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#203253 - 09/16/11 01:15 PM Are Insulated Tools Worth the Expense?  
KJay  Offline
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 763
I thought I saw a thread here earlier about the value of using insulated tools, but canít seem to find it now.
Anyway, I had to do a meter socket change at the in-laws B&B last week, which of course means pro bono. They live an hour away, so in an attempt to keep my cost down, I packed my tools into the wifeís car instead of driving my 10 MPG gas guzzling truck. That meant I couldnít bring my 28-Ft fiberglass extension ladder, so would have to use the in-laws 28-Ft aluminum ladder that was on site.
Let me just say, this is the first time in almost 30-years that I have ever done a hot overhead service disconnect/reconnect using an aluminum ladder, so was more than just a little nervous about it. I think this is probably also the first time that I felt the expense for the Cementex insulated water pump pliers and ratcheting box wrenches I bought a few years ago was more than justified. I donít think I took my insulated gloves off once from the time I first touched the ladder until the time my hands were off it after my boots hit the ground. So, I guess allís well that ends well and Iím glad everything was uneventful, but this is the first and last time I will ever do this type of work from an aluminum ladder.

Arc Flash PPE Clothing, LOTO & Insulated Tools

#203254 - 09/16/11 02:51 PM Re: Are Insulated Tools Worth the Expense? [Re: KJay]  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,874
Brick, NJ USA
Short & sweet....YES.

Safety equipment is an investment in self protection.


#203255 - 09/16/11 03:01 PM Re: Are Insulated Tools Worth the Expense? [Re: KJay]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Yes, I had raised the issue in an earlier thread. A few observations, lest I only re-hash the earlier discussion:

1) Whether you use insulated tools or not, your PPE requirements don't change one bit. That's whay I posed the question in the first place;

2) I've looked at an awful lot of electricians' tool bags, and it's rare for me to find more than one insulated tool;

3) The only folks I've seen with sets of insulated tools are plant personnel who regularly work in control panels; and,

4) I fail to understand why aluminum ladders are scary to electricians, but steel manlifts are acceptable.

Keep in mind that if we define insulated tools as 'safety equipment,' it becomes the employers' burden to provide them. This is a fundamental change, since sparkies generally provide their own hand tools.

#203256 - 09/16/11 04:31 PM Re: Are Insulated Tools Worth the Expense? [Re: KJay]  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,874
Brick, NJ USA

Possibly the manlift has rubber/composite tires?
(Discount the frame contact possibility)

Everything else you stated are good points.


#203259 - 09/17/11 03:49 AM Re: Are Insulated Tools Worth the Expense? [Re: renosteinke]  
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,223
SI,New Zealand
Originally Posted by renosteinke

Keep in mind that if we define insulated tools as 'safety equipment,' it becomes the employers' burden to provide them.

Personally John, from the tools I've seen that are "employer provided", I'd sooner bring my own tools to work.
I once had a falling out with a guy because he insisted I use his tools, which were merely more than cheap or rusty junk.
The 32mm conduit bending spring he gave me looked like it had been sitting under-water for about 3 years, when I went to bend it, it dis-integrated.

Like any tradesman that uses their tools to make a living, I take my tools very seriously, having worked with HV stuff only re-inforces that.
Only handymen shop at the dollar store for tools.
Buy well, buy once, is what I was bought up with.

Having said that, I carry a full compliment of insulated screwdrivers, spanners, hot-sticks and cover-up gear.
This is mainly because I might need this stuff, it is better to have with you than to be found wanting at a job, where you should have it.

Over here, if you are climbing a ladder to go up a pole, you are required to be wearing a pole belt.
And secondly, you need to test that pole before you even lean any sort of ladder against it.
The number of times a pole has rusted or rotted out at grade level and has caused the demise of more than a few liney's, it goes without thinking.

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