In construction or utility work, safety is of the utmost importance. This is especially true regarding any kind of electrical work, since the risk of electrocution is high if proper safety precautions are not observed. There are numerous injuries and deaths every year related to utility work, many of which are caused by electrocution while working on power lines. Yet there are many protective measures that can be taken to lessen such risks, including the use of special safety equipment such as insulated buckets on any lifting trucks.
Insulated safety equipment for aerial lift trucks is an essential component for crews working on or near live electrical wires. It is composed of three fiberglass-lined parts that work together to prevent shock in case of accidental contact with active wires. In order for a unit to be considered protected, its safety equipment must be approved by ANSI and OSHA standards. Together, these specific parts protect a worker from any current in case the bucket or boom touches a live electric wire.
The components that should be insulated in a typical boom truck are the bucket liner as well as both the upper and lower boom. The liner sits inside the aerial lift and a worker stands inside the liner, protected in the event that live current touches the bucket in any fashion. Upper boom protection prevents any current from passing through the upper part of the boom from the end to the elbow. Lower boom insulation keeps current from passing through the rest of the crane and into the truck chassis. In order to have proper protection, all three components must be used simultaneously or current can still pass through the vehicle and affect either a worker in the bucket or other works on the ground who may be touching the vehicle during operation.
Certain other equally important items should be considered when operating an insulated bucket truck to ensure proper safety. All drivers must be certified to operate this unique truck above and beyond any other type of license that is required. Such certification is important because those who operate such vehicles obviously work around or with live current and safety training for such specific jobs is much more extensive.
Insulated vehicles need to have regular inspections and testing of a truck’s protective features to be sure that they are working properly at all times. If a unit does not pass an inspection, repairs must be done before being allowed to perform any tasks. Wear and tear, along with unrealized damage can affect the protective properties of this vehicle over time; the only way to establish that it is still working properly is to periodically test and repair the vehicle on a regular basis.
While insulated bucket trucks may cost more than a standard version, it is with good reason. Every worker that goes up in one of these aerial platforms to work – whether on phone or electric lines – puts their lives in the hands of all provided safety training and equipment. The additional cost is minuscule in comparison to the protection from harm provided by insulated gear, so no company should ever cut corners on this part of the vehicle. By using the right accessories and keeping them in good condition, a business can more easily maintain high safety records and avoid devastating accidents. Hopefully, this article has enlightened readers to the way that insulation helps maintain safety with this powerful lifting truck!