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[TowerTalk] Safety Belt Query - long

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Safety Belt Query - long
From: (
Date: Sat, 28 Jun 1997 11:13:46 -0400 (EDT)
In a message dated 97-06-26 23:35:06 EDT, you write:

> About safety belts.. The ONV products are the only ones I have seen
>  advertised, and I have received  comments that they are quality products.
>  I've had a couple TT Pros advise me to go with a full body harness, in
>  it tends to make one feel considerably more secure topside.  And I need
>  the warm fuzzy security I can find <grin>.  I'm a little confused with the
>  picture in the QST ad (July QST page 124) with the big D ring in the
>  of the chest area. No safety strap is illustrated. Do both ends of the
>  lanyard/strap fasten to this ring?  If not, where does the other/fixed end
>  fasten?  (Hopefully the folks at ONV can  help when I call tomorrow, but
>  you folks who have used these devices have better opinions!).    Is it
>  feasible to wear a separate belt/tool pouch with this sort of harness,
>  without straps getting in the way as arms unwind around the tower, back to
>  the pouch, etc.?  Also, the separately sold 3 foot "climbing lanyards",
>  these separate from the main belt or whatever would come as part of the
>  primary harness?  Outside of a secondary connection between a D ring and
>  the tower, are they useful in general, as they are described as having a
>  single "gorilla hook" for belt attachment?  What's on the other end?
>  Pardon all the questions.  If I can make myself feel half as secure as
>  made the XYL feel, I'll be in good shape. (Bill Long) writes:

>The use of the GH lanyards is obvious when one is working around at the
>tower top, but they are a bit cumbersome to manipulate on the ascent or
>descent.  Would someone who knows send me a description of proper tower
>ascent/descent procedure?  Does one use the one of the GH lanyards?  Two?
>Neither, ascending/descending untethered?

>I'd appreciate any response that can help to keep me safer.

     This is a topic near and dear to my heart - and in the case of the
aformentioned supplier - close to my spleen. Yes, I will be grinding my axe
in this post so delete now if you are easily offended.

     I have been involved in commercial and amateur tower work as a
professional tower jock since the early-80's. I am intimately familiar with
not only OSHA and state regulations but also have climbed almost 20 miles of
towers since then and have spent literally hundreds of hours wearing and
using safety equipment. I have also given safety seminars. I also sell a line
of safety equipment through TOWER TECH, my mail order tower supply business
so I feel qualified to make the following comments. 

     First of all, if you are interested in a thorough discussion of
tower-related safety equipment, you can send for a free reprint of my 3-part
series on safety equipment that appeared in my "Up The Tower" column in CQ
Contest magazine. Send an SASE with 2 stamps to TOWER TECH, Box 572,
Woodinville, WA, 98072.

    The illustrated ONV harness mentioned in the previous post IMO has some
serious deficiencies. First, the chest D-ring is of dubious value. I have the
catalogs of over a dozen safety equipment suppliers and NONE of them have a
harness of that particular design. I think that it is used by ironworkers
doing rebar work but have NEVER seen it used for tower work. For extended
periods of tower work, this is a poor arrangement for safety and comfort.

     It also lacks a belt of any sort (none visible in the photo). That means
that you'd have to have a separate waist belt for positioning belt and tool
bag attachment. 

     The crossed suspenders are inconvenient and again not an industry

    As far as climbing a tower, when you climb with no safety equipment
attached to the tower, it is known as "free climbing". It is illegal per OSHA
rules to free climb and you're supposed to be attached to the tower 100% of
the time. Since people working on their own towers or anyone doing tower work
for free are not subject to OSHA rules, your own method is up to you. With a
fall arrest harness there is a D-ring in the back that is the connection for
your fall arrest lanyard. This lanyard should be the one that is attached to
the tower. You can attach it up or down as you climb the tower. It's faster
if you've got 2 lanyards so that you can leapfrog them up. Another method is
to use your waist positioning lanyard around the tower as you climb while
attaching the fall arrest lanyard as you climb around any appurtenances such
as guy wires, antennas, etc. Since most accidents happen when you're working
and not climbing up or down, this would cover you for almost any situation.
Jack, W1WEF, had a dizzy spell coming down a tower once and that convinced
him that he should be attached at all times. 

     TOWER TECH tower hardware and safety equipment is sold by someone who is
a professional tower climber, author and lecturer. By the products and
statements that ONV makes, they can't make the same claim. 

73 and safe climbing,  Steve  K7LXC

     TOWER TECH -- professional tower supplies for amateurs

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