Over the past 30 years, the growing demand for wireless and broadcast communications has urged a dramatic increase in communication tower construction and maintenance.

In order to erect or maintain communication towers, employees regularly climb the towers, using fixed ladders, support structures or step bolts, varies from 30 to 100 meters height. They climb the towers throughout the year even in the time of adverse weather conditions.

Due to increased number of communication towers and the greater utility of existing towers, the number of injuries and fatalities associated with them have been on the rise. From 2013 to 2016, OSHA documented 34 fatalities at communication towers. OSHA is working with industry stakeholders to identify the causes of these injuries and fatalities, and to reduce the risks faced by employees in the communication tower industry.

Some of the more frequently encountered hazards include:

The severities of hazards may be varying according to the different types of communication towers which are based upon their structural action, their cross-section, the type of sections used and on the placement of tower. Some of the most common towers used are monopole, lattice towers, guyed towers.

For E.g. The Monopole Tower is a single tube tower. It typically stands between 30-60 meters with antennas mounted on the exterior of the tower. It is designed for cables to run on the interior of the tower. When climbing monopoles, employee will find that their upper body gets fatigued faster than when climbing freestanding towers due to the greater vertical climb.

Keeping tower climbers safe should be a major part of climber training and a regular part of job and work reviews. Here are some pre-job briefing points are mentioned to keep in mind.

Tower Climbers and Ground Crew Workers

Some of the basic techniques to be adopted during climbing the towers

Protection from radiation exposure

Remote communication sites