I thought this was important enough to cross-post it accross the above addresses.... This is from the Tower-Pro list


Bob Moldashel
Lakeland Communications, Inc.
Broadband Deployment Group
1350 Lincoln Avenue
Holbrook, New York 11741 USA
800-479-9195 Toll Free US & Canada
631-585-5558 Fax
516-551-1131 Cell

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A tower climber for Sting Communications, Michael Sellers, 25, of 
Lebanon PA, died yesterday after falling from a tower approximately 
90'.  The link to the article in the local newspaper can be found here:


The link to a tv report with a picture of the tower is here:


Sting communications is a wireless internet company that primarily 
provides point to point links using Alvarion equipment. 

Apparently someone at the scene gave a statement that their were no 
places to tie off on the tower until the climber was positioned where 
he was going to be working.  The tower is a Rohn SSV tower.  Obviously 
we have the means in this industry to stay 100% on a Rohn tower.  I 
have run into Sting's 2 man tower crews several times in Central PA.  
The first time I was at the top of a tower owned by the company I was 
employed by swapping out an antenna.  Two climbers from Sting came up 
to install an Alvarion radio and panel.  They free climbed up the 
tower (which had a safety cable installed) in tennis shoes without 
hardhats.  They were wearing full body harnesses with a single leg 
lanyard on the dorsal attatchment point, but the lanyard was being 
used to carry the radio and panel antenna.  They had no positioning 
lanyards, only a couple of large carabiners they would attatch to one 
of their side D rings or the other, never both at the same time.  I 
Couldn't believe what I saw.  After getting them back to the ground I 
questioned them about safety equipment, and their training.  I quickly 
learned that these guys had never been properly trained in safe 
climbing techniques or OSHA regulations.  They had never even really 
worked around other tower crews, I was the first experienced tower 
tech they had even spoken with.  (this was about 2 years ago)  I gave 
them a rundown on OSHA regs, showed them the equipment I used (SALA 
EXOFIT XP Double Leg Lanyard, Positioning Lanyards, Cable Grabs, etc.) 
I also gave them a Midwest Unlimited catalog and circled all of 
the "must have" safety equipment, then gave them ComTrain's web 
address.  My GM then called their supervisor and explained our 
policies, general tower climbing policies, and that they would not be 
allowed to work on the company's towers unless they complied.  
I know of two falls from towers in the past two weeks.  One happened 
at 220' when an experienced well-trained climber slipped off a peg as 
he was repositioning. He works for an extremely large tower company 
where safety is truly part of the culture.  He fell into his fall 
arrest and went home that night with no injuries.

I think you can draw your own conclusions to what happened yesterday.

My condolences to  Mr. Seller's family and loved ones.

Chris Mika
Novotech Construction, Inc.
Mobile (814)935-5401

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