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New video for tower workers: work zone safety

Photo: NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association

Watertown, SD — A new video from NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association explores traffic control concepts intended to protect workers in roadway work zones.

Work zone protection requirements vary at state and local levels, video host Sean Gilhooley says, but all are based on Department of Transportation requirements and enforced by OSHA and state/local police.

George Kerstetter – director of outside plant operations at Tooele, UT-based Beehive Broadband and member of multiple NATE committees – is featured throughout the video. Kerstetter begins by recommending supervisors consider aspects such as time of day, volume of traffic, roadway speed limit and work zone proximity to the roadway when determining proper traffic control methods. Other suggestions:

  • Equip workers with high-visibility vests, proper head and eye protection, and steel-toe footwear. Workers should wear Type 2 vests during daylight hours and Type 3 vests at night. The latter type includes more retroreflective material as well as sleeves “to help identify you a little bit better as a human,” Kerstetter says.
  • Check whether the jurisdiction where the work is being performed has written traffic control plans. Make sure signs or temporary traffic control devices are visible to drivers.
  • Use a flagger or spotter if the work zone encroaches on a lane of traffic.
  • Direct traffic safely around the work zone while also accounting for pedestrians. Use cones to mark off the area and caution tape to direct people away from open trenches or holes.

The video is the most recent installment 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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