(Watertown, South Dakota) – The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) today commended the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for unveiling an updated communications tower compliance directive that will serve to significantly enhance worker safety in the tower construction, service and maintenance industry.
The new compliance directive (CPL 02-01-056) provides procedures for use by field personnel when using a hoist to take employees to or from workstations on communication towers and general enforcement guidance for compliance officers. This new CPL applies to all work activities on communication towers that involve the use of a personnel hoist. The previous directive provided compliance guidance for hoisting personnel to or from their workstations during new tower construction only.
“The new directive is consistent with both OSHA and NATE''s commitment to safety and is a win-win for everyone involved,” stated NATE Chairwoman Pat Cipov.
“OSHA''s updated directive provides specific language that will help create a safer working environment for the industry''s workforce and is the direct result of years of collaboration between OSHA and NATE,” said Legislative and Regulatory Committee member Don Doty from Velocitel. “I would like to thank all of the officials at OSHA who have devoted countless hours of time and attention to learn the unique challenges associated with tower construction, service and maintenance work,” added Doty.
“OSHA''s directive is a milestone in our efforts to promote worker safety as the “riding the line” technique has been demonstrated to reduce climber fatigue and susceptibility to repetitive motion injuries associated with ascending and descending towers and enables workers to access their respective workstations on the tower more quickly, yet safely,” said Legislative and Regulatory member Jim Goldwater from Bob Lawrence and Associates. “We thank Jim Maddux of OSHA''s Directorate of Construction for his support and diligence in advancing this important directive, which is good for the nation''s economy, its competitiveness, its homeland security and its vital communications capabilities.”
The release of the new directive is the latest in a series of actions OSHA has taken to improve tower safety. The agency also recently unveiled a new Communication Towers section on their website (https://www.osha.gov/doc/topics/communicationtower/index.html) devoted to promoting the resources, directives and standards that are applicable to the Communication Towers industry.
“NATE looks forward to continuing our strong working relationship with OSHA in order to ensure that the tower site remains a safe environment which will allow our member companies to continue to carry out their important work of facilitating the expansion of vital broadband networks and communication services,” said NATE Executive Director Todd Schlekeway.