[TowerTalk] The OSHA man lurks...
Fri, 8 Aug 1997 10:54:50 -0400 (EDT)
All this time I've been lurking here cleverly disguised as K4UHL when in
fact, I work as a Safety Compliance Officer for NC OSHA in Charlotte, NC.
What brought me out of the closet was K3MM's post today about climbing
belts. He is absolutely right (maybe he's also an OSHA lurker). And when I
climb my tower, or have to work at elevations on a construction site, I am
double safetied from ground to ground with a full body harness. That exceeds
our regulations but I don't like heights-even as a former paratrooper.
(Maybe especially as a former paratrooper who no longer feels immortal!)
I've been to enough fatalities and accidents to know how simple a slip can
occur and how devistating the results can be. We also have fall protection
demos where we put someone in a waist belt and crank him up in the air to see
how it feels to hang with that. After 10-15 seconds they are in agony.
Think about free falling 6 feet or so, getting snatched up by your waist and
then waiting for the 911 response to get there - or your ground crew to
figure out what to do.
The other point to make is that OSHA has jurisdiction only for
employee-employer relationships. We don't cite hams if they are doing their
own thing. Yet, I believe the OSHA fall protection standards are realistic
and will save injury and loss of life. I'll be glad to answer questions or
listen to your OSHA horror stories - I know they are out there. For now, 73,
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