A Guide To Lineman Climbing & Safety Equipment
An electrical lineman is one of the most important jobs in any country. They are responsible for setting up, maintaining, and repairing the power lines that are essential to keep electricity flowing smoothly into American homes and businesses.
One of the activities required by the job is climbing utility poles that can be up to 120 feet tall. The climbing of these poles to do their work is one aspect of why being a lineman is dangerous and why they need the best fall protection safety equipment and proper climbing gear.
If you are new to the job, knowing what equipment you need to have and how it works is important for ensuring that you are safe when working. The two main categories that you need to look at are fall protection gear and pole climbing equipment. Our experts at JY Products have compiled a list of essential climbing and safety gear you should have.
Fall Protection Safety Equipment
Having fall safety equipment isn’t just having something to sway your odds in life and death situations, it is also necessary under OSHA standards for anyone who is working at elevations of over 4 feet. This means that ever since this standard has been introduced, no lineman should be without fall protection equipment if they are working at heights and employers are supposed to provide the needed fall protection systems for all their employees.
There are three main categories of systems for fall protection:
- Work Positioning Systems: This is the most popular system when working on a vertical surface as it allows the lineman to be suspended but still have their hands free. This system uses a lifeline and pole strap alongside a body harness. If a self-retracting lifeline is used, the lineman will have greater command over the rate of ascension and descension and the lifelines will also lock up in a fall automatically. Make sure that the system is set up such that the lineman will fall a maximum of two feet before experiencing a locking lifeline.
- Personal Fall Arrest Systems: These systems utilize a combination of lanyards that are shock-absorbing, deceleration devices, full body harnesses, and lifelines to cushion the fall of a work. These can be used when working on walking working surfaces such as a basket or a bucket, or when climbing wooden poles.
- Fall Restraint Systems: This system helps to stop a fall when a lineman’s climbing spikes are unable to maintain tension against the utility pole that they are working on. The system works with the lineman’s own body weight to cinch and lock a device mechanically around the pole. This system only provides restricted fall arrest, especially on poles with bare sections that can lead to free falls of more than two feet. To work safely on slippery or icy poles, it would be best to use additional fall restraint equipment.
Pole Climbing Equipment
Pole climbing equipment can be expensive and it is important to remember that they are an important investment for your job safety. There are three main types of climbing gear that you will need:
- Climbing Spikes: These are metal spikes which are strapped to a lineman’s boots for greater support when climbing poles.
- Lineman Boots: This category of footwear is designed to be comfortable and the support necessary to climb poles all day. It is important to consider how high you want your boots to go and also if you require a safety toe.
- Lineman Belts: These are used to keep lineman strapped to the utility poles as they work. There are many different types ranging from floating belts to fixed belts and body belts and your choice will be dependent on the range of movement and work situation that you are in.