Health And Safety At Work
Tasks related to telecommunications construction always tend to carry a great amount of accident risk. Therefore, work safety plays a key and critical role in the construction of telecommunications networks. Workers face potential danger due to working with electric power, at heights or as a result of accidents that may occur during the transport and moving of technology. It is necessary to have drafted a thorough description of all potential risks, as well as the appropriate procedures which ensure the elimination of such risks. The same importance is to be placed on regular theoretical and practical training of all employees with regard to the said procedures. The actual risks are indeed very real and the purpose of such training is not just to comply with work safety regulations.
A special and crucial emphasis must be placed on safety during work at heights which is a typical assignment on the daily agenda of all installation teams. Working at heights requires not only securing of the employees themselves but also of the technology and material which are transported in this way.
Every worker is secured by a special HACA, ZOLL or another fall protection system while climbing on or descending from a tower, a chimney stack or a roof. Such safety systems are compulsory and although they are rather expensive, they provide high quality protection when used correctly. Other compulsory equipment includes full-body harness and certified climbing equipment suitable both for work and for proper securing. A rescue set which can transport the worker safely to the ground in case he or she loses consciousness due to height is another inseparable part of a worker's equipment. All workers are certified in CPR on an annual basis, which is a very important part of a well-established work safety policy.
All the individual items of equipment described above are very expensive (a complete set for one installation team costs over 4,000 euros) and they only provide the appropriate protection when they are in a perfect shape and used correctly. Consequently, an annual re-certification of all equipment as well as re-qualification training for our employees are required.
For this purpose, we have built a Backbone Academy in our headquarters, which includes a climbing polygon for training and testing of our climbers. At the same time, we also have a lab installed here for training in correct and safe procedures for the installation of each technology.
Close attention is also paid to the proper usage of electric tools which must also be certified annually and operated only with overvoltage protection in order to minimize the risk of injury for the worker in case of overvoltage in the electrical network. The workers themselves must also be certified for electricity-related work according to the relevant section of Decree number 50/1978 issued by the Czech Work Safety Agency. Furthermore, they must complete drivers' training on how to minimize the risk of traffic collisions or also so called RF Safety Training instructing about the influence of electromagnetic radiation on humans.
Safety during the transport and moving of technology is another essential chapter of our work safety policy. Technology very often must be transported to places where it is impossible to use a goods lift, a crane or climbing equipment etc. In such cases it is necessary to move the material manually by straps, by using other moving accessories or simply by hand. Such situations result in a high risk of injury and it is absolutely necessary to use protective accessories, such as special shoes, gloves, helmets etc. When using electric tools, workers must additionally wear protective goggles and appropriate clothing.
When on an assignment, construction workers must always carry a set of original documents including all the required certificates and proofs of the worker's qualifications, the employment contract, proof of insurance, A1 documents in the event of working on a project abroad as well as various other documents. These must be carried by each worker at all times and every document must be checked for validity which must be extended in a timely manner if necessary. Similar to other contractors, BACKBONE and dozens of its employees are daily at risk of work-related injuries which may have even fatal consequences. Therefore it is our paramount priority to meet all of the above described rules over the required standard for our company in order to ensure maximum protection of our employees and maintain the good name of our customers while eliminating work safety issues.