Insulated tool double standards

Hammer

Member
I have had an issue for some time with the double standards between Linemen and Tree Workers concerning "Insulated Tools" and their use.

Linemen are trained much better in electrical hazards for one, and the criteria that they must follow mandates that they must use an insulated tool that is tested at least once per year and they must always use insulated gloves in addition to the tool to make contact with energized lines.

Tree workers go by the ANZI standard that says that to lets that they can use an insulated tool. Nothing about secondary insulated gloves and no testing procedures.

I have asked people that have served on the ANZI committee, and they avoid the issue very aggressively.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
What is missed or confused is the issue of contact and proximity to an electrical hazard. Read through the new Z

I'm packing for a long weekend camping trip on the Canadian border. I don't have much time to elaborate
 

Hammer

Member
Say you have 2 limbs on the line for whatever reason.
Lineman must put on tested insulated rubber gloves and use a tested insulated tool like a hot stick to remove the limb off the energized line.

Trimmer grabs a pruner pole that has laid in truck bin for who knows how long bare handed that has not seen testing since it left the factory 3 years ago and gets limb off line.

Both of these are legal per current standards for each scenario per ANZI. Do you see what I am getting at?
 

theatertech87

Well-Known Member
Well then try wrapping your head around why our sticks have to be foam filled, while lineman extendo sticks only have 1 section foam filled.

Or why our mad's (without gloves) are different (at least as I've been told). Theirs for 7.2kv is 3+ feet, while it's is 2 and change for us...

Sometimes it's best not to ask too many questions
 

Hammer

Member
Well then try wrapping your head around why our sticks have to be foam filled, while lineman extendo sticks only have 1 section foam filled.

Or why our mad's (without gloves) are different (at least as I've been told). Theirs for 7.2kv is 3+ feet, while it's is 2 and change for us...

Sometimes it's best not to ask too many questions
The sticks do not have to be foam filled, and actually the foam will hold moisture. I had a set of foam filled Marvin poles I believe under one year old. They failed testing due to moisture.

Utilities are now responsible for calculating their MAD due to each utility's grid construction, load and available amps. But the lineman MAD is usually less than that of the trimmers.
 

diogenes

Member
Say you have 2 limbs on the line for whatever reason.
Lineman must put on tested insulated rubber gloves and use a tested insulated tool like a hot stick to remove the limb off the energized line.

Trimmer grabs a pruner pole that has laid in truck bin for who knows how long bare handed that has not seen testing since it left the factory 3 years ago and gets limb off line.

Both of these are legal per current standards for each scenario per ANZI. Do you see what I am getting at?
The hot sticks are rated to actually touch the lines. Our pole tools can only be used within the MAD. I think you'd be violating ansi to make indirect contact.
 

Ryan Thomas

New Member
Correct, you are NOT, nor is it implied, that you are supposed to make indirect contact to an energized conductor with an insulated pole tool. Violation of ANSI Z133.1, but more importantly the OSHA reg (cannot think of the number at the moment). You, along with the insulated pole tool, have to stay within the MAD for whatever voltage you are working near. The tools are there for help, not to break the MAD or make contact with the conductor.

If someone at your company is training people to do this, I would educate them, and if that doesn't work, leave. Period. They are misinterpreting the regulations and standards.
 

Hammer

Member
ANZI Z133.JPG Regardless, if you are within MAD you need insulated tools. What constitutes insulated tools? For the linemen, it is testing procedures for all tools with added rubber wear. For Tree trimmers it is stated they just have to be able to pass with no set testing protocol.
 

Ryan Thomas

New Member
Ugh, You’re correct, it’s kind of ambiguous in the new ANSI. I consider a “live line” tool a true hot stick, but the way it’s written, a Jameson safe Stik would apply. Those tools do have the warning “ not to be used as a hot stick” though so I still take that passage to read “lineman with a hot stick” and all the PPE that goes with it.
 

Hammer

Member
Ugh, You’re correct, it’s kind of ambiguous in the new ANSI. I consider a “live line” tool a true hot stick, but the way it’s written, a Jameson safe Stik would apply. Those tools do have the warning “ not to be used as a hot stick” though so I still take that passage to read “lineman with a hot stick” and all the PPE that goes with it.
Now you see where my confusion comes from. I think this needs clarification for sure.
 

Ryan Thomas

New Member
After thinking about it, I feel that the clarification lies within the tools themselves. While foam filled Jameson and similar sticks are rated, they specifically state that they are not to be used as a "hot stick". When I think insulated tool, I think a true hot stick used by a qualified lineman, with the correct PPE. I agree with you that the standard is poorly written.
 

Raven

Well-Known Member
Good question this always comes up at EHAP too. It is my personal interpretation and recommendation that if MAD cannot be maintained then you must call the utility operator to make the situation safe, and fiberglass poles are not to be used inside the MAD no matter what. That's how I see it as an Incidental Line Clearance arborist, one who periodically encounters power lines while doing residential work.

Now, how does ANSI apply to you guys who are out clearing lines all day every day? Is there another OSHA standard which supersedes ANSI? Do you receive much more extensive training that would allow such indirect contact? Are your pole tools tested to 100kv annually and stored clean and dry? Do you wear other protections like linemans gloves and sleeves? I know you guys are out there daily making indirect contact with primaries so what's the solution you guys use to avoid electrocution?
 

diogenes

Member
I used to do rural line clearance. Indirect contact is avoided as much as possible. It is avoided as much as direct contact and if you are found to have made indirect contact you are "demoted." Due to the nature of the job, it is obviously much more common to happen by accident than direct contact. Luckily, most times when it happens and if the electricity flows, so little current makes it's way to the person they are unharmed, but once in a while it ends badly. It is not safe to make indirect contact with a pole tool to the lines and it is not safe to grab branches off the high voltage lines using a pole tool. If a trimmed piece did get stuck on lines we would throw another small piece at it to get it off.
 
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