Blm Manual Handbook H-1112-1

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Blm Manual Handbook H-1112-1

By establishing training, medical qualifications, physical fitness, equipment, conduct standards and consolidating the various industry and government standards on the subject, the program will be established and maintained at all levels. General Requirements A. In accordance with 29 CFR 1910, 29 CFR 1926 and Departmental Manual 485, it is required that all telecommunications employees and contractors who perform tower or elevated work must be determined to be medically qualified to perform those jobs, must be trained and certified as “Qualified” to perform those jobs, have the appropriate equipment to do the job, work on structures that are safe and perform those jobs in accordance with this handbook and the Code of Federal Regulations. B. Communications towers should be designed to eliminate or minimize the need for climbing. Towers that do not meet these standards will be red-tagged as “Do Not Climb!” until they are retrofitted or replaced with towers that meet these standards. Service can be accomplished by other methods (i.e. aerial devices, etc.). D. Emergency situations in which an imminent threat to human life exists due to the lack of telecommunications services may require expedient performance of tower or elevated work. BLM Manual H-1292-1 TOWER CLIMBING AND FALL PROTECTION PROGRAM HANDBOOK Chapter I - Program Responsibilities A. Assistant Director, Information Resources Management is responsible for developing, implementing and inspecting the BLM’s Tower Climbing and Fall Protection Program. This includes; maintaining policies, coordinating with the National Training Center (NTC) annually to create the Tower Climbing and Fall Protection training course and inspections of the Program under the Management Control Reviews. B. Human Capitol Management Program Director is responsible for providing safety assistance to the Tower Climbing and Fall Protection Program Coordinators.

In addition, supervisors shall be aware of health issues with employees who climb and climbers adhere to good safety practices. BLM Manual H-1292-1 TOWER CLIMBING AND FALL PROTECTION PROGRAM HANDBOOK Chapter I - Program Responsibilities G. Job Supervisors, in concurrence with the crew, shall specify the fall protection system to be used before engaging in the work activity. The job supervisor shall ensure that the Risk Management Worksheet, BLM Form 1112-5 is completed and pertinent work procedures are clearly defined and well understood by the work crew. In addition, supervisors will evaluate the physical condition of the climbers before allowing them to climb. If a work crewmember identifies a safety concern, the job supervisor shall stop all work until the issue is resolved. As the job progresses, the job supervisor shall be aware of changes in conditions and events that may require review and modifications of the fall protection system in use or work procedure plan. Job supervisors shall require that all climbing and fall protection equipment be inspected prior to each use. Contractors will use only qualified climbers and shall follow all state, local, and federal laws for tower climbing and fall protection. H. Work Crews. The supervisor and each member of a work crew have the responsibility to adhere to fall protection rules and procedures and identify unsafe and unhealthful conditions that exist or are anticipated at a job site. They are required to participate in the development of a risk assessment of the job task to obtain an understanding of the safety and health requirements and the work procedures of the job. Workers shall be responsible for inspecting their personal fall protection equipment prior to each use. Workers will make the job supervisor aware of any physical conditions that may impact their ability to perform the work. I. Safety Managers.

The Safety Manager should assist in the development and establishment of the State Tower Climbing and Fall Protection Program. The Safety Manager, in cooperation with the Program Coordinator, will perform periodic spot checks to ensure compliance with this handbook. The Safety Manager should assist supervisors in arranging for training and the purchase of approved fall protection equipment. BLM Manual H-1292-1 TOWER CLIMBING AND FALL PROTECTION PROGRAM HANDBOOK Chapter II - Personal Protective Equipment A. General. This chapter identifies the application of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) utilized by workers while climbing, resting, and performing work at elevated locations. The equipment described is utilized to help place the worker in a desirable working position and to reduce the probability of potential fall accident injuries. 1. Personal protective equipment is to be stored in a dry, dark, secure area and protected from cuts, abrasions, and chemicals when not in use. 2. Mandatory inspection of equipment before each use by the user will serve to minimize accidents resulting from deterioration of equipment. All fall protection equipment shall be periodically inspected by the program coordinator on an annual basis and a record of the inspection shall be maintained in the office or site files. 3. Manufacturer's instructions and recommendations shall be incorporated into inspection, replacement, and preventive maintenance programs. Defective equipment shall be immediately removed from service and tagged “Do Not Use” until repaired. It will be provided with a means for attaching to other components of a personal fall arrest system. As of January 1, 1998, the use of a body belt (safety belt) for fall arrest is prohibited. a. Full body harnesses used by BLM employees shall be certified by the manufacturer to meet all OSHA standards and regulations.

