Now is the Time to Raise the Bar on Safety

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rouwIS35fIJUZw5x6Z5kTxyKFpi1800WiPHnHe-o8-lfwVQVelibapLbDbew1GVIlFx0QvkSoH_Pu-m00GgwM1sTh27y0dL2oX5iSe1gD5ScWqCOCqIHBcq0ciTWArzhr1wdcnjM-7UH_R31xNReI_sjIrYWl6EL66ynyls=s0-d-e1-ft“Now is the right time to do this in our industry,” NATE Executive Director Todd Schlekeway said at the South Wireless Summit last week. He was referring to the initiatives taken by the National Wireless Safety Alliance that will provide thorough, independent assessments of knowledge and skills, and provide verifiable worker certification in order to enhance tower safety, reduce workplace risk, improve quality, encourage training, and recognize the skilled professionals who work on towers. It’s easy to think of this like the SATs. Every kid who wants to go to college, no matter where they were educated, has to take the SATs to be admitted to show the school that they have the baseline education necessary to succeed. “These credentials are portable. So often it’s that employees have been trained at different companies. The safety training is not uniform. This program will raise the bar on safety and training,” Schlekeway explained. He stressed that this is not driven by government sectors, but rather the private sector who wants to see this certification from every tower climber they hire. The carriers back this program fully. “The support we get from carriers will drive this program. The big two have told me face-to-face that they will mandate climbers have this certification, and put it in their contracts. It’s going to be at the carrier level and placed in their contracts. This is not government driven; it’s driven by the private sector.” This will lead to a uniform nation wireless safety certification program to will, hopefully, keep tower climbers safe, reduce accidents and fatalities. “An established third party testing provider will conduct uniform assessment tests for designated tower worker categories outlined in the National Wireless Skills-Based Training Standard. There are over 500 test centers across the U.S.,” Schlekeway explained.

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March 23, 2015 |
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