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Safety Standards for Utility Workers

The work of installing and maintaining communication towers can be dangerous. Recently, the American Society of Safety Engineers announced a new standard aimed at protecting workers who install, alter or maintain these towers. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has approved A10.48, Criteria for Safety Practices with the Construction, Demolition, Modification and Maintenance of Communications Structures, which is considered the first comprehensive plan to reduce injuries and save the lives of these workers. 

The Department of Labor reports that 13 communication tower workers were killed in 2013 and another 11 were killed in 2014. Most of these deaths were the result of falling. These reports led OSHA to move some of their inspection resources to this particular industry and to get a better understanding of the risks that communication tower workers face on a regular basis.

The new standard, which goes into effect in January, 2017 establishes minimum criteria for safe work practices and training for personnel performing work on communication structures including antenna and antenna supporting structures, broadcast and other similar structures supporting communication related equipment. It has taken 13 years for the ASSE to get these standards together. By using the best minds in the industry, ASSE believes that these new safety measures will see a reduction in injuries and fatalities among those working on communication towers. 

To get a comprehensive understanding of A10.48, visit www.asse.org.