It is recognized that many different body harness designs are available to climbers that offer advantages for certain tower structure designs and for the type of work to be performed. The climber may use personal preference in selecting the most appropriate harness to wear and shall ensure the harness fits properly. b. A full body harness, when used in conjunction with pole climbers, permits work positioning and limits the exposure to falls while the worker has both hands free to perform a work task. A full body harness with positioning strap or lanyard however, will not prevent falling vertically (sliding) down wood poles. The full body harness, with a positioning strap or lanyard, is a fall prevention system when the positioning strap or lanyard will limit falls to 2 feet (610 mm) or less. Non-composite (100 percent leather) positioning straps and body belt buckle straps shall not be used. BLM Manual H-1292-1 TOWER CLIMBING AND FALL PROTECTION PROGRAM HANDBOOK Chapter II - Personal Protective Equipment c. Full body harnesses shall have a chest strap and a seat strap to distribute part of the load across the buttocks. The D-ring located at the center of the upper back will be the connection point for a fall arrest safety lanyard to distribute forces to the body most effectively. The D-ring located front and center of the upper chest may be worn when the work procedure warrants. d. Full body harnesses shall be periodically inspected for the following: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) Cuts, tears, and chafing. Electrical burns. Physical deterioration. Ultraviolet deterioration. Wear on connection devices. Evidence of shock loading. Positioning straps or rope lanyards shall have each end snapped into a separate D-ring of full body harness when in a rest or work position. Rope lanyards will be spliced by the manufacturer or his qualified representative to connect fittings, other ropes, extensions, and attachments with a minimum four tuck splice. a.

Snaphook gates shall face outward away from the worker's body. Exposure of colored wear-warning inner layer. Elongation of holes in positioning strap material. Cuts, burns, extra holes, or fraying of material. Loose or worn rivets. Cracks, burns, or corrosion in the snaphook. Excessive side movement of the snaphook keeper. The gaffs of pole climbers shall be covered with gaff protectors when not being used. b. Pole climbers shall be inspected before each use and shall be inspected for the following conditions: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Fractured or cracked gaffs or leg irons. Wear on stirrup and leg irons. Loose or dull gaffs. Proper sharpening of gaffs. Broken straps or buckles. c. If any of these conditions exist, the defect shall be corrected before the pole climbers are used. d. Pole climbers may not be worn when working on ladders (unless using the wood structure as access to a work position on a ladder) or when working from an aerial device. Pole climbers may be worn on ladders, in aerial devices, or when walking if used as part of an access system incidental to work activity. American Standards of Testing and Measurement (ASTM) F887-91a provides detailed information for care of pole climbers. C. Fall Arrest Equipment 1. General. All fall arrest equipment shall have locking-type snaphooks or approved carabiners that meet or exceed applicable OSHA and ANSI requirements. This equipment minimizes physical trauma to the worker, comfortably supports the worker after a fall until a rescue can be made, and suspends the worker in a more easily retrievable position for rescuers. a. Fall arrest equipment should be attached to an anchorage as described in 29 CFR 1926.502 SubPart M. Regardless of the attachment height, the length of the body attachment shall be such that the free fall distance (see definition) shall not exceed 6 feet (1.9m). b. Fall arrest equipment receiving an impact or shock load from a fall shall be removed from service, tagged “Do Not Use”.

