Editor's Note: 'Height'-ened awareness
In his “All About You” column in this month’s issue of Safety+Health, Richard Hawk offers some solid advice for overcoming both professional and personal fears.
His tips arrived at a time when I was still being gently ribbed by some National Safety Council staff members following the publication of the council’s internal newsletter. The newsletter features a “get to know you” Q&A with an NSC employee, and a few weeks ago it was my turn to participate. One of the questions was, “What are you afraid of?” My answer – heights – generated no little amusement because of its irony (I’m well over 6 feet tall). But I wasn’t always this tall, and I’ve been afraid of heights for as long as I can remember. So whenever I read about the people who climb cell phone towers as part of their job, it’s always with a mixture of admiration for their fortitude and deep concern for their safety.
This month, Senior Associate Editor Kyle W. Morrison reports on a workshop hosted in February by OSHA and the Federal Communications Commission. At issue: how to prevent injuries and deaths among cell phone tower climbers, and increase safety awareness among all stakeholders in the industry.
Many of the safety hazards discussed – including falls, struck-bys and fatigue – are present in other industries yet take on an added dimension when workers are hundreds of feet in the air. And a large part of the workshop focused on the challenges of keeping workers safe in an industry that involves what OSHA calls “complex business relationships among multiple companies.”
When I look out my office window, a cell phone tower is directly in my line of vision. They’re now a common sight. Let’s hope that the members of the cell-tower industry can find a way to make high standards of worker safety just as common.