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2009 NATE-OSHA Strategic Partnership
Annual Evaluation Report

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Partnership Name
National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP)
Purpose of Partnership
The key purpose of the NATE OSP is to reduce tower climber fatalities and injuries. The OSP also focuses on promoting safety training, implementing best work practices, and developing safety and health management systems.
Goals of Partnership
Goal Strategy Measure
1) Reduce the percentage of injuries, illnesses and fatalities of participating telecommunication and broadcast tower erection employers, and their subcontractors, to an aggregate rate that is below the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) national average, based on most recently published data. a) Analyze participant data to identify causal factors and corrective actions. Share corrective actions.

b) Establish a baseline year to provide for the analysis of results.

c) Participants to use tools such as the NATE Site Safety Audit Checklist.

d) Create/disseminate safety and health materials to NATE participants.

e) OSHA to provide 10-hour training up to two times a year as resources allow. All supervisory personnel to receive OSHA 30-hour training.

f) Develop, implement, and share best practices with participants. Establish a website or tool to communicate best practices among participating NATE members. For example, produce/disseminate guidelines for the use of gin poles and tower maintenance activities.

g) Participants to provide 100% fall protection.

h) Review annually and provide feedback on participants' safety and health management systems as needed.
i. OSHA 300 Logs.

ii. Percent of participant workers and contractors receiving requisite OSHA 10- or 30-Hour training.

iii. Percent of participants using each tool.

iv. Number of best practices developed and the percentage of implementation among NATE participants.

v. Number of injuries/fatalities related to falls (compared to baseline).

vi. Number of casual factors identified and abated by participants.

vii. Percentage of participants' safety and health management systems reviewed by NATE as part of the application process.


viii. Percent or number of fatalities reduced from baseline.

