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John ECS

Safety and exploding poles



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John ECS

Hi guys 

I've been using this site for many years now and have gotten a wealth off information from use.

This is the first time I've posted something as I think it's an important topic.

 

One of my lads was doing a small commercial job the other day, he arrived on site met the client gave a quote and was given the go ahead to do the job walk around the building and filled in a risk assessment and method statement at witch point he was told there was a live wire running from the building. This led like me has over 25 years experience in window cleaning and has never had this happen too  him. As he was cleaning the windows he decided to try and manoeuvre the pole underneath the wire instead of dropping a section or two down  at witch point he made contact with it. Luckily for him he had the insulated section on his gardiner pole and no injuries were caused. But the pole did explode and catch fire. If he had not had this section on, he would most likely have been killed.

So this is just a quick warning to all other window cleaners as from time to time we do get complicated about safety and the importance of working around power lines 

Kind Regards, John 

20190611_123427.jpg

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Dale Transparent

Woah!!!! Glad he was ok and a good thing for insulated sections!

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solarpanelcleaningltd
Posted (edited)

Good post. We carry class 0 gloves for work near overhead cables.

And glad he was okay.

Edited by solarpanelcleaningltd

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Green Pro Clean Ltd

Stuff the pole, I'm just glad to see the Univalve survived. 😁 

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doug atkinson

John this is a very good post to raise awareness and glad your worker was not hurt.

 

I'm sure Alex would like to highlight this somewhere on his website the importance of having an insulated pole bottom.

 

Correct me if I'm right Alex but it's only the bottom section that is insulated. So if this was removed there is risk. Also what I notice sometimes when someone is looking for an extension they order the spare section as they are saving a quid or so. These are not insulated and therefore at risk.

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spruce
2 hours ago, doug atkinson said:

John this is a very good post to raise awareness and glad your worker was not hurt.

 

I'm sure Alex would like to highlight this somewhere on his website the importance of having an insulated pole bottom.

 

Correct me if I'm right Alex but it's only the bottom section that is insulated. So if this was removed there is risk. Also what I notice sometimes when someone is looking for an extension they order the spare section as they are saving a quid or so. These are not insulated and therefore at risk.

 

I'm not Alex but this is correct.

 

This is why we should be very careful about stripping a longer pole down to make a shorter, lighter pole that is easier to work with. If we want to do this then we should order a base section for the stripped down pole that is insulated.

 

If we are giving advice we have a duty of care to make this point clear.

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chelmsclean

What voltage was the cable?

Glad no one was hurt, I bet it made him jump!

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Pjj

Hummm just goes to show ,it’s easy to become complacent and think that will be ok , this is the kind of thing that this forum is designed for to raise awareness of things like this , and show how the latest equipment can prevent serious injuries or death , but caution needs to be used ever time when working near electric cables , 

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THL4KEL

Shouldn't that cable be insulated? 

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Alex Gardiner

Glad your chap was OK 😊

 

We have now had 5 reported cases of this happening to users of the SLX poles so far in the UK. On each occasion, although the top of the pole 'exploded', the user has been protected by the insulated handle section.

 

On the SLX range only the handle section is insulated. Extension sections are also insulated. We have had these tested to resist in excess of 5000v so generally a lot more than would usually be encountered in a domestic or office setting.

 

Sometimes a user will add a standard section on to a pole - this would generally be OK as the original handle section in place would act as an isolator, although the section being held itself is not insulated. However when using water and carbon and working with electricity anything can happen!

 

We would never recommend working with the handle section removed for this very reason.

 

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Den

Glad no one was injured, I work in lots of rural villages where the electricity enter the properties via overhead cables and this is exactly the reason why I have always bought extensions and would never strip down a pole to make lighter. 

 

 

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Part Timer

Was it the risk assessment or the method statement at fault. Glad your man is ok but why did he stick his pole anywhere near a live wire. Very very lucky chap. 

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steve garwood

Jeez, looking at that picture really brings home the reality of what can happen.

Glad your guy is ok.

A bloke in my road got electrocuted and died in our local bakery last week.

He stood on a bun and the current ran up his leg.

Sorry 😩

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Supersonic1987
2 hours ago, Alex Gardiner said:

Glad your chap was OK 😊

 

We have now had 5 reported cases of this happening to users of the SLX poles so far in the UK. On each occasion, although the top of the pole 'exploded', the user has been protected by the insulated handle section.

 

On the SLX range only the handle section is insulated. Extension sections are also insulated. We have had these tested to resist in excess of 5000v so generally a lot more than would usually be encountered in a domestic or office setting.

 

Sometimes a user will add a standard section on to a pole - this would generally be OK as the original handle section in place would act as an isolator, although the section being held itself is not insulated. However when using water and carbon and working with electricity anything can happen!

 

We would never recommend working with the handle section removed for this very reason.

 

Are the clx poles insulated also?

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CHWS

Holy **** that’s scary 😱

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Ana

Wow that pole looks like a cheap wig now, proper shredded! Univalve unaffected and fully operational

 

In all seriousness glad your chap is ok, bit of a shock in more ways than one.

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spruce
1 hour ago, Supersonic1987 said:

Are the clx poles insulated also?

 

Yes, all sections are as they are carbon inside and fibreglass layer outside.

 

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spruce
Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, THL4KEL said:

Shouldn't that cable be insulated? 

 

If you look closely you will find a lot of electric 'aerial' cables are not insulated on older estates. We still have a couple of older houses where we have to exercise extreme caution.

