NATE yesterday released the NATE Safety Sleeve Testing Final Report. The 62-page white paper describes the overall scope, methodology and results from the NATE sponsored Safety Sleeve Testing events that were performed at the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) in Dayton, Ohio in 2018 and 2019.
The testing, performed over three different events and six total days, included over 110 drops completed. The Association’s Safety Sleeve Testing Team attempted to push the design limits and standards of the safety sleeves and test outside of the parameters established by ANSI/ASSP Z359. Therefore, most of the tests were performed for replication of real-world use and application. The test results presented should only be used to validate and reinforce existing safety procedures.
Some of the findings include:
- The wire rope safety climb must be tensioned in accordance with manufacturers specifications in order for the safety sleeve to function as designed.
- An unattached wire rope at the bottom assembly (effectively zero tension with the wire rope moving freely) of the safety climb system negatively impacts the performance of the safety sleeve; especially on 3/8” 1×7 galvanized wire rope
- 3/8” 7×19 galvanized/stainless wire rope performed better at lower tensions and this is inherent to the wire rope characteristics and flexibility compared to 3/8” 1×7 galvanized wire rope which is much stiffer.
- Sun camber, commonly referred to as the “Sunflower Effect,” on towers can adversely impact the tension of a wire rope safety climb. The Sunflower Effect is caused by the thermal expansion and contraction of the steel due to the temperature differences through the course of the day caused by direct sunlight.
“The intent of the testing was to provide feedback to NATE and its membership,” said testing team participant Stephanie Brewer from Sabre Industries, “and to provide future guidance for the Safety Equipment Manufacturers Committee (SEMC) for developing new testing parameters and safety climb system performance criteria. We believe the results of the testing events will ultimately raise the bar on safety in the communications infrastructure industry,” added Brewer.
The NATE Safety Sleeve Testing Final Report is available to the Association’s members and the industry as a free resource and can be downloaded here.
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