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#150402 03/22/05 04:02 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 15
danc Offline OP
To what degree can insulated matting be relied upon for outdoor work on energized components? I would think that any moisture/dirt common in outdoor situations would negate any benefit? Are these strictly for indoor applications?

First time, be gentle.

[This message has been edited by danc (edited 03-22-2005).]

Arc Flash PPE Clothing, LOTO & Insulated Tools
#150403 03/23/05 08:55 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 119
DanC... Welcome to ECN... [Linked Image] I promise to be "gentle" with my response. [Linked Image]
To what degree can insulated matting be relied upon for outdoor work on energized components?
Boy if you couldn't use rubber goods for protection outside, linemen would be in big trouble. [Linked Image]

You should always follow the manufacturer's usage specifications for protective equipment. My suggestion would be that you not place an insulating mat directly on the ground. In fact, W.H. Salisbury (a major manufacturer of rubber goods) specifically states in its instructions that mats are not to be placed directly on the ground. Not because of the "dirt" and "moisture" but to prevent damage. These things are expensive, and they need to be cared for properly.

So, I usually recommend that they only be placed on a concrete pad that may be near switch gear or that a clean, splinter free piece of plywood be laid on the ground under the mat. A good plywood sheet good that could be used for this would be "fin-form" wood that is normally used for trenching and excavation shoring. It is designed to hold up well to moisture and because of its construction it can withstand a considerable amount of abuse.

The plywood suggestion is only my opinion, but, I have been asked this question before and that was my response. We have several people here that are lineman and they will likely "chime in" and give their opinion.

Here is a link to the W.H. Salisbury "blanket" catalog:

Information on the proper care and use of "blankets" is on page 7.

Hope this helps. [Linked Image]

#150404 03/23/05 10:19 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 15
danc Offline OP
Thanks. Good stuff.

What is the thought process that would dictate when to use these devices? I read the PPE requirements in 70E/OSHA and they seem to be based primarily on proximity to the hazard and likelyhood on contact.

#150405 03/25/05 01:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 119
70E is really the best source for determining selection and use of PPE. There are very few other options out there to maneuver through the PPE maze.

You could also consult a PPE manufacturer for guidance. But, usually they lean heavily on 70E and then develop some additional specific guidance for their equipment. For example one of these companies would be a good place to start.

W.H. Salisbury

White Rubber Company

#150406 03/25/05 06:03 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,443
Likes: 3
Welcome to ECN, mate!. [Linked Image]
Glad to have you along.
Glenn(safetygem), good comments, I have to say, that if us Linemen didn't have rubber we'd have to pack up and go home. [Linked Image]
Please bear in mind that insulated matting is just one part of a whole PPE system.
I use mats at work with the PoCo here in NZ and it's written in our safety rules that gloves(Insulated) and visor needs to be worn as well.

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