As the density of cell sites gets tighter and tighter, carriers are proposing cell sites on buildings with rooftops that are really not designed for antennas and equipment to be deployed. These rooftops are difficult to access and are a hazard for the carrier’s operation technicians. The carrier’s employee safety remains paramount.
Per OSHA statistics, “out of 4,693 worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2016, 991 or 21.1% were in construction — that is, one in five worker deaths last year were in construction.” Of those 991 deaths, 38.7% of them (384 out of 991) were caused by falls. (1)
With the ever-growing expansion of cellular communications installations across a variety of building structures, Terra Consulting Group has been working closely with our clients to create construction plans that meet safety standards set by federal regulators. Terra Consulting Group has been asked to review existing cell sites and make them OSHA compliant. In some cases, it is impossible or too costly to make roof access OSHA compliant. In those instances, the carrier labels the site “tower crew access only.” Much like a tower site, the individuals who access the rooftop equipment have to be trained with climbing gear to tie off in order to reach the equipment or access with a man lift.
From a simple safety rail along the edge of a building roof to fully developed caged skylights, roof access hatches with handrails and a gate, Terra Consulting Group can design the necessary plans to keep workers and contractors safe in any situation. Terra Consulting Group developed step-over ramps to avoid trip hazards (obstacles over 12” tall or 12” wide), and has many tools to deploy in order overcome various hazards in order to make the site OSHA compliant.
For a carrier, Terra Consulting Group developed a “Safety Plan” which depicts a safe path to the carrier’s equipment. Terra depicted all the fall zones, trip hazards, proposed step-over ramps and roof access—everything an operation technician would require for safe access to the equipment. The safety plan was to be posted and linked to the site access information.
(1) United States Depart of Labor. (n.d.). Commonly Used Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html