Competent Tower Climber

Course Overview

MSA’s Competent Tower Climber course is designed to meet the needs of climbers in the telecommunications and utility tower climbing industry who work or supervise activities in construction, maintenance and tower upgrades. The course follows the training and procedural protocols laid-out by OSHA and the FCC’s “Communication Tower Best Practices” as well as the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) CTS 4th Ed. Fall Protection Training Standard.

This training is for those new to the industry as well as those with greater experience who need to meet federal regulatory safety requirements and industry best practices. It also covers topics needed to meet contractor specifications for tower climbers prior to being allowed access to tower sites. The course is led by industry-experienced climbers and includes practice on ROHN and self-supporter tower simulators.

*Per NATE rules, a climber must complete training at the Authorized Climber level and complete 90 days of experience on towers before they may be considered to be evaluated to be a Competent Climber. New climbers and those that do not meet this pre-requisite will be given the Authorized Climber certificate upon completion. Experienced climbers may receive the Competent Climber designation by certifying their experience with MSA before the start of the course.

The 3-day course covers the following content:

Applicable Standards/Regulatory Introduction:
  • OSHA, NATE, MIOSHA, & North Carolina OSHA
Safe Work Planning:
  • Hazard Identification, Evaluation, Control
  • Filling out a Pre-Climb Safety Checklist
Fall Protection 101:
  • Anchor Points:
    • Selection & Strength
  • Bodywear:
    • Selection for Tower Climbing
    • Inspection
    • Proper Donning & Suspension
  • Connecting Devices:
    • Lanyards for Fall Arrest
    • Lanyards for Positioning

Fall Protection High Risk Areas:

  • Providing for Adequate Fall Clearance
  • Keeping Fall Forces on the Body Low
  • Avoiding Common Misuses of Equipment

Tower Industry Introduction:

  • Tower Types
  • Work Activities
  • Hazards:
    • FR/EME
    • Electrical
    • Environmental / Weather
    • Avoiding Unsafe Structures
    • Object & Personnel Hoisting
    • Falling Objects
    • Falls & Suspension Trauma

Practical Activities:

  •  Equipment Selection
    • Tower-Climbing Harnesses
    • Fall Protection Lanyards
    • Positioning Equipment
  • Use of Ladder Vertical Lifeline Systems
  • Safe Climbing, Transitioning onto, & Positioning on a Tower

Tower Rescue Practical:

  • Rescue Equipment Basics
  • Equipment Rigging
  • Performing a Pick-Off Rescue