I had some tree work (dead limb clearing, felling, antenna hoist lines
installed) done on several 100 footers recently and carefully watched
the climbers and talked to them about their gear.
Some observations, some of which might be worthwhile re typical ham
tower climbing. I've done some but am not a pro. Also, some of this
won't work for those of you with the 1000' towers.
1. they never climb with a tool bag or chainsaw, it stays on the ground
until they are at the work point and secured (small hand saw excepted)
2. they have a messanger line for the tools and call for a partner to
hook up the needed tool/bag
3. the partner yells "under" whenever he is in a falling object zone,
everybody has hard hats
4. the safety rig is a not the full "OSHA" fall harness, it is a
"arborist rig" (Petzl in their case) with belt and leg loops and
front/side attach points. They can sit in it for long periods and I
don't think slip out in any body orientation.
5. they won't use an OSHA fall harness - "you can't self rescue" I was
6. their descent was cool with an over a branch line and fancy climbers
braking knot, (why walk when there is a free ride down :-) )
This work was by employees of a large company and I think very safety
conscious. However, the risk level in a tree climb seems enormously
higher than a tower climb - climbing spikes vs steel rungs for the feet;
the number of times not secured as branches are climbed over; no fall
arrest cabling possible, no convenient rungs to clip to, etc. It's
definitely for the young and strong.
On 12/2/2010 8:52 PM, Rick Karlquist wrote:
> Question for you experts: if it is forbidden to free climb
> a tower, why is it OK to free climb a ladder? Not trying
> to argue, just curious. I never climb towers, but often
> climb ladders. I keep asking myself why I should feel
> so safe on a ladder. (It is somewhat easier to fall
> off a tower, admittedly).
> Rick N6RK
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