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Re: [TowerTalk] Breaking all the tower climbing rules at an

To: Larry Banks <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Breaking all the tower climbing rules at an
From: jimlux <>
Date: Fri, 03 Dec 2010 08:34:56 -0800
List-post: <">>
Larry Banks wrote:
> I am involved in Corporate Training at both Hewlett-Packard, it's offshoot 
> Agilent Technologies, and now it's offshoot Avago Technologies.  Anyone who 
> has a job that requires ladder usage takes mandatory ladder training.  I 
> took it just because I was curious.  It was  (and remains) one of the most 
> useful courses I ever took.

Yes.. I have found that the actual classes are pretty interesting, if 
only for the "there but for the grace of god go I" sorts of stories.

What isn't as much fun is the modern trend to "online traning", because 
I think it's the interaction with the other students in the class that's 
really how the knowledge gets transferred.  With the online, it tends to 
become a "check off the boxes" exercise that, for reasons of time 
pressure, tends to get done in parallel with reading and responding to 
email, participating in a conference call, etc.

And what I really find useless is the "let's create a procedure" and the 
ensuing "let's create a way to verify on paper that the procedure is 
being executed" but without actually *do-ing* anything, but creating a 
lot of paper artifacts.

The case I point to with the latter is the NOAA N-prime "process 
escape".. BIG satellite on fixture supposedly bolted down.  the fact 
that the bolts were installed was "verified"  (technically, the 
"configuration was assured") by checking the paperwork, as opposed to 
actually LOOKING at the plate where the bolts were supposed to be.  Tip 
the fixture, and satellite fell.  And the guy wiping down the mounting 
plate with alcohol actually commented on the fact that it felt 
different, because he didn't have to work around all those bolt heads.
bunches of news stories... google "NOAA N-prime mishap" and you'll see 
the pictures of the broken satellite, etc.

(I wonder what the guys who had come in on Saturday morning to do this 
quick job thought and said as they saw this huge thing start to fall.. 
maybe it's like the quote from the pilot of the Southwest Airlines plane 
as they realized they would be running off the end of the runway at 
Burbank a few years ago.. "so much for retirement" or something like that)

I give the NASA Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA) folks 
credit in their review of the mishap report.  The investigation board 
made lots of "train this" and "train that" recommendations, and OSMA 
said, in effect.. training doesn't work very well for this kind of thing.

> On the other hand, I worked my way through college as a maintenance 
> electrician in a steel mill and spent a lot of time on ladders.  No training 
> was given -- although this was the late '60s.
> ANYONE who uses a ladder should Google "Ladder Safety Videos" and view some. 
> One I just reviewed that is reasonable:

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