This type of incident should be investigated by the supervisor, also be reported to the Safety Office and be entered into SMIS. The equipment shall be returned to the manufacturer for inspection and repair. It shall be repaired only by a qualified person at an authorized facility, or shall be destroyed. Snaphook keeper spring tension. Cuts, burns, extra holes, or fraying of material. Excessive side movement of the snaphook keeper. Periodic inspections shall be in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. 4. Safe Climb Devices. a. Safe climb devices, which usually consist of a fixed rail, tube, or tensioned cable with slider, shall be maintained to permit the worker using the system to climb without continually having to hold, push, or pull any part of the system, leaving both hands free for climbing. The connection between the slider and the attachment point on a full body harness shall not exceed 9 inches (230 mm). If a climbing system is found to be defective, the climber will use an approved alternative climbing and fall arrest method or elect not to climb. D. Rescue Equipment 1. Controlled descent devices are used to make emergency descents from aerial devices or elevated positions on structures. Controlled descent devices shall be sized to include the maximum elevated position obtainable from the bucket, platform, or elevated position. The rate of descent may be controlled by the worker (or rescuer) or by a friction type brake. BLM Manual H-1292-1 TOWER CLIMBING AND FALL PROTECTION PROGRAM HANDBOOK Chapter II - Personal Protective Equipment a. These devices shall be attached to the full body harness such that the worker (or rescuer) will have control of the descent and be able to attach and detach him or herself. Supervisors shall ensure that necessary components to affect the attachment between the descent device and the climber’s full body harness are stored with the descent device. b.

Controlled descent devices shall be stored in a clean, dry, protected environment. Anyone within the drop zone (radius) of a communications tower construction project must wear a hardhat and exercise caution. When using hardhat liners, it is important the hard hat fits over the additional headgear. Hard hats or safety helmets will also be equipped with chinstraps and used. b. Foot Protection - Steel toed, reinforced soled tower climbing boots or shoes are recommended for tower climbers. The specific climbing conditions such as tower structure and weather conditions will dictate to the climber what the best foot protection will be. Personal preference in selecting the most appropriate safety footwear shall prevail. Tennis and other softsoled shoes shall not be used for tower climbing. BLM Manual H-1292-1 TOWER CLIMBING AND FALL PROTECTION PROGRAM HANDBOOK Chapter II - Personal Protective Equipment c. Hand Protection - Leather work gloves are recommended when climbing towers. d. Eye Protection - Safety goggles or safety glasses shall be used whenever eye safety is at risk. e. Ear Protection - Ear plugs should be used whenever ear safety is at risk. f. Clothing - Suitable work clothes shall be worn when climbing towers to offer protection from cuts and abrasion, weather conditions, and other tower structure hazards. Adequate work clothing should consist of coveralls, pants, and shirts made of material suitable for outdoor working conditions. Unsafe climbing practices must be eliminated or corrected before accidents occur. 1. Unsafe climbing practices that are prohibited while working on towers are: a. Climber shows fatigue. b. Climbing through or past unprotected electrical conductors. c. Not inspecting tower or PPE before climbing. d. attaching to a tower at an inadequate anchorage. e. Not maintaining 100% attachment. f. throwing any material up or down while on tower. g. Failure to maintain a 3-point contact with the tower. h.

