In a message dated 97-12-17 21:46:04 EST, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> All I've ever used for tower work is a repelling harness. I use a dual
> system of caribeaners & lanyard so that I can stay attached to the tower &
> position my lanyard (or vice-versa) as necessary. I have fallen while
> climbing rock using the same harness; the fall arrest capabilities are
> Tower climbing belts are heavy, cumbersome, uncomfortable & expensive; not
> to mention less safe than a harness because they only go around the waist.
> If a climber incorporates the full body harness that goes with the
> "climbing belt" to eliminate the possibility of falling out of the belt,
> the climber has also added more weight to the system which adds to the
> fatigue of being on a tower for several hours. Rapelling gear is made of
> double stitched nylon similar to seat belt material which is much lighter &
> stronger than its leather counterpart. This is why people who climb rocks
> literally thousands of feet above the ground developed & entrust their
> lives to these products. If a climber wants the added protection of a full
> body harness (in addition to a repelling harness), the nylon climbers
> harness is the way to go.
I disagree with you.
I have spent several years as a mountain and rock climber so I am
intimately familiar with the hardware and software involved. Actually this is
how I got started in the tower climbing business.
I have also spent the last ten years as a professional tower climber and
the owner of a couple of commercial tower services companies.
Any piece of safety equipment is highly specialized and is designed for a
specific application. The BEST safety equipment for a job are products
designed for THAT application. While the basic premise (wearer safety) is the
same, it is the subtle differences that detract from their relative
My opinion is that a climbing harness is about 60% appropriate for tower
work while a tower climbing belt or harness is 100% appropriate. Will the
climbing harness work? Yes. Would I use or recommend one for tower work? No.
They are also subject to different standards - UIAA for climbing
equipment and OSHA for tower equipment. It's an 'apples and oranges'
There is a company that advertises safety equipment in ham magazines that
is selling a fall-arrest harness designed for window washing. Will it work?
Well, sort of but it's still a compromise and another 60% solution.
As a non-professional tower owner, you can use (or not use) anything you
want. I've seen enough poor techniques, equipment and installations to last me
a lifetime and I would just prefer that people do things correctly and safely.
When I was your age (33), I did things that when I look back I consider myself
lucky that they turned out okay. As your age, wisdom and sense of mortality
increase, you may also change your mind.
Anyone interested in a reprint of my 3-part series on safety equipment
that appeared in my "Up The Tower" column in CQ Contest magazine can send a
buck to TOWER TECH, Box 572, Woodinville, WA, 98072.
73 and climb safely, Steve K7LXC
TOWER TECH -- professional tower supplies and services for amateurs
FAQ on WWW: http://www.contesting.com/towertalkfaq.html
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