TO: ALL WOOD COUNTY ARES MEMBERS (OFFICIAL)
ALL ARES AND NON-ARES AMATEURS ANYWHERE (INFORMATION)
FROM: KEN HARRIS WA8LLM ARRL DISTRICT 3 EMERGENCY COORDINATOR
WOOD COUNTY EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS INC.
WOOD COUNTY ARES BULLETIN NR 17.41 DATE: October 8, 2017
SUBJECT: TOWER SITE SAFETY.
Tower Site Safety should be on everyone's mind while working at remote tower sites. Even though most of the radio equipment today is solid-state and chances of electrical shock are slim, there are other hazards around tower sites.
In the summer time there are poisonous snakes (Copperheads and Rattlesnakes). These reptiles will snuggle up inside transmitter cabinets at night to keep warm, only to surprise the technician when he opens it up to do work. We have even found them curled up near the batteries that stay warm from charging.
Another summertime hazard is the fast developing lightning storm. These can form and produce a lightning strike long before it actually becomes a storm.
In the winter time getting to the tower site can be dangerous. Most tower sites are located on mountain or hill tops that have roads that are not very well maintained. Most service technicians have 4 wheel drive vehicles, to gain access to these tower sites, but even with 4 wheel drive vehicles, it is possible to have accidents getting to and from the site.
If at all possible antenna work should be put off until warm weather for obvious reasons. When tower and antenna work has to be done, it should never be done alone, there should always be at least two people in case one is injured and needs help.
Tower sites should be kept clean, with brush and weeds cut away from the buildings and towers. Dead tree limbs that are hanging into the area of the tower and guy wires should be removed to keep them from falling onto the guy lines.
Guy wire line tension should be checked often. Some towers are installed in farm pasture fields and cattle often use the guy wires to scratch their backs, making the guys wires loose. Ground rods and wiring should be inspected at least once a year to make sure there are no loose connections.
Ken Harris WA8LLM
Wood County WV