When you send a team of workers 2,000 feet in the air to either complete a tower construction project or fix an issue with an existing tower, you want to be certain that their safety is guaranteed. Bolstering your awareness of what can go wrong when building towers is essential for preparing for any potential problems in advance. In part one, two, and three of this series, our Miami contractor attorneys explored many of the most common tower building mistakes. In the final installment, we will examine the importance of annual inspections and suitable hardware when working in tower construction.
Radio towers and antenna systems undergo perpetual wear and tear as they are battered by violent winds and torrential rainfall. Towers deteriorate over time, and while this process is very gradual, it’s important to closely inspect towers annually so small problems don’t eventually turn into devastating calamities.
Annual inspections ensure that any potential issues are identified and addressed promptly. Visual inspections can help identify potential damage to a tower, but manually testing the strength of its hardware is crucial for ensuring you have properly gauged the extent of a tower’s deterioration. One quick and effective method for inspecting towers is using a wrench to check 10 percent or more of a tower’s nuts. Doing so will give you a clear picture of the state of a tower.
Beware of Hardware Deficiencies
A tower is expected to remain standing through severe weather and constant deterioration, so it’s only natural that towers require specialized hardware that minimizes corrosion. Unless you use galvanized or stainless steel materials, there is a strong possibility that your tower won’t survive outdoors.
Corrosion is one of the most pressing concerns for tower builders, but ensuring your supplies are suitable for the job is also important. Substituting Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE) graded bolts for the hardware store variety can compromise a tower’s stability and lead to a structural collapse. Other common hardware follies include:
- Erroneously installing the wrong type of screw-in anchor or anchor rods
- Utilizing “non-closed-eye” eye bolts in lieu of welded or forged ones
- Making use of ill-suited guy line material that isn’t compliant with the principles of EHS (environmental, health, safety)
It’s important to remain diligent when working on a tower construction project. These unique projects require specialized skill sets and an acute awareness of the principles of safe tower construction. If you have been contracted to build radio towers or antenna systems, but you are unfamiliar with the legalities regarding tower construction, a Miami contractor attorney from Cotney Construction Law can ensure your project runs smoothly while minimizing any potential downfalls.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.