With the summer climbing season now in full swing, STAC wanted to highlight a couple of safety measures that tower climbers should keep in mind to help protect themselves and their colleagues.
While regular tower inspections play an important role in helping to ensure Canada’s communications towers are generally safe to climb, warning signs of potential or developing hazards can still pop up between inspections.
For this reason, STAC recommends that tower climbers remain on the lookout for the following -indicators before and during their climbs. Notably, each of these can be a potential sign of a developing or actual structural hazard:
- Loose bolts
- Missing bolts
- Rusted bolts
- Sheared bolts
- Weld cracks
- Stress cracks
- Loose appurtenances
- Missing warning signs
- Untagged climbing hazards
Climbers should also look out for wildlife or bird nests on towers, which can also become hazards while climbing, and which can only be removed in accordance with appropriate laws and regulations.
Additionally, STAC recommends reviewing the specific manufacturer’s instructions for each fall protection system that will be used during the course of a job and to consider the instruction’s list of inspection points before and during their climb.
Climbers who identify any of these issues on a tower – or who have other concerns not cited on this list – should report the issue to their site supervisor or the facility owner immediately. Additional actions – including a potential stop-work order – will then be determined by management in consultation with the tower owner.