Rubber insulating line hose (RILH) is a portable safety device designed to cover exposed energized power lines and protect workers from incidental contact. Insulating line hose comes in various configurations and shapes. Its purpose is to completely cover line or equipment to which it is applied.
RILH is constructed, tested and maintained according to ASTM standards. Standard D1050 covers manufacturing and technical requirements; standard F478 covers in-service care; and standard F1236 provides guidance for visual inspection of blankets, gloves, sleeves and other rubber insulating equipment.
The following are common guidelines for the use of RILH. Please note that although these practices are common, they are not intended to replace your local safety rules and regulations and are being shared in the spirit of education. Contact your local safety professional if you have questions or concerns about this Tailgate.
• All lineworkers are responsible for ensuring that rubber insulating protective cover is deployed to the extent necessary to provide protection to employees performing glove hand work.
• Whenever practical, install insulating protective cover from below the conductor.
• If conditions permit, install insulating protective cover to the nearest energized part first, followed by the nearest conductive parts that are not normally energized but could become energized (e.g., guy wires, ground wires, crossarms, poles). When conditions permit, remove insulating protective cover in the reverse order when the work is complete.
• When two or more workers are working on energized primary lines or equipment and are in reach of one another, only one electrical potential must be worked at a time. This includes the installation of insulating protective cover.
• Overhead lineworkers must avoid contact with parts which are – or could be operating at – different potentials than the conductor or equipment on which insulating protective cover is being installed.
• Additional insulating protective cover must be installed as needed to protect any vehicle parts or booms from contacting any energized parts.
• Any insulating protective cover must be secured if it could move and expose the part.
• Insulating protective cover must be placed on the part being worked on in such a manner that only the area to be actively worked on is exposed. When the work on that part is either completed or interrupted, the insulating protective cover must be repositioned to cover that part as soon as practical.
• All exposed grounds, system neutrals and parts energized at low voltage – which any unprotected portion of a worker’s body may contact due to unexpected worker movement or repositioning – must be covered with insulating protective cover.
• Covered conductors must be considered exposed conductors. Such conductors must be covered in the same manner as any other energized conductors.
• Protective cover must be installed as required to ensure that noninsulated tools and equipment do not provide a conductive path between two or more parts operating at different potentials.
• In addition to any other requirements, insulating protective cover must be used whenever there is any question as to whether it is considered necessary.
About the Author: John Boyle is Vice President of Safety and Quality for InTren, an electric, gas and telecommunication construction company based in Union, Ill. Boyle has more than 27 years of experience, and has worked in nuclear and wind power generation and electric and gas distribution.
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