Saturday, April 28, 2012

A terminally dim climber's last view, nature's protection of the gene pool

Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE)
Orlando, Florida

Tower climbing remains the most dangerous job in America. The majority of fatalities are the result of climbers not being tied off to a safe anchorage point at all times or relying upon faulty personal protection equipment. Many fatalities have occurred during the erection, retrofitting or dismantling of a tower. "Tie or Die!" has become synonymous with the requirement for 100 percent fall protection.

*The most dangerous jobs by fatality rate in 2006:
RankOccupationDeath rate per 100,000Total deaths
1Tower erectors/climbers183.618

Properly tied off intelligent worker

These guys are absolutely nuts. Watch the video, full screen:
The narrated video produced by, entitled "Stairway to Heaven," with a small segment shown above, was presented in an instructional mode explaining the exacting procedures for climbing a communications structure.

Unfortunately, the tower technicians were free climbing and the narrator had no knowledge about fall protection standards, stating that in regards to free climbing, "'s easier, faster and most tower workers climb this way. Free climbing is more dangerous, of course, but OSHA rules do allow for it."


Jim Coleman, Chairman of the National Association of Tower Erectors viewed the video this morning on YouTube and was troubled by the comments concerning free climbing. He was also concerned that it was entitled as a tutorial.

"I'm unaware of any guidance by OSHA that allows for free climbing as an acceptable method of accessing elevated work," Coleman said.

"…we’ve had people come to work here saying how they’re mountain climbers, they’re not scared of heights or anything and they don’t last a day…"

"We climb up a tower and do maintenance. Sometimes we just change out light bulbs on the tower, that sort of thing. Never get comfortable when you’re up in the air because when you get comfortable, you stop thinking about what you’re doing. That’s when bad things could happen."

Famous Last Words:  "Wait a minute....
Pope Alexander VI


This illustrates exactly why fall protection equipment is manufactured

"One small misstep for man, one giant splatter pattern..."
Winner of the 2011 Crumpled Shovel Award
Crumpled Shovel is the Tower Climbers Association's recognition for the year's "most spectacular fall and splatter". The upright men in the photo are seen pacing off this year's huge pattern's dimensions.

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