Overhead power lines often sustain damage during storms; strong winds can not only cause them to collapse, but can also lead to trees falling over and landing on them. Here are two tips for electricians who have been tasked with repairing storm-damaged power lines.
Keep track of how long the electrical supply to the power line will be switched off
If an overhead power line has been damaged but is still live, the electrician will need to ask the power supply company that delivers electricity to this line to switch off the supply for a few hours so that they can repair the damage without getting electrocuted.
In most cases, the power company will comply with this request. However, in order to minimise the disruption this will have on the properties in the nearby area, they will usually only agree to switch off the electrical supply for a set amount of time.
It is extremely important for the electrician to make a note of how long the supply will be off for and to set a reminder on their phone that will sound an alarm a few minutes before the supply is due to go back on.
The reason for this is as follows; if the repair work takes longer than they expected and they lose track of time, there is a risk that they may forget when the line is due to be switched back on again. If this happens whilst they or any metal parts of their access equipment are touching any non-insulated part of the line, they could sustain severe electrical burns.
Only proceed with the repairs after the storm is completely over
If the damage inflicted on the overhead power line has resulted in a loss of power to many nearby properties, or if the electrician who is repairing the line has several other jobs to carry out on the same day, they may feel under pressure to repair the line whilst the storm is still occurring.
However, this could put the electrician in serious danger, and as such, is not a good idea. For example, if the electrician has to use a scissor lift to reach the damaged section of the power line, and the winds are still blowing very forcefully, there is a chance that they could be knocked out of the boom by the wind. The fall from the elevated equipment could leave them badly injured.
Additionally, if the rain is pelting down whilst the electrician is working, this could affect their ability to see and could make the boom's platform very slippery. Working in these conditions could cause them to slip and hit their head against the boom's railing.