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Re: [TowerTalk] Certification to climb towers?

To: John Lloyd <>,
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Certification to climb towers?
From: Jim Lux <>
Date: Fri, 06 Feb 2004 15:16:00 -0800
List-post: <>
At 03:03 PM 2/6/2004 -0700, John Lloyd wrote:
I went to a club meeting last night where the speaker was in the
business of Tower and Antenna Installation. He said that the OSHA rules
have changed over that past few years and that everyone who climbs
towers needs to be certified to climb and and must use the proper body
harness climbing belts and locking belt clips.

He also said that if there is an accident, that OSHA WILL come and
inspect the Tower accident. If the climber is not certified then the
insurance companies won't pay any claims.

OSHA is "Occupational" safety and health administration, and only deals with workplace things. You're perfectly free to do hideously dangerous things on your own, just not at work. It's hard to say how OSHA could come look at your mangled body on your mangled tower, unless there was some "workplace" aspect to it.

Insurance is a different matter.. that's between you and the insurance company. If you were a business, I'm sure that your insurance company would require that you have all your workers trained and appropriately qualified and equipped, or, at the very least, had procedures in place to do so (i.e. if an employee goes off and climbs the tower without the safety gear, contrary to training and instruction and your procedures, you might still be covered, at least for liability).

I can't imagine that your health or life insurance would deny the claim, unless you were engaging in a "uncovered activity" listed in the policy (e.g. many life insurance policies won't pay for death in an airplane not operated by a commercial carrier). It's true that they may consider tower climbing as a "de facto" hazardous, un-covered activity like two-man chainsaw juggling, wing-walking, mountain climbing, etc., without explicitly listing it.

I would like to know if someone could confirm this and let me know what
one needs to go through to get certified to climb towers?  I've only
been climbing towers for 37 years now and yes I have a body harness
climbing belt. I climb towers to repair and maintain my ham radio
antennas. I did not know that everyone needs to be certified to climb.

Can someone direct me to some information on the web about
certifications for tower climbers and the OSHA requirements?

When someone starts throwing "OSHA requires XYZ" around, I always go to the OSHA site, which has a very good search engine.

Often times, what they're talking about is one way that someone has figured out to comply with the OSHA rules, rather than that OSHA has mandated a particular course of action.

Here's the blanket requirement for certification in Telecommunications industry (Construction, which might apply, might be different)

Employers shall provide training in the various precautions and safe practices described in this section and shall insure that employees do not engage in the activities to which this section applies until such employees have received proper training in the various precautions and safe practices required by this section. However, where the employer can demonstrate that an employee is already trained in the precautions and safe practices required by this section prior to his employment, training need not be provided to that employee in accordance with this section. Where training is required, it shall consist of on-the-job training or classroom-type training or a combination of both. The employer shall certify that employees have been trained by preparing a certification record which includes the identity of the person trained, the signature of the employer or the person who conducted the training, and the date the training was completed. The certification record shall be prepared at the completion of training and shall be maintained on file for the duration of the employee's employment. The certification record shall be made available upon request to the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health. Such training shall, where appropriate, include the following subjects:
(1) Recognition and avoidance of dangers relating to encounters with harmful substances and animal, insect, or plant life;
(2) Procedures to be followed in emergency situations; and,
(3) First aid training, including instruction in artificial respiration.


In general OSHA requires a "qualified employee":
Qualified employee. Any worker who by reason of his training and experience has demonstrated his ability to safely perform his duties.


John, K7JL


See: for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather Stations", and lot's more. Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.

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See: for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather Stations", and lot's more. Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.

TowerTalk mailing list

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