman Scott Kisting today urged members of the wireless infrastructure industry to watch a newly produced video aimed at strengthening workplace safety, enhancing workplace quality, and improving worker health and safety training. Initiated by TIRAP and produced by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), the video released today, the first of a planned ongoing series, …

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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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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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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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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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Former OSHA chief to discuss marijuana, e-cigarettes and other smoky things

In Associations News, Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., former Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, will be presenting a free webinar on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. EST to discuss marijuana laws since some states have now legalized medical marijuana and other have approved them for recreational use. Although federal law still considers all marijuana use to be illegal, there is a …

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Apathy abounds in the tower construction industry regarding potential safety rules

In Featured News by Wireless Estimator

Commentary — Last June, when OSHA floated the possibility that the agency was going to request information that would assist it in determining what additional steps it can take to prevent injuries and fatalities during tower work, some workers, employers, manufacturers and others had reservations about whether the RFI would address important tower safety issues, or be a pre-regulation proposal …

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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 …