OSHA High-Voltage Regulations for Live Line ToolsLive line tools are used to work on energized power lines.
Electrical maintenance is usually performed with power lines or equipment that has been deenergized. On rare occasions, a system cannot be deenergized and personnel must work on live components. Live line equipment is used to limit hazardous electrical exposure and ensure the safety of workers. California Code of Regulations, Title 8, specifies California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements for high-voltage live line equipment
o Live line tools must be tested regularly to prove their insulated parts can withstand a minimum voltage. Test voltage varies depending upon the length of the tool and its composition. California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 2945: Access and Workplace Requirements---Appendix B lists the test voltage and duration for each type of tool. Fiberglass live-line tools must be certified by the manufacturer to withstand 100,000 volts per foot of length for five minutes; wooden tools must withstand 75,000 volts per foot of length for three minutes. Other testing may be substituted, but it must be equivalent or greater than code requirements.
o Workers must be able to trust the tools they use when working with high voltages; using defective tools leads to serious consequences. Live line tools should be inspected each day prior to use. Any tool with obvious damage needs to be removed from service and repaired or destroyed. Tools should be inspected after use, especially if a workplace incident may have caused damage to its insulating properties.
Cleaning and Storage
o OSHA regulations state that all liveline tools must be wiped clean after they're used. Cleaning aids the inspection process; defects may be overlooked on a dirty tool. Cleaning also ensures that tools remain safe and reliable for the next use. Tools should be stored away from heat, oil and chemicals in a location where they will be protected from physical damage.