Safe2Climb, LLC was created for the companies that climb, inspect, modify and maintain our nation’s communication and broadcast towers. Specifically, guyed towers equipped with steel anchors in direct contact with soil.First and foremost, Safe2Climb’s mission is to enhance climber safety. The report focuses on eliminating the majority of sites posing little or no risk for anchor failure – while identifying potentially hazardous sites, allowing customers to plan accordingly for upcoming site visits.
Julie B. Flittner, founder of Safe2Climb, LLC, has been working in the industry for 15 years, researching and analyzing soil and the factors initiating and facilitating galvanic corrosion. She was fortunate to learn from two of the industry’s best – Ernie Jones (1950-2015) and David Davies of Consolidated Engineering, Inc. – who shared their knowledge of corrosion and tower engineering, while sending a multitude of projects her way, providing opportunities to apply the concepts. In 2016, after more than a decade of broadcast engineering work and corrosion research, Safe2Climb was formed. Designing a thorough, yet concise report, she envisioned partnering with companies who climb and maintain towers, offering the Pre-Climb report as a first step to creating a successful Jobsite Hazard Analysis.
“I have the utmost respect for the men and women risking their lives to keep our lives connected. With hundreds of Corrosion Risk Analyses for engineering firms, broadcast tower owners, including TV, AM and FM, railroad, wind farm communication towers and cellular companies under my belt, I realized the need to offer a similar service to the companies and individuals climbing towers. Safe2Climb’s primary goal is to benefit climbers and promote safety,” said Flittner.
What’s the advantage of integrating Safe2Climb and its reports into the process? The reports allow companies to quickly and accurately identify 80 percent of sites requiring no additional anchor investigation. Additionally, the reports help tower owners recognize before the inspection, when a site is part of the remaining 20 percent requiring additional investigation of the buried anchor shafts, prior to climbing. Safe2Climb offers options for further investigation, from least invasive and least costly, to a dig-to-block program, now requiring a rigging plan and review by a Professional Engineer.
Included in the May release of NATE’s Anchor Inspection Protocol, the Safe2Climb Pre-Climb report, ordered and received prior to mobilization, is a cost-effective, viable alternative to partial digging/inspecting anchor shafts, allowing workers to immediately begin the tasks they were contracted to complete.
According to Flittner, “Reports should be ordered and received prior to the site visit. The information in the report serves as a planning tool and includes driving directions to the site and nearest emergency/trauma facility and a Google maps link. As an added benefit, reports can be opened on any computer or mobile device. Additionally, FAA National Airspace designation, NOTAM’s and TFR’s, when applicable, for inspections combining climbing and drones are included in the report.”
For more information about Safe2Climb’s services or to contact Julie Flittner directly, visit http://safe2climb.com. Climb Safe. Live Long.
By Keara Piekanski, Inside Towers
September 21, 2017