If you hear someone discussing cell tower safety these days, chances are they are discussing whether or not the radio frequency waves transmitted by the cell tower are safe for humans exposed to them on a regular basis. Since much research is still needed on that topic before any clear answers are available, the more relevant safety topic regarding cell towers involves climbing them.
Cell Tower Climbing Is Dangerous
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics not long ago listed tower erectors and climbers as one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Though safety in the profession has improved in recent years, telecommunications installation and repair workers still have one of the highest rates of injuries of all occupations. When these self-nicknamed “tower dogs” get into trouble on the job, there are only a handful of people who can help them. The need to provide assistance to climbers in distress on cell towers has resulted in specialty tower rescue training being provided to rescue workers who provide emergency services in industrial settings.
Not All Climbers Are Workers
Despite, or maybe because of, the danger of climbing a cell tower, a small group of urban climbers exists who crave the adventure of scaling a structure that soars into the sky. Different from the certified tower climbers who climb to earn a living, recreational climbers suit up in their safety gear and set out to conquer cell tower heights just because it’s there.
Whether tower climbers are people who are climbing as part of their daily duties in order to make ends meet or someone who has a thrill-seeker nature to satiate, the danger level remains the same. Luckily, advancements in safety gear design and availability help keep climbers as safe as possible, and trained rescue professionals are standing by should they get into trouble.