‘Take the time to know and understand the steps’ of tower modification, new video advises

tower workers
Photo: National Association of Tower Erectors

Watertown, SD — A new video from the National Association of Tower Erectors highlights the importance of understanding and following the proper sequence of performing tower modifications.

The four-minute video features insight from Dave Robinson, an industry construction manager, who reminds workers and stakeholders to follow the American National Standards Institute/American Society of Safety Engineers A10.48 standard covering pre-job planning and fall protection, among other topics.

ANSI/ASSE A10.48 states that all construction activities must have a rigging plan classification outlining the project in detail. Robinson says most tower modification projects fall under a Class IV rigging plan, which requires a review by a qualified engineer who analyzes the work under guidelines found in the ANSI/Telecommunications Industry Association-322 standard on communication structures.

Whether a project calls for upgrading the foundation, modifying or replacing tower members or replacing a guy wire, Robinson encourages viewers to equate the process to using building blocks.

“When we’re strengthening a tower, typically, we perform modifications from the bottom up,” Robinson says in the video. “In other words, start with the anchors and guy wires first, and then the base. Work your way up and add or replace steel one section at a time, but always work in accordance with the rigging plan.”

Even removing a single bolt out of sequence could compromise the safety and stability of the structure, Robinson confirms. The video includes these tips for planning work:

  • Do as much prep work as possible on the ground.
  • Do not overload fixed ladders with equipment.
  • Make sure workers are protected from falling objects.
  • Do not allow unskilled workers to work without supervision.
  • Work in only one area at a time.
  • Do not skip steps to get the job done quicker.
  • Keep the same procedures in place throughout the project; don’t forget the sequence.

“Remember, tower modification is serious business, so take the time to know and understand the steps you need to go through to get the job done right,” host Ryan Van Duzer, a travel video journalist, says in the video.

The video is part of NATE’s Climber Connection series, which advocates safe work practices for communication tower workers. The association asks climbers and other industry stakeholders to use the hashtag #ClimberConnection when posting the video on social media platforms.

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