Watertown, SD - Oct 14, 2010 - After a video posted by TheOnLineEngineer.org showing a tower climber free-climbing a tower went viral, lots of buzz circulated among all the industries that use towers. The National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), a long-standing proponent of tower safety, issued a statement regarding the video.
In the video, the climber and narrator note that free climbing is a common practice. NATE denounces the message, saying the content was misguided and its messages should not be given credence by any viewer.
The "Stairway to Heaven" video suggests that free climbing is an accepted method of ascending and descending broadcast and telecommunication towers. The video says that free climbing is accepted by OSHA and that "most tower workers climb this way." NATE points out that the video also depicts as standard procedure other dangerous and prohibited conduct not condoned by NATE or OSHA. NATE says there are many inaccuracies in the video.
NATE encourages everyone involved with tower work to adhere to recognized safe practices. NATE says the video is an example of a climber who is either unaware of recognized safety practices or is unwilling to take the time to protect his life and the life of his co-worker. NATE says this encourages others to employ unsafe climbing techniques not endorsed by either OSHA or NATE.