Telecom workers are vital to the daily life of virtually everyone in the world. After all, telecom workers are responsible for the installation and maintenance of the circuits that power the internet. Without the internet, we would have a hard time working, learning, entertaining ourselves, and connecting with loved ones. Naturally, in such a high-stakes industry, there are many risks involved in getting the job done.
If your company primarily performs telecommunications work, then you may be asked by your hiring client to become certified — probably with Gold Shovel Standard®, ISNetworld®, or Avetta®. Certification for telecommunications workers is most common in the United States, but we can help you with this process no matter where you’re from. Keep reading to learn about the dangers of telecommunications work, and the safety programs you may need for your certification process.
Risks of Telecommunication Work
Telecommunications workers are often performing their work at great heights. Telecom masts are typically between 50 and 160 feet tall, and most utility poles are about 35 feet tall. A fall from any of these heights can result in injury or death, given the right circumstances.
Additionally, telecom workers perform nearly all of their work outdoors. This brings environmental and weather-related risks, such as severe storms, cold, and heat. Telecom workers must take special precautions to protect themselves from the potential of severe weather, and measures must be in place to shut down operations in extreme cases.
Telecom workers also face the risk of struck-by accidents. As most of the work involves heights, workers can be struck by falling objects, materials, and tools. Operators must ensure that all power lines are properly installed and that all overhead loads are thoroughly secured to prevent these kinds of accidents.
Finally, telecom workers are constantly interacting with high-voltage circuits. If power lines are not properly de-energized before work begins, then workers face the risk of electrocution and fire.
Safety Programs for Telecommunication Workers
There are many safety programs that you can adapt to your company to protect your employees. At Industrial Compliance & Safety, we will look at the specifications of your hiring client, the nature of your work, and the regulations of OSHA to write a series of custom safety programs for your company. Here are some of the most common safety programs required for telecommunications work:
- Environmental Awareness
- Severe Weather Response
- Fall Protection and Prevention
- Electrical Safety
- First Aid/CPR Training
Do I Need New Telecommunications Safety Programs?
If you haven’t completed certification (with ISNetworld®, Gold Shovel Standard®, or a similar pre-qualification service), then you might not have a formal manual of safety programs for your company. Telecommunications is quite a small industry, and OSHA didn’t even have formal safety regulations for this sector before 2017! However, things have changed, and safety programs are critical for the proper training of your employees.
Having written safety programs is a great way to prevent workplace incidents and injuries. By having a standardized series of safety programs, you can ensure that all employees have undergone the same training and are working with the same base of knowledge regarding workplace tools and materials. Otherwise, training can be disorganized and employees may not develop a full understanding of safety practices.
If you have already been certified, then you should have a catalog of all required safety programs for your company. You will be notified if you are required to update or add safety programs to your account. Additionally, you may consider updating your safety programs after an incident or near-miss, to prevent future incidents.