It is essential for linemen to practice established safety procedures at all times. Below are some common things that they should be aware of when working on utility poles or near electrical equipment.
Electrical Hazards to Watch For
There are three types of electrical hazards that linemen may be exposed to, and these are blast, arc and shock: Lets consider changing to 3rd degree burns (from accidental contact), change blast to flash, and falling due to flash or contact.
- Blasts: These are produced by rapid air heating near an arc. The metals within the arc will vaporize and expand, generating enough pressure to throw a lineman several feet away. Additionally, they may throw molten metallic parts in multiple directions.
- Arcs: Can occur near power boxes. Produces an electrical explosion where electricity will arch through air and get inside the body of anyone nearby. The current may travel to the armpits because of perspiration which is very conductive.
- Shock: This is when a body joins the circuit. The current will travel through one’s body via an entry and an exit point. Scenarios can range from a lineman barely noticing to dying from shock.
How Lineman Can Protect Themselves
The key to protecting yourself from these 3 threats is wearing clothing that contains FR fabrics with a specific rating. Employers should help linemen determine what risk level they face for specific tasks and give them the right protection accordingly. You also want to purchase equipment that is in adherence with ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) F15016, as they are made with materials that are both arc rated and flame resistant and are the best apparel for workers that might be exposed to electrical or thermal hazards. However, donning the right equipment isn’t enough, you will also need to adhere to safety practices at all times.
Thoroughly Review Every Job Site
While every lineman job has similarities, no two sites are exactly the same. Regardless of how urgent a job might be, linemen shouldn’t begin work until they first take the time to identity every potential safety hazard. Arriving to a job site informed enables them to develop an action plan which is based around the potential risks which reduce their likelihood of injury. Lineman/line crews should never begin work without a properly filled out tailboard/JSA or job safety analysis (this is an industry standard lets considering mentioning this).
Don’t Assume That a Grounded System Is Safe
Making assumptions at work sites can be dangerous, and one of the worst is automatically assuming that a grounded system is safe. There is a phenomenon called induction where a conductor current is created by an electromagnetic field nearby, which is hazardous. Experienced linemen know that even a system that is properly grounded at one moment may shift to become dangerous, either because of rough treatment or extreme conditions. All equipment should be visually inspected prior to use and linemen should always use equipment and tools which are double insulated.
Always Apply Cover up Devices Always Apply Proper Cover for Isolation
Cover up devices is essential because they stop linemen from making contact inadvertently with energized objects while also preventing accidental contact between energized conductors and cross arm or pole grounded surfaces. The chances of sustaining an injury increases dramatically when a lineman doesn’t apply cover up devices.
JY Products carries the industry’s highest quality linemen equipment. From lanyards to boots, climbing equipment and more, this ensures that your job is completed safely and efficiently. Contact us today!