The one place in a village we do we complained to the electricity board about the danger we are exposed to every time we clean windows. It took them about 2 years to remove them and replace them with ABC cables which are insulated. (ABC = Aerial Bundled Cables.)

 

This is this place we cleaned. There are dozens of properties in Boosbeck where these overhead supply cables exist.

There are 4 uninsulated cables. The bottom one is earth and the 3 above are each live. These cables are outside the fish and chip shop and this section has now been replaced with new insulated cables. But the rest of the cables are as they always were.

 

I'm sure you have seen cables running into a house being renovated that have yellow electrical cable sleeves over the cables. The electricity board is requires by law to fit these as a temporary measure to protect workman again electrical shock when working near them.

 

Its the home owner who has to request any of this type of work to be done. I originally requested this safety action myself on my behalf but they refused to deal with me. I ended up writing the letter to the electricity board and getting my customer to sign it with his details.

 

.

electricity supply cables.jpg

Edited by spruce

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THL4KEL

Loads of properties like that by me. I do gutter clearance with alloy poles near them. Think I'm going to call it a day doing them moving forward..

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Damo
9 hours ago, spruce said:

 

I'm not Alex but this is correct.

 

This is why we should be very careful about stripping a longer pole down to make a shorter, lighter pole that is easier to work with. If we want to do this then we should order a base section for the stripped down pole that is insulated.

 

If we are giving advice we have a duty of care to make this point clear.

 The ultimate pole has more than one insulated section, hoping to purchase this pole as keep putting it off lol.

https://gardinerpolesystems.co.uk/all-products/water-fed-poles/telescopic-poles/ultimate-high-reach-pole/gardiner-ultimatetm-high-reach-pole-46.html

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Pjj
38 minutes ago, Damo said:

 The ultimate pole has more than one insulated section, hoping to purchase this pole as keep putting it off lol.

https://gardinerpolesystems.co.uk/all-products/water-fed-poles/telescopic-poles/ultimate-high-reach-pole/gardiner-ultimatetm-high-reach-pole-46.html

 

 

Yes they are a very good pole , heavier than the extreme but stiffer and better in a breeze 

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Damo
Just now, Pjj said:

 

 

Yes they are a very good pole , heavier than the extreme but stiffer and better in a breeze 

 

I do all the commercial work for the company at the moment but fingers crossed and toes and arms my next franchisee will take the commercial work from me. I would give him an extreme 47 and ultimate then let him decide. 

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Pjj
Just now, Damo said:

 

I do all the commercial work for the company at the moment but fingers crossed and toes and arms my next franchisee will take the commercial work from me. I would give him an extreme 47 and ultimate then let him decide. 

 

I had both the extreme is a nice pole but we do a couple of 6-8 storey hotels and found the extreme way to whippy at this height , so sold it and bought the ultimate it’s far more ridged and surprisingly very good in a breeze and more controllable , but it’s a bit heavier after a mornings work Ime quite happy to pass it over to the staff 😂😂

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paulben

I used to clean gutters by hand on a house with wires at gutter level was always a bit cautious . Owner decided to have new facias bloke doing job accidently touched wires and it threw him off ladder but was ok . Think if there are that many wires near house as in picture I would drop the job rather be a few pounds lighter in my pocket than a few more pounds in undertakers pocket .

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Iron Giant
9 hours ago, Ana said:

Wow that pole looks like a cheap wig now, proper shredded! Univalve unaffected and fully operational

 

In all seriousness glad your chap is ok, bit of a shock in more ways than one.


Maybe @steve garwood or @Den could re-purpose it 🤣

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Marko067
17 hours ago, steve garwood said:

Jeez, looking at that picture really brings home the reality of what can happen.

Glad your guy is ok.

A bloke in my road got electrocuted and died in our local bakery last week.

He stood on a bun and the current ran up his leg.

Sorry 😩

 

This is a great thread. It really brings home the need to be safety conscious at all times. Even a momentary lapse can be disastrous.

I don't do any commercial work but have seen a few dodgy installations of exterior lighting on some of my customers properties that I've stayed well clear of. 

 

Not to take away from the seriousness of this topic, but you're a real live wire Steve. Heard that joke in school, but still didn't see it coming. Made me 🤣 though

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chelmsclean

Definitely a need to be careful.

When the cables run down the street overhead, if the cables are above one another touching two can be 400v.

Be especially careful around farms and factories, where the cables run next to eachother horizontally that is 11000v/33000v

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Tango

 

On 13/06/2019 at 21:28, spruce said:

 

Yes, all sections are as they are carbon inside and fibreglass layer outside.

 

 

Yikes! I've heard of fibreglass poles splintering and leaving the users with hands full of splinters. Does that happen with the CLX? - I didn't realise it had fibreglass. I've not had any problems yet but now I'm (probably wrongfully) getting a bit worried!

 

On 14/06/2019 at 05:52, paulben said:

 Think if there are that many wires near house as in picture I would drop the job rather be a few pounds lighter in my pocket than a few more pounds in undertakers pocket .

 

Yeah I think I'd rather turn the job away too.

 

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chelmsclean

Never had that issue with a clx, my original unger pole was terrible for it.

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Part Timer
1 hour ago, Tango said:

Yikes! I've heard of fibreglass poles splintering and leaving the users with hands full of splinters. Does that happen with the CLX? - I didn't realise it had fibreglass. I've not had any problems yet but now I'm (probably wrongfully) getting a bit worried!

Had a CLX 27 for 5 years and never had a problem with it, actually prefer it to my SLX 25

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