Monday, January 10, 2011

Cold Weather Aerial Operations

Winter Time in the Cold Areas bring challenges to aerial equipment operators in numerous ways, cold weather operations truly test all equipment operations and the personnel involved. Taking a look at one specific area is the aerial unit set up when parked on ice or snow covered ground for aerial operations. If we recall, the ANSI A92.2 requirements are based on the truck/aerial unit being parked on firm level ground and/or up to a 5 degree slope for operations. Most all of the tests performed by an aerial provider where testing is done on a dry and clear surface. Most of the year, the units operate on a similar surface in the day to day work. What happens when the major winter storms hit our region? Though ice and snow are firm in nature of their content when packed, the area of concern is the unit loosing grip to the ground now ice and snow packed covered during aerial operations with the booms off to the side at extended reaches. Extra steps should be taken to secure the truck with using cleated wheel chocks properly sized for the tire diameter along with outriggers pads that would grip the given ice or snow covered surface. Units that are stabilized with the truck suspension and/or torsion bars, suggested practice to use cleated wheel chocks properly sized for the tire diameter on all four wheels to prevent a sliding movement of the truck tires during aerial operations. In all work vocations of aerial unit operation, whether electric provider, tele-communications or tree work along with many others, when the major winter storm hits our area, the companies' operations continue to work in the toughest of situations with down power lines, trees falling onto lines and many other opportunities. Keeping the operators safe and without doubt of the ice and snow making their work further unsafe is something no one can afford. Stay safe, take the extra measures in your work set up, there is no substitute for taking a few more minutes for your own and your teams' safety.

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