Getting to work can be a chore, especially if your workplace is seventeen hundred feet straight up. That's the commute for people that work on transmission lines and antennas in the world of broadcasting. This video shows what it's like to climb to the top of a 1,768-foot tower just to begin your work day.
It all starts with an elevator ride to about sixteen hundred feet. After that, it's all about climbing. Of course you have to bring all your tools with you. That's the red bag hanging below. It weighs about thirty pounds, and you pull it up behind you all the way to the top. It's a lot like a spacewalk, where you have to remember to bring everything you're going to need, because it's a long way down.
Once you reach the top of the tower itself, it's time to go outside. This is the pole that the antenna is mounted on top of. It's just there for extra height. This is called free climbing, meaning that no safety lines are used. It's easier, faster, and most tower workers climb this way.
It's good to take a break, and look around while you rest. Free climbing is more dangerous, of course, but OSHA rules do allow for it. Attaching, climbing, attaching and removing safety lines every few feet slows progress and is tiring.
Here you can see an electrical junction box for the tower lights. Inside the cage, you can now see the transmission line that feeds the transmitter power to the antenna. This section is the antenna tuner. It's shaped like this to allow for the expansion and contraction of the transmission line on its 1700-foot run to the top. These spiky flowers on their long stems are used to attract electrical charges in the air. This helps to dissipate the charges before they build up to create a lightning strike.
Now we've reached the base of the antenna. From here, it's just another sixty feet to the top. His climbing partner is now holding the tool bag to keep it from swinging, and knocking him off balance. Time for another break. Seeing storm clouds, he checks on the lightning conditions. If a storm's blowing through, there's no quick way down.
The top is in sight, and time for another break before a transitioning to the top. At this height, you can see fifty-five miles to the horizon.
This is the tricky part: getting on top. That object with the black top is the lighting beacon. And that's how you climb to the top of a transmission tower.
註一：OSHA為Occupational Safety and Health Administration的縮寫。為美國職業安全衛生署。