Incident Prevention Magazine

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Inspecting, Cleaning and Storing Live-Line Tools

Inspecting, Cleaning and Storing Live-Line Tools

Although insulated tools are designed and tested to protect the electrical worker, dirt and other contaminants can greatly reduce the protection of live-line tools. Following is an overview of care to keep your equipment in good working condition.

INSPECTION
Wipe clean live-line tools and visually inspect them for defects before use.

• Look for the following conditions:
� o Surface contamination
� o Cut or broken glass fibers on the tool. Damaged fibers reduce the strength and insulating protection of the tool.
� o Cracks running the length of the tool (caused by crushing the tool). If this type of damage is found, immediately replace the tool.
� o Surface chipping
� o Damage from high heat or physical abuse
� o Loose or broken fittings
� o Light spots accompanied by a noticeable roughness. This type of damage is from hard blows, impacting the material or carelessly dropping tools on the ground.
� o Surface ruptures caused by bending or twisting

CLEANING
There are several manufacturers of live-line tool care products. Products include silicone wipes for daily care and cleaners and waxes for long-term care.

• Cleaning in the field
� o Visually inspect the fiberglass and metal portions of the tool
� o Wipe the entire tool with silicone or other approved hot stick wipe; this will remove dust, dirt particles and oil from the surface of the stick.

• Long-term care
� o Routine cleaning with soap and water will extend the life of your tools.
� o Wash all surfaces with a wet, clean, soft cloth and approved soap.
� o Do not immerse the tool in water.
� o Take care not to damage the fiberglass surface.

WAXING
After a live-line tool is thoroughly cleaned, protect it with a coat of approved wax.

1. Use a clean, soft cloth to wax.
� o Rub briskly over the entire fiberglass surface.
� o Avoid sharp corners that may trap wax.
� o Change cloths as necessary to prevent rubbing dirt into the surface of the fiberglass.
2. Wipe off excess wax.
3. Let it dry to a dull haze.
4. Wipe off the residue with a clean, soft, dry cloth.
5. Rub to a high luster and be sure to remove all wax residue.

STORAGE
To avoid scratching your live-line tools while being stored on your truck, consider storing your tools so the finish will be protected.

• Use storage bags.
OR
• Store your sticks in a compartment dedicated to live-line tool storage.
OR
• Use PVC with end cap for live-line tool storage.

By following the basic steps of live-line tool care, you can ensure that your tools will be in good operating condition and offer you the protection for which they were designed.

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Monday, 19 August 2019

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