ix. Results of NATE audits.
2) Recognize participants that successfully achieve reductions in illnesses, injuries, and fatalities. a) Develop a recognition system to recognize participants for reductions in injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the telecommunications and broadcast tower erection industry. i. Number and percentage of participants recognized.
3) Improve awareness of OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) on the hazards/issues associated with the tower erecting industry. a) Increase the number of employees that attend the OSHA 3150 Tower Safety course. i. Number of CSHOs completing the course from the time of the established baseline.
Anticipated Outcomes
The OSP will promote a safe work environment for communication tower industry workers and contractors by preventing serious accidents and fatalities through increased training, implementation of best work practices, development and implementation of safety and health management systems, and being in-compliance with applicable OSHA standards and regulations. OSP goals will be accomplished by utilizing the skills, knowledge, and resources of NATE and OSHA.
Strategic Management Plan Target Areas (check one)
Construction/Communication Towers X    
Strategic Management Plan Areas of Emphasis (check all applicable)
Amputations in Construction   Oil and Gas Field Services  
Blast Furnaces and Basic Steel Products   Preserve Fruits and Vegetables  
Blood Lead Levels   Public Warehousing and Storage  
Concrete, Gypsum and Plaster Products   Ship/Boat Building and Repair  
Ergo/Musculoskeletal   Silica-Related Disease  
Landscaping/Horticultural Services      
Section 1 - General OSP Information
Date of Evaluation Report January 15, 2010
Evaluation Period:
Start Date November 8, 2008 End Date November 9, 2009
Evaluation OSHA Contact Person Danielle Gibbs
Originating Office OSHA National Office - Washington DC
Partnership Coverage
# Active Employers 89 # Active Employees 4,000
Industry Coverage (note range or specific NAICS for each partner)
Partner: National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) NAICS
  Partnership Participants NAICS   Partnership Participants NAICS
1 Advanced Tower Services, Inc. 23713 46 Mountain Valley Tower Service, Inc. 23713
2 Advanced Wireless Solutions, Inc. 23713 47 NDC Communications 23713
3 American Communications 23713 48 Netrepid 23713
4 Asbuilt Construction, Inc. 23713 49 Nex-Tech, Inc. - Mobile Radio Div. 23713
5 ATG Communications, LLC 23713 50 Noash Construction, Inc. 23713
6 Atlantic CommTech Corporation 23713 51 Northern Pride Communications, Inc. 23713
7 B-C Walker, Inc. 23713 52 PERFECT WIRELESS, INC. 23713
8 BCI Communications, Inc. 23713 53 Phoenix Tower Service, LLC 23713
9 Black & Veatch 23713 54 Professional Resources & Services Inc. 23713
10 Bright Lighting, Inc. 23713 55 Proventus Structural Services, LLC 23713
11 Central General Engineering & Maintenance Ltd. 23713 56 Radian Communication Services Corporation 23713
12 Clearshot Services, Inc. 23713 57 PRadiofrequency Safety International (RSI) 23713
13 CommStructures, Inc. 23713 58 RIO Steel & Tower, Ltd. 23713
14 COM-TECH SERVICE GROUP, INC. 23713 59 Seacomm Erectors, Inc. 23713
15 D & H Builders, Inc. 23713 60 Shenandoah Tower Service, Ltd. 23713
16 Dietz Brothers, Inc. 23713 61 Simons Construction Incorporated 23713
17 Dish Technologies 23713 62 Sioux Falls Tower & Communications 23713
18 Doty Moore Tower Services LLC 23713 63 Sky Comm, Inc. 23713
19 Dynamic Construction, Inc. 23713 64 Skyhook, Inc. 23713
20 E.M. Enterprises General Contractors, Inc. 23713 65 South Seas Inspection (S) PTE LTD 23713
21 Eastern Communications, Inc. 23713 66 Southern Broadcast Services, Inc. 23713
22 EasTex Tower, Inc. 23713 67 Speelman Electric, Inc. 23713
23 eciWireless LLC 23713 68 St. Paul Tower, Inc. 23713
24 Elite Wireless 23713 69 Stewart Electric & Communications 23713
25 Emergency Radio Service, Inc. 23713 70 Synergy Concepts, Inc. 23713
26 Excalibur Communications Inc. 23713 71 System One Communications 23713
27 Excel Tower Services, Inc. 23713 72 TEAM Communications 23713
28 Excell Communications, Inc. 23713 73 Texcom Construction LLC 23713
29 Goodman Networks, Inc. 23713 74 Tim's Tower 2000 23713
30 Great Plains Towers, Inc. 23713 75 Tower & Communication Services, Inc. 23713
31 Green Mountain Communications, Inc. 23713 76 Tower MRL, Inc. 23713
32 Hayden Tower Service, Inc. 23713 77 Tower Systems, Inc. 23713
33 Herca Telecomm Services, Inc. 23713 78 Tower Technologies, LLC 23713
34 Hoosier Tower Service, Inc. 23713 79 Tower West Communications, Inc. 23713
35 Industrial Communications, LLC 23713 80 Tower Works Inc. 23713
36 JBL Electric Inc. 23713 81 Train's Towers, Inc 23713
37 JDH Contracting, Inc. 23713 82 Trillium Development, Inc. 23713
38 JM Contractor of LA, LLC 23713 83 Trusty Construction, LLC 23713
39 Keegan Wireless, LLC 23713 84 United States Tower Services, LTD 23713
40 Legacy Telecommunications, Inc. 23713 85 WAVE Communications 23713
41 Mid Atlantic Contracting, Inc. 23713 86 WesTower Communications 23713
42 Midwest Underground Technology, Inc. 23713 87 Wireless Horizon 23713
43 MIKAB Corporation 23713 88 Wireless Infrastructure Services 23713
44 MILLENNIA CONTRACTING, INC. 23713 89 Wireless Legacy Corp. 23713
45 MillerCo, Inc. 23713  
Section 2 - Activities Performed
Note whether an activity was provided for by the OSP and whether it was performed
  Required Performed
a. Training Yes Yes
b. Consultation Visits No No
c. Safety and Health Management Systems Reviewed/Developed Yes Yes
d. Technical Assistance No Yes
e. VPP-Focused Activities No No
f. OSHA Enforcement Inspection No No
g. Offsite Verifications No No
h. Onsite Non-Enforcement Interactions No Yes
i. Participant Self-Inspections Yes Yes
j. Other Activities No Yes
2a. Training (if performed, provide the following totals)
Training session conducted by OSHA staff (OSHA Outreach Training Program[10-hour course]) 1
Training sessions conducted by non-OSHA staff 360
Workers trained 531
Training hours provided to workers 15,418
Supervisors/managers trained
Training hours provided to supervisors/managers
Included in Row 3
Included in Row 3
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)

