Sep 22, 2010

Television tower free-climb video generates talk among broadcast engineers

A seven-minute video of a free-climbing tower technician "has the broadcast engineering community abuzz," says the TV Broadcast website. Free climbing "meaning no safety lines are used,” the narrator says. “It’s easier, faster, and most tower workers climb this way. . . . Free climbing is dangerous, of course, but OSHA rules do allow for it." But a source in the story says the Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not consider free climbing an acceptable technique. In the video, an engineer takes an elevator to 1,600 feet, then free climbs the rest of the way to the top of the 1,768-foot TV tower. It was shot from a camera attached to his helmut. The engineer is not identified. Pubcasting engineers may recall Leo Deters, an industry veteran who worked for Iowa Public Television, whose 2006 death in a fall from a station tower is mentioned in the story.

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