Great Simple Tips for Tower Climbers
1. Learn and keep on learning. Get certify or re-certified. Pick a school that actually teaches all the basics and all the new techniques. Make sure their curriculum includes practice, practice and practice. Take classes with the right attitude. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Also, take First Aid and CPR classes.
2. Buy good comfortable gear. Don’t compromise your life to save a little money. Use sticky rubber shoes for the actual climbing (rock climbing approach footwear) and steel toes when working with heavy loads.
3. Have a safety meeting for every job on every site. Do your safety meeting no matter how simple the job is. Make sure you cover all the subjects:
- Environmental and structural potential hazards.
- Work Plan.
- First Aid Kit.
- Rescue Plan.
- Mobilization Plan
Never work alone.
- Leave your family problems at home. Get done with any personal issues before work.
- Don’t be cocky, a show-off, or have a competitive attitude when working at heights.
- Feel proud of working safe. Don’t feel any pressure from unsafe people that climb unclipped, don’t use helmets and so on. You are the smart one. Remember this; survival of the fittest, the dumb ones die.
- If you are tired take a rest. It could save your life even if your deadline is getting close. Not making the dead line is better than making a dead tower climber.
5. Before climbing:
- Make sure you are done with your personal business before gearing up. (Toilet)
- Do not work above people and do not let people work above you.
- Communication is the solution to potential problems in these type of scenarios, but anticipating them and doing simple things like flagging of the area, putting warning signs and closing gates is a good idea for non communicative people.
- Check your gear (PPE) before and after your job. If you are not sure about it’s status have a qualified person do it for you or simply err on the safe side and replace any suspicious equipment.
- Warm up, it will make you feel stronger and lighter and will save yourself from injuries. You will also improve your aerobic threshold therefor improving your general endurance.
- Empty your pockets from possible objects that can turn into projectiles.
- Start hydrated and stay hydrated, if not your coordination an precision will be affected, leading to an accident.
6. Make written reports of any possible safety issue you may encounter at your site. For example: missing safety lifelines, missing nuts, non-grounded structures. Make sure your boss, the owner of the tower and the provider who hired your company all get a copy.
7. While climbing:
- Stay tied in, 100% while climbing, descending, working in position and while maneuvering around the tower. If you don’t know how to do this just don’t do it. Get a well-trained buddy or school to teach you.
- If climbing with hooks, avoid fall factors over one. If you don’t know what we are talking about, go back to tip #1.
- Always carry a couple of personal slings, not anchor straps; slings, from four to six feet long. They will solve a lot of problems, from positioning to rescue and more. Learn all tying configuration.
- Always clip yourself high above your head when possible. If not, clip onto a shock absorbing system.
- Never use the same anchor for loads as your personal one.
- While hanging in work position, be clipped in twice in separate anchors. The strongest anchor is always for the back up. If it comes in use it could receive a shock load.
- Make sure you know how to identify load multiplication.
- Use rope protectors to protect your ropes from sharp edges.