In 2009, 531 workers, managers, and supervisors covered by the OSP received safety training. Also, NATE:

  • Developed the NATE Hoist Operator Educational Requirements and initiated programming for the online training course.
  • Began designing the Hazard Recognition online safety resource.
  • Began developing the Tower Climber Orientation online training course.
2b. Consultation Visits (if performed, provide the following total)
Consultation visits to partner sites N/A
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)
N/A
2c. Safety and Health Management Systems (if performed, provide the following total)
Systems implemented or improved using the 1989 Safety and Health Management Systems Guidelines as a model 89
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)
To participate in the OSP, an applicant must have an effective safety and health management system in place or improve its existing system in accordance with OSHA's 1989 Safety and Health Management System Guidelines before the end of the open application period. Participation was contingent upon review and approval of each applicant's safety and health management systems by both NATE and OSHA. Once the applicant was approved, NATE disseminated a certificate to each participant signed by NATE's Executive Director, Patrick Howey, and then OSHA Assistant Secretary, Edwin Foulke.
2d. Technical Assistance (if performed, note type and by whom)
  Provided by OSHA Staff Provided by Participants Provided by Other Party
Conference Participation
Interpretation/Explanation of Standards or OSHA Policy
Abatement Assistance
Speeches
Provided by OSHA Staff
4
Yes - see below*
Yes - see below**
-
Provided by OSP Participant
7
-
-
-
Provided by NATE Member Company or Other Party
14
Yes - see below*
Yes - see below*
-
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)
Conference/Seminar Participation:
The NATE 2009 Annual Conference and Exposition held in Nashville, Tennessee on February 22-26, 2009, provided an excellent opportunity for OSHA to network and obtain a positive rapport with stakeholders from the tower industry. The conference also allowed OSHA the opportunity to conduct outreach and provide information on compliance assistance, OSHA's cooperative programs, standards, and enforcement.

Four OSHA staff participated at NATE's 2009 annual conference: Danielle Gibbs (National Office, Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs), Rob Medlock (Region 5 - Cleveland Area Office), Jocko Vermillion (Region 5 - Cleveland Area Office), and Veneta Chatmon (National Office, Office of Communication). OSHA exhibited at the conference exposition by staffing a booth, providing compliance assistance and OSP materials, and answering questions. OSHA conducted the OSHA Outreach Training Program 10-hour course on the first day of the conference which was well-received by conference attendees.

On Wednesday, February 25th, OSHA representatives, Ms. Gibbs, Mr. Medlock, and Mr. Vermillion presented a PowerPoint presentation of the findings of the draft communication tower accident report to the NATE Board of Directors. The Board responded very favorably to the presentation and stated that the trend analysis that OSHA conducted was extremely valuable in helping to promote worker safety and health in the tower industry.

During the conference, 17 educational or technical assistance sessions were offered:
  • OSHA Outreach Training Program 10-hour course (74 attendees)
  • Safety/Quality Awareness on Tower Mounting Components (140 attendees)
  • Protecting Climbers from Falls (192 attendees)
  • Structural Standards for Installation, Alteration and Maintenance of Antenna Supporting Structures & Antennas - Part 1/Engineering (200 attendees)
  • RF Safety: It's a Game You Can Win (124 attendees)
  • Structural Standards for Installation, Alteration and Maintenance of Antenna Supporting Structures & Antennas - Part 2/Rigging (167 attendees)
  • Guy Anchor Galvanic Corrosion: Causes, Risk Evaluation, Detection, Prevention (161 attendees)
  • Radio Frequency Personal Protective Equipment (RF PPE) Use and Training (152 attendees)
  • Grounding Systems: Why Important and Why Testing is Invalid 95% of the Time (193 attendees)
  • Where Does The Time Go? (64 attendees)
  • Rigging Safety (154 attendees)
  • Minimum Requirements for a Comprehensive Managed Fall Protection Program (132 attendees)
  • Crane Safety (114 attendees)
  • Building High Spirited Teams (45 attendees)
  • Hazcom: Communication is Key (39 attendees)
  • Insurance 101/Workers Compensation and General Liability Basics (28 attendees)
  • Authorized Climber Training (40 attendees)

