Detailed inspections find no bird fatalities

Discussion in 'Design, Development and Standards Discussions' started by Ed Dennis, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. Ed Dennis

    Ed Dennis Friend of the Community

    I too have seen no evidence to support such wild claims of mass avian fatalities on or near communications towers. I have been on more than a thousand tower sites and I've seen four or five bird carcasses at the most.

    As Safety Director and Training Services Manager for the past five years I have inspected nearly every tower site our company performs work on. These inspections are very detailed and comprehensive in nature and include structural condition assessments as well as environmental issues. I have conducted scores of training exercises on these sites in which the objective is to identify any and all health and safety issues that may affect our employees. The presence of dead birds would not only be noticed, it would be documented.

    I am one of two employees here that have contracted the bird carrying fungus "histoplasmosis" while working on towers. This infection wreaked havoc on my system as well as sent the other employee to an ICU at a local hospital before he could be diagnosed. That was more than five years ago and as a result we all pay particular attention to the bird activity on and around our towers. It has been my observation that these towers do not harm birds, rather they represent a valuable asset to bird life in the form of nesting and perch sites.

    Prior to a career change that brought me to this industry I was an erection foreman building and maintaining water tanks and towers. During that six year period I can say with all certainty that I have seen hundreds of dead birds in these water tanks. These tanks must be vented to accommodate the changing water level and the birds always seem to defeat the screens we would put in place to keep them out. The chlorine takes care of the obvious. I have yet to hear of an effort to ban drinking water.

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