Holding or attaching onto antenna lines, coax, conduits, etc.BLM Manual H-1292-1 TOWER CLIMBING AND FALL PROTECTION PROGRAM HANDBOOK Chapter III - Anchorages, Aerial, and Fixed Climbing Devices A. Anchorage 1. Anchors may be welded (closed) (i.e. eyebolts, rigging points, slings, or ropes, or other attachments designed into the structure). 2. Anchorages shall meet the minimum requirements of an engineered system for each worker attached. Damaged anchorages shall not be used and the tower will be red-tagged as “Damaged. Do Not Climb!” All damages will be documented and reported immediately to the tower owner. (4) Anchorages that have received a shock load shall be immediately inspected for damage. (5) Damage to anchorages shall be reported to the supervisor, the program coordinator, and noted on the RMW. The program coordinators will report all damages to the DOI Safety Management Information System (SMIS). Required training will be formal training or specific training which will include emergency procedures from the company where the aerial device is obtained. Refer to 29 CFR 1926.453 2. Bucket and platform anchorages shall meet minimum engineered loads while limiting potential free falls to 6 feet (1.9 m) for a full body harness. Aerial device anchorages shall receive an annual inspection and a visual inspection prior to use. Boom straps are the preferred anchorage. Walking surfaces shall have an anti-skid surface. C. Fixed Ladders. Communications tower ladder climbing devices shall comply with 29 CFR 1910.27 (Fixed Ladders) and be kept in good repair. Devices determined to be hazardous shall be immediately removed from service, reported to the Safety Manager and Program Coordinator, and red-tagged as “Damaged. Do Not Climb!” Corrective measures shall be completed prior to the next climb. BLM Manual H-1292-1 TOWER CLIMBING AND FALL PROTECTION PROGRAM HANDBOOK Chapter IV - Fall Protection Requirements for Elevated Work A. General.

This chapter defines the fall protection requirements for working at elevated levels (6 feet or higher) on communications towers and related structures. Medical exam guidance is contained in Appendix 1 of this handbook. c. All “Qualified Climbers” will provide documentation of required tower climbing training and climbing experience (i.e. copy of RMW) to the Program Coordinator. 2. A “Qualified Climber’s” record will be reviewed annually for recertification in accordance with Chapter 7 (Recertification). 3. Non-BLM government employees and contractors must also be a “Qualified Climber” in accordance with this handbook. 4. The Bureau shall provide qualified climbers OSHA required equipment and PPE for the performance of their duties. C. Common Requirements. Prior to any tower climbing work, a Risk Assessment (RA) must be completed for each job site. The RA shall include a pre-climb tower checklist and inspection report to accurately determine the overall tower condition, electrical or RF hazards, and what PPE is required. All other transmitters should be deactivated per 1910.97 (Nonionizing Radiation) and 1910.268 (Telecommunications) to prevent injuries to tower climbers while climbing in the vicinity of other antenna systems. BLM Manual H-1292-1 TOWER CLIMBING AND FALL PROTECTION PROGRAM HANDBOOK Chapter IV - Fall Protection Requirements for Elevated Work 2. During all climbing activities at least two (2) qualified climbers shall be present on the job site. One of these qualified climbers will have been a “Qualified Climber” for at least two years. 3. Workers shall be attached to an anchorage point at all times when working or resting at elevated locations (6 feet and above). Moving, relocating, transitioning, and transferring activities performed on the tower require 100% attachment to an anchorage point. 4. Tower climbers shall check for a safe “Climber Fall Zone” area on the tower when positioning themselves at the work position. 5.

A personal RF monitor shall be worn when climbing structures that may have active transmitters in the area. D. Climbing and Walking Surfaces. Climbing and walking surfaces on equipment, ladder rungs, etc., shall be furnished with nonskid surfaces where possible. Ladders with deteriorated nonskid surfaces shall be removed from service until repaired. The walking surfaces shall be kept free of clutter. Climbing and walking on cross arms (crossed tower members and diagonal bracing) in lieu of a ladder is not recommended. Climbing pathways should be clear of any obstructions. E. Working from an Aerial Device. Prior to operation of the bucket or platform, workers shall be attached to an engineered anchorage on the aerial device by a full body harness in conjunction with a shock absorbing or retractable lanyard. Snaphooks shall be of the selflocking type. Working or standing on any rail of an aerial device shall not be permitted (All work will be performed from the floor of the platform). F. Transferring Between an Aerial Device and a Structure. Transfers between an aerial device and a structure are discouraged. When transfers between a single or multiple occupancy aerial device and an aerial ladder, cable cart, or other equipment are required, they shall be in accordance with the following procedure: 1. Buckets and platforms shall be positioned to remain stable during a transfer. The platform or bucket shall have a fixed-pin or a locking mechanism to provide stability during transfer. 2. The transfer shall be made from the aerial device by a door, step, or secured ladder designed solely for the purpose of assisting the worker over the rim of the bucket or platform. Portable ladders shall not extend beyond the rim of the bucket. Portable ladders shall be removed from the bucket after the worker returns to the bucket. Platform guardrail systems must meet the design requirements per 29 CFR 1910.27, (Fixed Ladders).