*Interpretation/Explanation of Standards or OSHA Policy:

  • Throughout the year on an as-needed basis, NATE responded to inquiries from the tower industry regarding how to interpret tower-related OSHA standards and directives. If additional specific technical information was needed, the inquiry was forwarded to OSHA for assistance.
  • Throughout the year on an as-needed basis, OSHA provided technical assistance to the tower industry regarding how to interpret tower-related OSHA regulations and directives (e.g., the use of controlled decent devices with back-up lifelines and proper attachment points).

**Abatement Assistance:

  • Throughout the year on an as-needed basis, NATE responded to questions and provided assistance to the tower industry regarding abatement assistance. If additional information was needed, NATE referred the inquiry to OSHA.
  • Throughout the year on an as-needed basis, OSHA provided assistance to the tower industry regarding abatement issues and topics (e.g., fall protection systems, hoisting, and rigging).
2e. VPP-Focused Activities (if performed, provide the following total)
Partners/participants actively seeking VPP participation
Applications submitted
VPP participants
N/A
N/A
N/A
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)
Although not an OSP requirement, at the end of the 2007, former participant, MidAmerica Tower Service, attained Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Star recognition and status. Unfortunately, due to the hardships of the economy, MidAmerica Tower Service went out of business in 2008 and as a result, withdrew from the OSP and the VPP at that time.
2f. OSHA Enforcement Activity (if performed, provide the following totals for any programmed, unprogrammed, and verification-related inspections)
OSHA enforcement inspections conducted
OSHA enforcement inspections in compliance
OSHA enforcement inspection with violations cited
Total number of citations classified as Serious, Repeat, and Willful
6
1
5
3 (Serious)
0 (Repeat)
0 (Willful)
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)
Participants remain subject to OSHA programmed inspections in accordance with agency policies and procedures. Six OSP participants received OSHA inspections in FY 2009. The results of the inspections included: one participant being in-compliance; two participants being cited for Other Than Serious violations; and three participants being cited for Serious violations. Regarding the three companies that received serious violations, one was cited for not having guard rails on a scaffold, and the other two were cited for workers not wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (hard hats). All cases were resolved and no Repeat or Willful violations were issued.
2g. Offsite Verification (if performed, provide the following total)
Offsite verifications performed N/A
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)
N/A
2h. Onsite Non-Enforcement Verification (if performed, provide the following total)
Onsite non-enforcement verifications performed N/A
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)
 N/A
2i. Participant Self-Inspections (if performed, provide the following total)
Self-inspections performed
Hazards and/or violations identified and corrected/abated
1,600
258
Comments/Explanations (briefly describe activities, or explain if activity provided for but not performed)
Throughout the reporting year, 1,600 self-inspections were performed by OSP participants, resulting in 258 hazards and/or violations being identified and corrected/abated. Although there were eight fewer OSP participants than last year, 260 more self-inspections were conducted. Corrected/abated hazards included: safety signs not being posted; materials not stored properly; failure to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as hard hats and safety glasses; drinking water not available on the worksite; hand signal chart not posted; and fall protection equipment tags not legible.
2j. Other Activities (briefly describe other activities performed)
  1. Safety and Health Outreach and Promotion

    NATE's Executive Director authored or was interviewed for numerous safety articles featured in magazines and on industry stakeholders' websites, including:

    • US Developers Journal
    • EHS Today
    • Above Ground Level
    • ASSE
    • Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International, Inc.
    • Industrial Safety & Hygiene News
    • Microwave Journal
    • Mission Critical
    • RCR Wireless News
    • Modern Contractor Solutions
    • US Developer's Journal
    • Urgent Communications
    • Wireless Week
    • Wirelessestimator.com

    Monthly Publication:

    NATE also developed and disseminated its monthly publication, Tower Times, which is available to members as well as non-members. Tower Times provides safety resources in every edition and member companies who provide training to the NATE Tower Climber Fall Protection Training Standard (NATE CTS) are listed in each issue.

