Safety standard for communication structures gets updated

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) has published a revision to a voluntary national consensus safety standard that involves communication structures, which can present many risks for workers across the country. The updated ANSI/ASSP A10.48 standard will be effective on Jan. 1, covering the latest safety practices and training recommendations for the construction, demolition, modification and maintenance of communication structures.

The digital standard establishes minimum criteria that companies can implement to keep workers safe when performing work on communication structures, including antenna and broadcast supporting structures.

“The goal of the standard is to give the industry guidance on topics not covered or minimally covered in other regulations and standards,” said Chair Gordon Lyman of the A10.48 subcommittee who is also CEO of eSystem Training Solutions. “Employers must identify and prevent potential hazards to protect those who perform this type of work.”

The A10.48 standard provides comprehensive safety guidance on communication structures, including the following sections: pre-job planning, site conditions, fall protection and rescue, radio frequency, base-mounted hoists, personnel lifting and accessories, rigging, gin poles, climbing facilities and access, structural loading considerations, training programs, capstan hoist, demolition, helicopters used for lifting external loads, and electrical safety.

Voluntary national consensus standards provide the latest expert guidance and fill gaps where federal regulations don’t exist. Companies rely on them to drive improvement, injury prevention and sustainability. With regulatory requirements being slow to change and often out of date, compliance is not sufficient to protect workers.

“Organizations with true safety cultures go beyond complying with OSHA regulations,” Lyman said. “They hold themselves to a higher standard, better protecting workers while reducing claims and reputation damage caused by workplace incidents. A standards-based approach also improves productivity and helps a company’s bottom line.”

ASSP works throughout the year in leading the development of occupational safety and health standards that establish industry best practices. In the 2022-23 fiscal year that ended March 31, ASSP developed, reaffirmed or revised 15 voluntary consensus standards, technical reports and guidance documents, engaging nearly 1,400 safety experts who represented 500 organizations. The Society also distributed more than 14,000 standards through sales, distributors, special events and educational offerings.

To obtain the revised standard, please visit the ASSP Store or contact NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association.

“The A10.48 standard has been a game-changer for the industry because it has the distinction of being the first comprehensive standard encompassing the tower construction, service and maintenance industry,” said NATE Chairman Victor Drouin, president, co-founder and owner of Green Mountain Communications. “It’s a resource that outlines many practices that had never been described before.”

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