In live line procedures requiring bucket trucks 72 feet and up, technicians need the assurance of safety and flexibility when performing repairs, maintenance, or inspections. Since the upper and lower booms of a bucket truck are both made from insulated materials, some companies find grounding the truck unnecessary. However, heights of 72 feet and up usually involve high power lines, and that indicates a higher level of hazard.
Grounding a bucket truck will take most of the fault current to ground in case of an accident with an energized line. Electricity will take all paths to ground including tires, outriggers and a person touching the bucket trucks. Linemen have been wearing dielectric shoes for this very reason. Bucket trucks need to be barricaded when the trucks are grounded for safety.
Technologies have been developed for working on tasks on energized transmission line systems. One type has allowed ground crews to work on lines with ungrounded booms and bucket trucks. A danger in using this method arises when booms of bucket trucks may become inadvertently grounded by structural deficiencies or failure of personnel to strictly adhere to safety procedures.
When working with bucket trucks, owners are required to check their mechanical systems and to undergo regular preventive maintenance to monitor the properties that could compromise safety. This includes electrical protective equipment, and the insulators that make up the boom and the bucket. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that
“Neither OSHA's general industry standards nor OSHA's construction standards require the use of electrical protective equipment or a live-line tool when grounding mechanical equipment, unless an employee is going to approach or take a conductive object closer to an energized part than the minimum approach distance”
For more information on grounding safety of bucket trucks working with 72 feet and up, get in touch with Schmidy’s Machinery today.
5293 US 51 Business
Clinton IL, 61727
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