    Safety Updates and Preventive Response Notices ("NATE News"):

    During the reporting period, safety updates and notices known as "NATE News" were disseminated to members via email which are later posted on NATE's website. Some of the topics of these updates included.

    • "Avoid Unrealistic Expectations to Complete Work"
    • "NATE Resources to Help Improve Industry Safety"
    • "The Importance of Safety During Peak Work Season"
    • "MIOSHA Safety Regulations Adopted With the Support and Guidance of NATE Members"

    Public Speaking Events:

    During the reporting period, NATE and NATE members continued to attend and deliver speeches at various industry meetings, conferences, and other events to promote tower safety. For example:

    • The Chairman of NATE's Board of Directors served as a panelist for the Tennessee Wireless Association's conference ("Safety is Our Life Saver").
    • NATE's Executive Director served as a speaker at the MoKan (Missouri/Kansas) State Wireless Association conference and discussed how to build a culture of safety for carriers and tower owners.
    • NATE member company representatives made a presentation at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) on "New Consensus Standards for Construction Rigging and Protocol".
    • NATE's Executive Director served as a presenter at American Society of Safety Engineers' (ASSE) Safety 2009 Conference.
    • NATE's Executive Director served as a panel moderator at the 12th Annual Tower Technology Summit.
    • NATE's Executive Director delivered a presentation on tower climber safety at the National Telecommunications Safety Panel's annual International Telecommunications Safety Conference.
    • NATE's Executive Director and NATE member company representatives made numerous safety presentations to State Wireless Associations in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, and Kansas.

    Website:
    During the reporting period, NATE developed and posted safety information on its website which is accessible to all NATE members, including:

    • Safety and health videos covering topics such as radio frequency (RF) awareness, personnel hoisting, and gin pole operations
    • The Accident Prevention Safety and Health Program Guide
    • The NATE Hoist Standard
    • Hoist Operators Educational Requirements Manual and RF Awareness Manual
    NATE also made the following safety information available to the public on its website:
    • NATE Tower Climber Fall Protection Training Standard (NATE CTS)
    • Links to OSHA and other safety and health organizations
    • Qualified Contractor Evaluation Checklist
    • Tower Owner Safety Checklist
    • Free download access to safety posters that address critical safety issues for tower climbers
    • Replay and download of NATE's safety and health webinars
    • Archived copies of the Tower Times magazine which include safety articles, tailgate talk topics, health information, OSHA reports, regulatory news, and legal guidance

    Tower Safety and Health Webinars:
    During the reporting period, NATE offered two safety and health webinars to the tower industry:

    • The "Tower Company Safety Program Best Practices" webcast in March 2009 which was posted on the NATE website in early April 2009 and is accessible for public viewing on the NATE home page. The webcast featured NATE member company representatives discussing best practices in the tower industry regarding developing and integrating safety compliance programs into a company's overall operation, maintaining safety communication, and training. The moderators of the discussion were Victor Drouin, President of Green Mountain Communications, Inc. and winner of EHS Today's "America's Safest Company" award; and Raphaella Garrett, Safety Coordinator of MidAmerica Tower Service, Inc. and former VPP participant.
    • The "Multi-Employer Worksite Liability Issues" webcast in September 2009 which was sponsored by Stainless LLC. The webcast focused on OSHA enforcement initiatives and trends at both the national and state level and the Multi-Employer Workplace Doctrine. The webcast is available on the NATE website.
  2. Educating Industry

    During the reporting period, NATE continued to reach out to owners and operators in the industry and to educate them on the value of operating safely. These efforts resulted in:

    • Meetings, telephone calls, and other correspondence with American Tower, AT&T, Crown Castle, Cell South, US Cellular, SBA, and Black and Veatch to discuss further ways to work together to promote tower industry safety.
    • Working with NATE members to develop future case studies to promote the value of qualified tower climbers working in the tower industry.
  3. Tower Safety Standards Development

