NATE draws 1,600 to tower construction trade show
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Ernest M. Duckworth Jr., P.E., strategic accounts manager for SNC Manufacturing, Oshkosh, WI, condensed what he said was a three-day presentation into an hour’s worth of advice about lightning protection for tower sites.
Citing $26 billion in annual lightning-caused damage in the United States, Duckworth said much of the damage could be easily avoided. He advised tower owners to use a single-point ground, a “divide and control” grounding field of buried radial wires with passive cathodic protection and optical isolators for communications lines.
Jim Goldwater, the trade association’s marketing representative, reported that NATE was making progress in negotiations with OSHA to extend its guidelines for hoisting workers up a tower, known as “riding the line,” to include elevations below 200 feet.
Tom Bunk, chairman of NATE’s Safety and Education Committee, said that the association was making a video about RF safety and compliance.
He also mentioned NATE’s participation with the North Carolina state OSHA office, which is formulating guidelines for tower safety and inspection that could later be adopted by other states and the federal OSHA. In connection with the North Carolina project, he said that Pat Moore of SpectraSite was preparing a hoist operator booklet on NATE’s behalf.
“We have to have [the booklet] because North Carolina OSHA requires operator training in its tower standards. The booklet may lead to a video on the subject,” Bunk said.
Fred Hardy, chairman of NATE’s membership committee, reported that membership is up 27%, rising from 450 members last year to 570 members this year.
The NATE trade show continues through Friday afternoon.