NATE to expand culture of safety
National Association of Tower Erectors Executive Director Patrick Howey said last month that the organization is working to develop a “culture of safety” throughout the tower industry that includes both tower workers and tower owners. As part of the effort, the organization reissued its checklist of recommended procedures designed to make tower workers safer.
Tower climbers have been criticized over the years for failing to adhere to safety procedures, often operating with a “cowboy” mentality, while tower owners have been under scrutiny for hiring inexperienced or unqualified climbers as a way of cutting costs.
“To drive safety, we have to drive the dedication of everybody that's involved, whether that's the guy who climbs the tower or the CEO who signs the contracts to have the guy work on the tower,” Howey said.
Howey added that the tower industry's safety picture is brightening, but conceded that creating such a culture is an ongoing process.
“I look at all of the resources that are available to operate safely, and I think that's having an impact,” he said. “But who's getting hired to work on these towers is one of the important reasons why we want to work more closely with the owners and operators, to make sure that the companies that are going out there to do the work are properly equipped and properly trained to operate safely.”