RF and Tower Safety Obligations of Turf Vendors and Contractors


Turf Vendors Wireless carriers utilize specialized contractors called “turf vendors” to manage the buildout, maintenance, and upgrades of wireless sites.  Turf vendors are large, sometimes multi-national, companies that are generally assigned responsibility for all of a carrier’s sites within a geographical area.  Turf vendors also hire subcontractors specializing in site acquisition, construction, tower erection, equipment installation, maintenance and other duties to perform the actual work on wireless sites.  The turf vendors and their contractors working on wireless sites are considered “industry workers” and are a key part of the wireless ecosystem. Together, they provide most of the manual labor to build and maintain our nation’s wireless infrastructure.

Turf vendors and contractors employ thousands of workers. In addition to the usual hazards faced by workers in the construction industry, these workers also face two very dangerous hazards – falls from height and overexposure to RF radiation. The causes of falls are similar to those detailed in a post about Tower Climbers.

Lingering injuries from RF radiation overexposure may not be immediately apparent

Injuries from RF radiation exposure are often caused by lack of knowledge of transmitting antennas, inability to request site power downs, or lack of any RF site safety program or information.  In both cases, turf vendors and their contractors are held liable for injuries and may face large financial claims when their workers are injured.  While injuries from falls are immediately realized, lingering injuries from RF radiation overexposure may not be immediately apparent, which means turf vendors and contractors may still have large financial exposure as awareness of RF injuries grows and more workers connect the dots leading to claims filed.

National Antenna & Tower Safety Center (NA&TSC) provides a comprehensive site safety program that physically protects workers and financially protects turf vendors and their contractors from RF radiation related injuries.  Workers are provided trade-specific, site-specific RF safety information before performing work.  NA&TSC provides RF safety compliance and injury insurance protection, free of charge, to all turf vendors and contractors that follow its comprehensive site safety protocol.

Additionally, NA&TSC’s solution leverages the industry best practices and certification programs developed by other entities in the communications tower industry including DOL/TIRAPNATENWSA and TIA.  NA&TSC provides a delivery mechanism for administering and monitoring proper implementation of these programs across the wireless industry.   Climber certifications from each safety authority would be validated, maintained, and monitored by NA&TSC at no cost to these organizations.

NA&TSC provides the only solution to address these RF and tower safety problems and by doing so, protect the financial interests of these key wireless ecosystem stakeholders.  The health and wellbeing of the American worker and their families depends on the NA&TSC’s safety solution.

American workers and their families support the National Antenna & Tower Safety Center solution.

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