On a couple of occasions after working for several hours
at the top of a tower, my fingers cramped uncontrollably,
pushing all four fingers into the palm of my hand.
In order to open my hand, I had to use my other hand to
rotate my fingers to an open position, then stretch the
muscles by pushing my fingers against the tower leg
until the muscles relaxed.
Once, this happened while descending the tower, right
at a set of guy wires. Since I am ALWAYS strapped around
the tower, nothing serious occured.
I use TWO lanyards, one short and one long, made from
a single piece of 1/2 inch braided nylon rope with 5000 lb
forged safety clips at the ends. The other end is secured
with a closed loop through the left D ring (fold the rope,
pass the end of the loop through the D ring, pull the clip
ends through the loop and pull tight). The clips are tied
with (correctly tied) BOWLINE knots.
I prefer the rope lanyards to heavy leather straps which I
find awkward and inconvenient to use. When working on
the antennas, I wrap the short lanyard around the opposite
tower leg, pulling my belly against the flat surface I am facing.
When climbing, I use the long lanyard (which will pull tight
if I lean back). I use BOTH when going around guys and/or
This technique has served me well for 30 years on dozens
of tower installations with a (Miller) nylon safety belt. The
full arrest harness sounds even better and I will be looking
at them soon.
I have a tool pouch attached over one hip which is not especially
convenient when working but out of the way when climbing. For
bolts and nuts, I like to wear a carpenters apron which has big
open pockets on the front and is very low cost. (Just tie it around
your waist, under your belt.)
de Tom N4KG
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