There can be no denying that travel towers are potentially dangerous equipment, particularly if they’re used improperly or fall into untrained hands. This is why it is important that we work to ensure not only the safety of those operating the tower, but those who might inadvertently be in the surrounding area. In this article, we have outlined 8 life saving rules that should be followed at all times.
- Always conduct a risk management activity prior to starting a task
It is essential that you assess any potential risks before commencing work and, if a risk is present, determine the best way to avoid incident. An example of this could include moving the tower a little down the road to get it out of the way of overhanging branches.
- Never work in the ‘line of fire’
More often than not, travel towers are employed for tasks around electrical and telephone wires. It is essential that you avoid these wires at all costs, as they could cause electric shock. If the equipment were to come into contact with the wires, they could cause malfunction.
- Always check the ground for slope, stability & underground hazards
There are a variety of hazards that may not be overly visible upon first glance, such as sloped ground and underground obstacles. It is essential that you assess for these hazards before commencing work and, if one is present, determine the best way to avoid incident.
- Only operate the equipment if trained & authorised
As towers are potentially dangerous, any operator must be appropriately licensed. This document proves that they have undergone rigorous training and know what to do in the case of an emergency. You must also be authorised to use the machine in this particular area.
- Protect yourself from energy sources
Linked with our second rule, it is important to remember that you’re working with a variety of power sources that can cause electric shock if you’re not careful. It is important that you avoid, de-energise, isolate and/or tag energy sources where possible.
- Never work without fall protection
It is essential that you never enter the tower without being fitted with the appropriate fall protection. In most cases, this is a harness that is secured to the platform. Even if you don’t plan to deploy the platform, there is always the chance it will accidentally be activated.
- Always confirm that you are fit & your equipment safe
You must be honest with yourself – are you physically and mentally fit to operate a travel tower? If you’ve injured yourself, for example, let someone else do it. You should also confirm that the equipment itself is safe for use, as is the surrounding environment.
- If you cannot control the risk, stop the job
Every now and then, you may encounter a risk that you are unable to control for whatever reason. If such a situation were to arise, it is important that you stop the job immediately. Either wait until the risk can be controlled or alert your manager of the issue.
If you regularly work with travelling towers, we hope that you will employ each of the above life saving rules (if you don’t already). At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that it’s not just your own safety in question, it’s the safety of anyone who happens to be in the area whilst you’re working. This is why safety should be your number one concern, above completion of the job.