Does the "Communication Tower Standards" Apply to You?

Do your employees work on communication towers during construction, repair, maintenance and inspections? If yes, then you need to comply with communication tower standards (13 NCAC 07F .0600 - .0609). Note: Where the communication tower is affixed to another structure, such as an electrical transmission tower, church steeple, building rooftop, or water tower, the applicable part of any controlling regulation for protection of employees (e.g., 29 CFR 1910.268 - telecommunications, 29 CFR 1910.269 - electric power generation, transmission, and distribution and 29 CFR 1926 subpart V - electric power transmission and distribution) applies up to the point of access to the communication tower. Thereafter, the provisions of this standard apply. These rules do not apply to communication towers that are mounted on motor vehicles.

The North Carolina state-specific standard on communication towers provides requirements for policies, procedures, and safe work practices to protect employees throughout North Carolina from the hazards of working on communication towers during construction, alteration, repair, operation, inspection, and maintenance activities. The standard includes requirements related to employer responsibilities, hazard identification and assessment, fall protection (i.e., pre-climb planning and inspections, fall protection systems, fall protection plan, guardrail systems, rescue procedures, first aid and CPR training and supplies, non-ionizing radiation, hoists and gin poles, recordkeeping, and training (i.e., written work procedures, fall protection training, trainer competency, hoist operator training, hazardous materials training, refresher training, training records).  Note: Applies to all industries in North Carolina. 

A communication tower is defined as any tower over six feet in height that is used primarily as an antenna or to host one or more antennas. 

Qualified climber means a person who has, by virtue of knowledge, training, and experience, been deemed qualified in writing by his employer to perform tower work.

Qualified person means a person possessing a degree, certificate, professional standing, or knowledge, training, and experience in the field of communication tower work, and who has demonstrated to his employer his ability to resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work, or the project

Additional related information can be found on the A-Z safety and health topics on communication towersmedical services and first aidradiation, ionizing and non-ionizing radiationelectrical safetyhazard communicationmaterials handling and storage and fall protection.