> Think "OSHA Cowboy"...
Funny! Yes, it's almost that bad... but there is some good advice in
that BLM document linked to above. You just have to pick it out of the
rest of the bureaucratic junk.
My advice on tower climbing:
* Wear long pants and a shirt so you don't skin yourself up.
* Use a hard hat with an elastic chin strap, and keep the strap on the
whole time - otherwise you will lose your hat. The hat is important -
I've hit my head hard enough to do damage, but the hard hat took it.
* Use a full-body harness designed for fall arrest. Make sure you
attach any arrest lanyard to the proper point, which is the D-ring in
the middle of your upper back. Make sure the leg straps are properly
positioned and tightened - if you're a man, you want to maintain your
manliness in case of a fall! So make sure there's not enough slack for
those straps to get somewhere they shouldn't be...
* Make sure your fall arrest lanyard is short enough to stop you within
6 feet or less, even if attached to the tower below you. That means
they should be 3 feet or less in length. An approved lanyard with a
shock absorber is highly recommended. Otherwise, something strong
enough to keep you up there will work, but without the shock absorber,
you may break bones if you fall. This may strand you on the tower and
prompt Bubba to come up with no safety equipment, sling you over his
shoulder and carry you down...
* Use only locking snap hooks and carabiners. Make sure they are the
type approved for fall arrest. Which is to say, don't use those
aluminum carabiners they sell at Walmart, the ones which say "Not for
* NEVER disconnect yourself from the tower unless you're on the ground!
I use two short lanyards with large locking snap hooks, both attached to
the back D-ring, and alternate between them when climbing a tower that
has no climbing device.
* Make sure you know what you're hooking on to - climbers have fallen
because they hooked onto brackets, pipes, antennas, etc. which were not
properly attached to the tower or were not strong enough to hold. Make
sure you attach to the D-rings and not to the screwdriver in your
pocket, as one guy did just before he fell... (he was low and lucky)
* If you bring a rope up with you, have a way to quickly disconnect it
from your harness in an emergency. You don't want someone driving away
with the other end of that rope tied to their bumper. For that matter,
make sure everyone on the ground knows that you are the boss of the job
if you're on the tower. If they won't respect that, get off the tower.
It's your life they're messing with.
* No matter how much confidence you have in your equipment, always work
as if you didn't fully trust the equipment. It could save your life.
TowerTalk mailing list