    During the reporting period, NATE continued to focus efforts on assisting State Plan states to develop tower industry safety standards, as well as provided input to OSHA on the development of its federal directives. For example:

    • NATE provided input to OSHA during the development of the federal directives CPL 2-1.29 and CPL 2-1.36 which outlines the prerequisite practices for personnel hoisting (a third version of the Directive is currently under consideration).
    • NATE worked with the state of Washington's Department of Labor and Industry to develop a tower safety standard for the state. (NATE helped the state of Michigan's Department of Labor with the development of its tower safety standards in 2008.)
    • NATE began work to develop the new ANSI A10.48 Tower Safety Standard.
  4. Collaboration between Industry Stakeholders

    Due to the public's increasing demand for wireless communication and broadcast services and tower jobs often being short-term and mobile, in 2009 NATE continued to collaborate with industry stakeholders in hopes of building relationships with industry stakeholders, changing industry culture, and reducing tower worker fatalities and injuries. For example:

    • NATE worked with the Federal Communications Commission and other federal agencies.
    • NATE collaborated with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).
    • NATE served as a representative on the ANSI Fall Protection Standard Committee.
    • NATE coordinated with representatives of the state of Washington's Department of Labor and Industry.
    • NATE coordinated with representatives of American Tower, AT&T, Crown Castle, Cell South, US Cellular, SBA, and Black and Veatch to discuss ways to promote tower industry safety.
    • NATE collaborated with ASSE.
    • NATE collaborated with PCIA - The Wireless Infrastructure Association.
    • NATE, PCIA, NAB, and CTIA - The Wireless Association developed the regulatory issue coalition.
  5. 2008 Communication Tower Accident Survey and Draft Report of Findings

    In the spring 2008, OSHA developed and administered a communication tower accident survey to Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) investigating tower worker fatalities that occurred in 2008. OSHA developed a draft report and a PowerPoint presentation of the results and shared them with the NATE Board of Directors during the 2009 annual conference and exposition.

Section 3 - Illness and Injury Information
Year Hours Total Cases TCIR # of DART Cases DART Rate
2007 5,857,645 151 5.2 121 4.1
2008 6,988,112 121 3.4 93 2.6
2009 3,974050 85 4.2 26 1.3
Total 16,819,807 357   240  
Two-Year Average Rate 4.2   2.8
BLS National Average for 2007 4.0   2.4
Baseline     5.2   4.1
Comments

The OSP achieved lower injury and illness rates than the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) national average for the tower industry by reducing its Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) and Days, Away, Restricted, and Transferred (DART) rate each year. In 2008, the OSP reduced its DART rate by an average of 37 percent while the national average for the industry's DART rate doubled. In 2009, the OSP's DART rate was 1.3 - a 68 percent decrease from the rate in 2007 and a 50 percent reduction from 2008. (The DART rate is a more comprehensive measure of severity because it reflects the total time away from work.) The OSP's 2009 DART rate is also 46 percent below the 2008 BLS national average of 2.4. Over the three years of the OSP, participants averaged a 44 percent decrease in their DART rate.

In 2009, the OSP's TCIR was 4.2 - a 19 percent reduction from the initial baseline of 5.2. The OSP's three-year TCIR average of 4.2 was slightly above the 2008 BLS national average of 4.0. Over the three years of the OSP, participants averaged a 10 percent decrease in their TCIR.

During 2008, the tower industry experienced 13 fatalities of which three were at OSP participants' worksites; however, in 2009, the number of fatalities in the industry decreased 62 percent to five, with 0 being OSP participants.

