Dayton, OH — Communications tower workers: Always use lanyards with appropriate fall clearance – and never connect the equipment back to itself unless that’s the way the lanyard is designed.
Those are two of the top takeaways of a new video from NATE: The Communication Infrastructure Tower Contractors Association.
The video provides an overview of how NATE’s Safety Equipment Manufacturers Committee works with the University of Dayton’s Structures and Materials Assessment, Research, and Test (SMART) Laboratory to test equipment – under real-world conditions – that meet the standards of the American National Standards Institute.
Recent testing examined the impact of long-distance falls involving the use of factor 1 lanyards, in which fall protection is tied off to an anchorage point above the head, and factor 2 lanyards, in which the anchorage point is at foot level.
John Lamond, vice president of sales at GME Supply Co., says in the video that factor 1 lanyards are designed to limit the distance of potential falls, while the foot-level tie-offs for factor 2 lanyards may increase the fall distance.
Workers should never connect with a factor 1 lanyard when a factor 2 lanyard is necessary, NATE says.
“We wanted to make sure we replicated how they’re using them in the field, what situations are most dangerous and what they may not know impacts them as they’re using a specific lanyard as they work,” Lamond said.
In the video, Sheri O’Dell-Deuer, vice president at Deuer Developments, says the SEMC checks lanyards after testing to ensure the carabiner and gate still work properly, and that the stitching remains intact. The committee also determines whether the shock pack has been deployed.
The video is the most recent installment in NATE’s Climber Connection series, which promotes safe work practices for communication tower workers.