BLM Manual H-1292-1 TOWER CLIMBING AND FALL PROTECTION PROGRAM HANDBOOK Chapter IV - Fall Protection Requirements for Elevated Work 3. The aerial device shall be attended at all times when employees are transferring from or to the aerial device. The aerial device shall be considered attended as long as a qualified operator remains at the controls either in the bucket or at ground level. While a climber is working aloft and not transitioning to another area, the operator may work on other jobs at the site provided the operator is available when needed at the controls. 4. A climber transitioning between an aerial device and a structure shall be attached to the structure with both feet on the floor of the bucket or platform prior to making the transfer. The employee shall not be connected to the aerial device while attaching to the structure. This will include an inspection of fall protection system on all types of structures to ensure compliance with 29 CFR 1926 SubPart M. All communications structures owned by BLM shall be inspected every five (5) years. This formal inspection does not replace the mandatory inspection before each climb. a. Towers. (1) Fixed Ladders. When provided, fixed ladders shall be used for ascending and descending communications structures, except where work assignments or conditions dictate otherwise. When safe climb devices are available and operational, they shall be used to ascend and descend a communications structure. (2) Transitioning to the work position shall be accomplished while maintaining 100% attachment using a full body harness and lanyard or lifeline in conjunction with an energyabsorbing or self-retracting lanyard or lifeline. (3) In situations where a safe climb device is not available or not operational and climbing has been determined necessary, qualified climbers will be allowed to climb while maintaining 100% attachment to a suitable anchorage point.

BLM Manual H-1292-1 TOWER CLIMBING AND FALL PROTECTION PROGRAM HANDBOOK Chapter IV - Fall Protection Requirements for Elevated Work (4) One hundred percent attachment is not required while utilizing approved work platforms, having guardrails and kickboards in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.23 and 1910.24. (5) Portable Straight or Extension Ladders. Portable straight or extension ladders shall be placed at an angle that will not permit slippage (minimum standard is the 4:1 ratio) of the ladder base when climbing. If a safe climb device is not available, then a PFAS will be used. When climbing on step bolts, fixed ladders, or moving between work or rest positions, climbers shall maintain 100% attachment. (1) Wood Pole Structures. Wood pole structures are not authorized for use as radio communications structures and will not be climbed. Where pole structures are still in use, an aerial device will be used to perform all work on the antenna system. (2) Non-Wood Pole Structures. Any telecommunications work performed by an employee positioned on a horizontal or vertical surface with an unprotected side or edge which is four (4) feet or more above a lower level, shall be protected from falling by use of guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems. Roof tops are considered elevated working surfaces and require the employee to be tied off to an anchorage point that will withstand 5,000 pounds per person or the maximum anticipated impact load times an OCF of at least 2.0 for one worker (Reference 29 CFR 1926 SubPart M). A RMW, BLM Form 11125 shall be reviewed and updated by the work crew and signed by the on-site job supervisor prior to each structure climbing job assignment. If a RA does not exist, one will be completed and the level of risks will be assigned in accordance with BLM Manual Handbook 1112-1. Approval (written or verbal) of the RA, including the RMW, by the appropriate authority must be given prior to climbing a structure.

