Industry News

Task force meets to discuss wireless industry safety standards



Over 60 members of the Wireless Industry Safety Task Force participated in a meeting that was held in conjunction with the National Association of Tower Erectors Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Florida this past week. The Task Force, consisting of top safety and operations executives representing wireless carriers, tower owners, OEM’s, turnkey/construction management firms and NATE, is collaborating on best practice solutions to achieve sustainable safety and quality improvements in the industry.

During the meeting, the Task Force’s Skills-Based Training Subcommittee provided a progress update on the National Wireless Skills-Based Training Standard that is under development. This premier skills-based worker standard is being developed by the industry’s leading subject matter experts and has been a by-product of industry-wide collaboration.

A significant portion of the meeting agenda was also dedicated to provide updates on the development of the National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA); the 501(c)(6) national assessment and certification organization that is being established as the governance arm of the National Wireless Skills-Based Training Standard. The mission statement of the NWSA is to provide thorough, independent assessments of knowledge and skills and provide verifiable worker certification in order to enhance tower safety, reduce workplace risk, improve quality, encourage training, and recognize the skilled professionals who work on towers. A Board of Governors representing a broad cross-section of industry stakeholders will provide oversight for the organization. Members of the Task Force’s Governance Working Group have pledged to provide timely and relevant updates to the industry as key benchmarks are achieved in the establishment of the NWSA.

Other items on the Task Force meeting agenda included updates from the Task Force’s Manufacturing and Engineering Solutions Working Group, Standardization Requirements Subcommittee, OSHA’s Deputy Directorate of Construction Dean McKenzie and an update from the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program by TIRAP Chairman Scott Kisting.

“Black & Veatch is 100% committed to the ongoing initiatives of the Wireless Industry Safety Task Force,” stated Black & Veatch Safety Director Eric Munsell. “I am very excited about the direction of this effort and believe that the NWSA assessment/certification governance entity that is under development is a significant step forward for the industry,” added Munsell.

“Today’s Task Force meeting was extremely productive and demonstrates what can be accomplished when a diverse group of industry stakeholders work together with a collective focus on raising the bar on safety and quality in the industry,” said NATE Executive Director Todd Schlekeway.

Participating Wireless Industry Safety Task Force companies and organizations include:

Alcatel-Lucent, American Tower, AT&T, Bechtel, Black & Veatch, BlueStream Professional Services, Crown Castle, Ericsson, General Dynamics, Goodman Networks, Jacobs, MasTec Network Solutions, Motorola Solutions, National Association of Tower Erectors, Nexius, Nokia Networks, SAI Communications, Samsung, SBA Communications Inc., Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Velocitel, and Verizon Wireless.



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