*Notes:

  1. Each year the participants change, with some dropping out of the OSP and some being added; therefore, there will be variation regarding injury and illness rates.
  2. Data collected during the first year of the OSP is the established baseline.
  3. A three-year comparison between BLS and the OSP is not possible due to BLS not yet releasing its 2009 national data. This is expected to be released in the fall of 2010.
Section 4 - OSP Plans, Benefits, and Recommendations
Changes and Challenges (check all applicable)
  Changes Challenges
Management Structure N/A N/A
Participants N/A N/A
Data Collection N/A N/A
Employee Involvement N/A N/A
OSHA Enforcement Inspection
Partnership Outreach
Training
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Comments
N/A    
Plans to Improve (check all applicable)
  Improvements N/A
Meet more often N/A N/A
Improve data collection N/A N/A
Conduct more training N/A N/A
Change goals N/A N/A
Other N/A N/A
Comments
The OSP has made much progress and achieved many positive results over the past three years. NATE and OSHA have plans to develop another OSP in 2010 with new goals, measures, and strategies to continue promoting safety and health in the tower industry.
OSP Benefits (check all applicable)
Increased safety and health awareness Yes
Improved relationship with OSHA Yes
Improved relationship with employers Yes
Improved relationship with employees or unions Yes
Increased number of participants No
Comments

Increased Safety and Health Awareness:
The OSP participants continued to hold their companies to higher safety standards by conducting the OSP required site safety audits, as well as other OSP requirements such as enforcing 100 percent fall protection at six feet and ensuring the presence of a competent person on the worksite at all times. Increasing safety and health awareness was also accomplished by requiring the participants to meet requisite levels of training, developing and implementing a safety and health management system, and ensuring the presence of a competent person on the worksite at all times. Furthermore, NATE has been very proactive in promoting the OSP and re-enforcing the value of safety in the tower industry.

Improved Relationship with OSHA:
Over the past three years, the Partnership Management Team (PMT), consisting of NATE and OSHA representatives, increased communication and strengthened the relationship between the organizations. The OSP became a forum for OSHA and NATE to discuss issues and concerns with an emphasis on improving overall safety within the tower industry. The OSP provided participants and NATE members the opportunity to meet and talk with OSHA officials during the NATE 2009 Annual Conference and Exposition in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as through various technical assistance efforts. It also leveraged resources.

Improved Relationship with Employers:
Through the OSP, OSHA has been able to work closely with NATE to discuss, address, and resolve issues relating to safety in the tower industry. The OSP helped foster an open forum of communication where companies no longer fear OSHA but rather look to the agency for help and guidance.

Improved Relationship with Workers:
According to NATE, workers of the OSP participants understand that by their employers participating in the OSP, they are taking the necessary steps to promote safety and health in the tower industry and helping to ensure their safe return home.

Status Recommendations (check one)
OSP Completed X
Comments

The OSP expired on November 8, 2009. Over the past three years, this first national OSP between NATE and OSHA impacted the tower industry by saving the lives of tower workers and reducing the number of injuries and illnesses. In 2009, the number of tower climber fatalities decreased 62 percent to five from 2008, with 0 being OSP participants. The OSP created the opportunity to improve the health and safety of over 4,000 workers which represented almost half of the industry and facilitated mentoring and networking opportunities.

During the first year that the OSP was implemented, and each year following, the OSP attained lower injury and illness rates than the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) national average for this specific industry. For example, OSP participants' 2009 DART rate was 46 percent below the 2008 BLS national average and reflected a 50 percent reduction from the 2008 rate for OSP participants. In 2008 the OSP reduced its DART rate by 37 percent while the national average doubled. Over the three years of the OSP, participants averaged a 44 percent decrease in their DART rate and a 10 percent decrease in their TCIR.

The OSP also promoted the development of best industry practices which addressed hazards not currently covered by OSHA standards, facilitated open communication lines between workers and the industry, and expanded safety and health outreach and awareness to tower owners and operators.

Due to the many accomplishments achieved over the past three years, NATE and OSHA plan to develop a new 2010-2013 OSP. This new proposed OSP would include new goals, measures, and strategies to continue promoting safety and health in the tower industry, change industry culture, and reduce tower worker fatalities and injuries. Although the number of participants increased during the first two years of the OSP, in 2009 the number dropped to 89 due to reasons such as companies going out of business and other hardships of the current economy. However, should a new OSP agreement be signed, close to 130 tower companies have applied and been approved by OSHA to participate. This figure represents a 43 percent increase in OSP participation from 2009.

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