Proactive prevention approach suggested
While the FACE process is reactive, we need to heed this information and make it proactive in order to prevent the next fatality in our great industry. The crime is that there are vast amount of workers out there that are not tied off 100% all the time, not wearing the correct PPE, not trained and even worse than that, employers are allowing this type of renegade to perform and climb towers. Each fatality is another mark against us; increasing insurance for all installers, creating negative perceptions about our industry, opening our industry for more scrutiny and making the recruiting of climbers/installers more difficult.
Each death of a climber has vast effects on this industry; the tower climber needs to realize their position in our industry. They are not just an hourly employee that is “collecting a pay check”, but their activities are substantial in the growth or decline of our industry. Following safety procedures and guidelines, maintaining a professional attitudes and continual education will assist in promoting a positive image to the impressionable public. As the death rate climbs, the public could begin to perceive that this industry is filled with careless and haphazard employees. To all foremen, owners, and climbers: please adhere to the stringent safety guidelines each and every day for your personal protection, the protection of the company and to the others who have invested so much into our industry.
Chris Pleibel is an active member of the National Association of Tower Erectors' OSHA Relations Committee and is the Northeastern Regional Sales Manager for PRIMUS Electronics.