The modern world relies heavily on telecommunication. This technology isn’t just a means of communicating with others, but also a source of livelihood to many. Telecommunication towers and lines are the foundation of communication systems so they need to be maintained well.
New communication towers and new line connections are installed regularly to keep up with increasing demands for connectivity. These installations are also likely to develop problems and require prompt repairs. Line workers handle all of these responsibilities to ensure clients get uninterrupted connectivity.
What does a cable worker do?
A cable worker is a trained and certified professional with ample knowledge of how telecommunication structures work. Their work is risky and requires an incredible amount of skill. Communication pylons are tall with intricate networking systems installed at the very top. Workers need to scale the towers to repair, maintain, or install cables, which is no small feat. Here’s a brief look at what line workers do around these towers:
- Inspection – Cables and towers are constantly exposed to adverse weather conditions, which can take their toll. Telecommunication companies send a cable worker to assess and inspect the structures to ensure they’re in good condition.
- Maintenance – Towers and cables require regular maintenance to deliver reliable services. A cableworker will carry out small repairs or replacements after their inspection is complete. These measures are preventative and ensure the system provides consistent connectivity.
- Installation – New line installation is just as risky as repairs. Workers need to climb telecommunication towers to install new lines. Some installation projects require scaling multiple pylons, which takes time and effort.
- Repairs – Despite regular and thorough maintenance, problems can happen. Line workers are sent relevant towers for repairs immediately after a complaint is processed.
Working around a telecommunications tower
This profession is risky for a number of reasons. Many line workers are seriously or fatally injured each year, despite all safety precautions. That’s why telecommunication companies ensure that workers receive thorough training before they start working on thefield.
Here’s a brief look at what is like to work around a telecommunication tower:
- Height – These towers need to be tall to ensure the signals are transmitted over large distances. This poses a big risk to people working on these towers. Modern pylons don’t have mechanical lift equipment so a cable worker needs to climb a hand-over-hand ladder to reach the top. Towers can be anywhere between 100 to 1,000 feet in height so this is very strenuous activity. Fortunately, line workers have access to safety gear to protect them if they slip.
- Electricity – Workers on the tower are vulnerable to high levels of electricity during repairs and installations. Electrocution is a real hazard and can lead to fatalities. Line workers are taught how to handle equipment carefully to avoid this hazard. They also know which wires or cables they can safely touch.
- Radiofrequency exposure – Radio frequency exposure in excessive amounts can be highly hazardous to humans. This frequency has the ability to heat biological tissue, similar to how biological material is cooked in a microwave oven. Even if a cable worker doesn’t touch equipment emitting RF, they can be at risk.
Workers are certified by industry authorities, trained on how to climb safely, prepare a climb plan, prepare and maintain their equipment, prepare and maintain their safety equipment, etc.
This comprehensive training ensures line workers can carry out their job safely around telecommunication towers. All work is also supervised by ground teams that keep an eye on the tower professionals for signs of problems or distress. They are quick to assist if something goes wrong.