Tower erection hazards

Tower erection hazards

‘The walk’, an English film, starring Phillipe Petit was once, regaling audiences as it talked about a high-wire artist and his dream of walking between the twin towers of World Trade Centre. During his walk, he, undoubtedly, faced death on every step on the tightrope.

Similarly, workmen who work at height, especially at towers, aren’t high-wire artists but grapple with the constant threat of falls, structural collapses and encounter several such hazards. There are chances that, at some point, safety might fall through a gap in the layers of cellular service providers, tower owners, turf vendors, contractors and subcontractors arrayed over them.

In addition, untrained and uncertified climbers, electricians and incident responders, first-aid providers – all of them contribute to unsafe working conditions. Here’s an example:

A worker was climbing down an 800-feet telecommunications tower when suddenly he lost his footing when an eagle flew by. The ladder safety system (his body harness and cable safety sleeve) failed to arrest his fall. The cable safety sleeve did not engage correctly to break the worker’s fall, and he plunged 90 feet to his death.

Probable causes of incident were

  • The ladder safety device or the system was defective and failed to activate when required
  • The weight of the worker, tools and equipment was more than the defined ratings (310-pound rating)
  • Worker did not receive proper training on the safety device he used

Had he taken his learnings seriously and was mindful of the gravity of his negligence, the incident could be prevented. Animated safety videos can amalgamate the above challenges and help manifest thought processes for workers and employers – in stunning detail and accuracy.

To demonstrate an idea and forming storytelling scenarios – animation is powerful tool as it adds the visual element which universally captivates the audiences for better learnings. Animation can create a premise where industrial learnings are easy to understand, engaging and effective.

Communication tower safety is everybody’s job

The communication tower industry is fraught with dangers and safety, at times, is compromised at such sites. Factors eg. Poor planning and improper equipment can derail the whole premise.

Others include:

  • Electrical hazards
  • Employee fatigue
  • Inclement weather
  • Drop hazards (falling objects)
  • Insects and animals

The onus of safe execution rests with the workforce as well as the employer. There’s a great deal of overlap in the duties of various parties. Any gap in responsibility for ensuring training, safe work practices or scheduling can take a toll on worker’s lives.

Inducting safely on-board

While erecting towers, no matter how long or complicated are the safety procedures and considerations, through animation, one can condense them to few minutes.

These videos lets the stakeholders’ visualize situations that are difficult to depict through conventional training methods – eg. A life-threatening condition wherein a tower incident needs to be recreated, an electrical emergency etc.

To save the workers from serious injuries and fatalities, it is must that the medium through which they receive trainings, should have the potential to make it easy and relaxing, especially like a movie. Animated videos communicate the intended message and do not cause much of a mental strain.

Safety in tower erections mean that towers are properly maintained, safely accessible and equipped with engineered anchorage points. In case of workers, they must be trained and timely retrained, be aware of conditions that could affect their ability to climb safely etc.

Animation increases the reach and quality of safety trainings, making them ideal to provide last minute, just-in-time learning support.

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