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Re: [TowerTalk] Safe (?) Climbing Practices

Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Safe (?) Climbing Practices
From: Ethan <>
Date: Tue, 09 Jan 2007 05:18:56 -0500
List-post: <>
JoeCoolDXer wrote:
> 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 
fall arrest".
* 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.

Ethan KC8HES

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