Fall prevention Utilities

New video for tower workers: Safety climb systems

Photo: NATEsafety

Watertown, SD — A new video from the National Association of Tower Erectors highlights the importance of properly inspecting and using safety climb systems installed on communication towers.

Hosted by travel video journalist Ryan Van Duzer, the three-minute video features insight from wireless technician David Robinson. Although safety climb systems often prove to be “pretty resilient” in the face of consistent wear and tear, Van Duzer says, “they can and do break down,” sometimes as a result of poor installation.

The video reminds workers to:

  • Never assume. Examine the system safety placard before climbing to confirm system capacity, cable size and other important information.
  • Ensure the cable is properly tensioned, and check all keepers to make sure the cable is securely snapped in.
  • Never allow a cable to contact an obstacle or be pinched under a bracket. A cable may run behind an obstacle and, as a result, block a climber’s path, Van Duzer said. However, the climber must have established tie-off points to get past the obstacle and install a non-releasing keeper to prevent the cable from making contact with the obstacle.
  • Tag the system, ‘Do not use,’ should it fail any part of your inspection.
  • Never compromise an existing system when installing new items on a tower. Do not create obstacles if they can be avoided.

“Safety climb systems are paramount to 100% fall protection and keeping tower technicians safe while working at height,” James Tims, an industry tower crew leader, said in a Dec. 17 NATE press release. “This #ClimberConnection video provides a great overview of safety climbs, and I would encourage industry technicians, contractors and tower owners to use this video as part of their respective training and education programs.”


The video is the latest in NATE’s Climber Connection series, which promotes 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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