[TowerTalk] Two Killed Erecting Tower

Bill Coleman AA4LR aa4lr@radio.org
Wed, 22 Mar 2000 14:02:44 -0500

On 3/22/00 11:18 AM, K4SB at k4sb@mindspring.com wrote:

>So would I, but as for the ham tower fatality, I'm afraid there
>has. About 2-3 years ago, working alone, one of the guys in
>Atlanta fell from about 20 feet. No safety belt.

I'd like to add something to this story. This fellow did have a safety 
harness available with a fall arrest lanyard. For reasons that can never 
been known, he failed to use it.

As I understand the story, he was climbing one-handed, with a MFJ 
analyser in the other hand. Evidentially he wanted to keep the borrowed 
analyser undamaged. 

It was a drizzly November day - damp and cold.

So, add up the factors -- wet tower, one-handed climbing, no fall arrest 

>His wife ( and he had 2 small children around the ages of 4-5 )
>returned home and found him impaled with the stump through his

This fellow lived about a half-mile from my house. I moved into the 
neighborhood about a year before he died. I never knew him.

So that his loss is not in vain, I have promised myself three things:

* I will never climb alone. Someone will always be on the ground 
observing to summon help should the unthinkable happen.

* I will never climb without a proper safety harness with TWO fall arrest 

* One fall arrest lanyard will be clipped into the tower at every moment. 
(No free climbing)

>It's dangerous enough just to be on the tower. Let's keep in mind
>that we don't need to make it more dangerous by objects on the
>ground. Keep your work area clear. A 20' fall should be
>surviable, but landing across a section of tower on your back, or
>a ladder, tractor, ect. decreases it.

I think our odds of surviving a climb are greatly increased if we can 
avoid a fall entirely, or at least have someone who can summon aide 
should the need arise.

Bill Coleman, AA4LR, PP-ASEL        Mail: aa4lr@radio.org
Quote: "Boot, you transistorized tormentor! Boot!"
            -- Archibald Asparagus, VeggieTales

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