Licensing is not the answer

Discussion in 'Climbing Towers' started by Michael Landa, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Michael Landa

    Michael Landa Friend of the Community

    Wilcox?s premise that somehow there is something wrong with a small operation is absurd, ?two men, a truck, rope and bucket shop? he called it. Every company starts someplace, usually small; Landcraft Industries has a proud heritage in the maintenance end of the industry since 2000 when it was formed; the company has had no accidents of any kind in seven years.

    Landcraft has had eight climbers in the seven years of operation and until recently none have been certified through a third party safety program such as ComTrain. I am not a proponent of such programs since they are no more beneficial than an in-house program and are not cost effective. Attending a two day class and passing a written test does not make you a climber let alone a safe climber. ComTrain and the other tower rescue course providers possess no legislative mandate from any governmental authority, state, local or federal. The fact that some customers like Crown Castle require some form of third party safety program certification is not an indication all contractors and engineering firms are going in that direction.

    The second concern I have with respect to licensing is abdicating my responsibly as an employer to insure my employees have the best training needed to do their job safely and correctly. I do not accept Certification at face value and I will not accept Licensing at face value.

    The third concern I have with respect to licensing is behavior modification; and therein lays the crux of the problem. You can mandate certain behaviors on the job and in the work place but in most cases you can not control it, you can, however, react to problem behavior. If a climber at 300 feet refuses to tie off there is nothing you can do but fire them on the spot and hope they get to the ground safely.

    I would agree that any death in this industry is unacceptable but resolving the issues surrounding safety is complex. A first step might be to answer questions when other companies call to verify employment information on a background check. More than 70% of those companies I have contacted while verifying employment barely admit the guy even worked there. Fear of litigation has resulted in paralysis. If you can not get background employment information what makes anyone think safety information is going to come any easier? Do not hire anyone without verifying everything.

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