Based on the level of residual risk, the immediate supervisor may not have the authority to accept the risk for the operation. A vital step in the RA will be rescue procedures and equipment to be used in the event of an incident. This procedure will be documented on the RMW for that structure. 1. The rescue procedure shall provide prompt rescue of employees or a means of selfrescue (e.g. providing controlled descent device, radio, etc.). A site safety briefing shall be held at the beginning of each day, job, or change in work procedure to review the potential hazards involved in the work to be performed and potential rescue methods available. These discussions will help to ensure the availability of proper rescue equipment and to facilitate quick rescue of the worker. 2. Rescue of fall victims shall be included in all training and job planning. Aerial devices, cranes, handlines (lifelines), or other device capable of lifting the climber should be readily available. 3. Manufacturer's recommendations and BLM requirements shall be followed for the inspection, use, and maintenance of all PPE and safety equipment. 4. Only PPE certified by the manufacturer to meet all OSHA standards and regulations is authorized for use. No personal owned or home-built, or agency-built equipment will be used in place of OSHA compliant PPE. 5. Safety and Health Precautions. Tower climbing will only be performed by qualified climbers and in pairs. 6. Check-Out-Check-In, H-1112-2, Topic 3. The Bureau’s Check-Out-Check-In system requires maintaining a record containing the itinerary, name of employee, work area, estimated time of return and miscellaneous information such as other crew members, etc. In the event an employee does not return or contact the office at the prearranged time, search and rescue procedures shall be initiated. This will be the procedure for all tower climbers and telecommunications technicians. As per OSHA Regulations 29 CFR 1910.

97 (Nonionizing Radiation), climbers shall not be permitted to work on antenna systems connected to live radio transmitters nor be exposed to hazardous levels of electromagnetic radiation (radio frequency energy). Maintenance procedures require notification and coordination with the affected radio system dispatchers. Coordination with dispatchers shall include an estimated time for radio system reactivation on the structure being serviced. All climbers shall have a current certificate in first aid and CPR before accepting field assignments. 9. Medical Condition of the Climber. Any climber that exhibits an adverse physical condition that prevents them from functioning as a climber, shall not function as a ground safety person. This adverse physical condition will prevent them from performing a rescue. 10. Electrical Powerlines 29 CFR 1910.335 (Working Near Energized Equipment), BLM climbers who will work within 10 feet of electrical powerlines or service drop shall inform the utility company. They shall request the utility company to de-energize, move, cover, or barricade the exposed energized source. The program is based on employees becoming certified to hold a “Qualified Climber” classification as defined in Chapter IV. Qualified climbers will be trained in accordance with this policy. B. Policy. Climbers will be tested for knowledge and understanding of BLM’s tower climbing policy and competency with the Telecommunications Tower Climbing and Fall Protection Program Handbook. Each student will be provided a copy of this handbook. C. Tower Climbing and Fall Protection Course. Climbers will be trained in the principles of; fall protection, use and care of a full body harness, safety climbing devices, tower climbing, transferring between equipment and structures, and rescue techniques. Climbers will also be trained in recognizing emergencies and how to select and use the appropriate rescue equipment and the proper technique for the situation. 1.

Workers shall be trained in the selection and use of PPE, fall protection and rescue equipment and their application limits, proper anchoring, tie-off techniques, proper rigging practices, determination of elongation and deceleration distance, methods of use, and inspection and storage of the system. Methods to identify energized powerlines, apparatus, other auxiliary equipment on the tower, and to be knowledgeable of the rules applicable to work on and around the structure near energized power lines. Workers shall become familiar with manufacturer's recommendations, reduction in strength caused by certain tie-offs, and the maximum allowed free fall distance and total fall distance. 2. Due to the variety of required climbing techniques and associated hazards in tower work, it is essential that each respective climber be given sufficient training to master the required skills. The worker must possess the basic physical fitness required to perform the work. The worker shall demonstrate, to a trainer, proficiency in climbing functions and shall understand the hazards associated with each function. 3. Climbing instruction shall be presented, in such a way so the worker can recognize and avoid dangerous conditions while at the same time mastering the rigors of climbing, resting, and positioning for work on various structures. 4. Each piece of equipment used for climbing and work position attachment shall be explained and demonstrated. The worker shall become proficient in the use and care of the equipment to avoid abuse or use beyond its predetermined life. Workers shall be made aware of all the aspects on the equipment and materials they are working with regarding the stresses and resultant effects on safety margins while climbing or working aloft. 5. Required training shall be by classroom and actual field demonstration of the classroom instruction.