Health & Safety

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Openreach: Pre-climb Pole Checks

29 March 2011

Openreach has embarked on a major re-enforcement of the checks necessary prior to climbing a pole.

pole with DP and dropwires

The existing mandatory checks have been enhanced by an additional ban on climbing poles with a preservation age of 1997 or before which have not been subjected to a FULL pole test between 1998-2011. Poles which fall into this category CANNOT be climbed.

It is estimated that there are 250,000 distribution and 210,000 carrier poles in this category.

This information being cascaded to every team member in Openreach via line managers. Members must be aware of the necessity to carry out the mandatory pre-climb checks every time a pole is to be climbed. Failure to do so may expose a member to possible disciplinary action. More importantly, the member could be exposed to serious injury.

The CWU strongly supports BT’s advice: “REMEMBER - If in doubt DO NOT CLIMB” and will fully support any member who genuinely follows this advice.

  • See BT ISIS Document: SFY/HSH/D040 - Pole Inspection and Testing