Insulation on Bucket Trucks and Aerial Devices

Posted: June 4, 2014 in Truck Sales

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Workers who use bucket trucks to do their jobs need to be aware of the possible dangers of electrocution. Electrical linemen need to be highly trained and knowledgeable, both with regard to the functioning of their bucket trucks and aerial devices and the potential hazards of their jobs, so that they can protect themselves and use their equipment in the safest possible way.

The Importance of Insulation

It’s extremely dangerous to take aerial devices that are not insulated close to energized wires or cables. The aerial devices that electrical linemen use to carry out their job duties must be insulated, and the insulation on the components must be well-maintained. It would result in a fatal injury if a worker comes in contact with an energized wire or cable while standing in an aerial device that’s either non-insulated or poorly insulated. His body could serve as a pathway to ground.

Fiberglass Platform

The fiberglass platform, or the bucket on the aerial device should have an insulated liner that’s in good shape in order to provide protection for the lower part of a worker’s body. But an insulated liner in the bucket can’t protect the upper parts of a worker’s body, should his arms or hands come in contact with conductors and grounded parts of the equipment. People who are working in the bucket must never touch grounded wires, cables, or components, since severe electrocution would be the result.

The Boom Arm

As long as the aerial device’s fiberglass boom arm is in good shape and is also clean and dry, it should serve as protection against grounding, but it needs to measure at least 40 inches from the tip to the base when it’s extended. Workers in the aerial device are not protected against grounding should they make bodily contact with an energized wire or cable or other grounded equipment. If the metal on the boom arm comes in contact with an energized wire or cable, it will energize the whole truck, rendering it extremely dangerous to all people who are near and could come in contact with it.

Hydraulic Fluid

The hydraulic fluid that’s used to power the boom arm must be free of contaminants, since water, brake fluid, and other contaminants are capable of conducting electricity. Hydraulic fluid that’s used in boom arms needs to be regularly tested to make sure it’s safe for use.

Insulated components on aerial devices provide a certain amount of protection from the hazards of an electrical lineman’s job. It is crucial that electrical linemen be familiar with all the possible hazards of their job and of the equipment so that they can maximize the benefits of insulated equipment and perform their duties as safely as possible.

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