Guards and Guy Wires

Did you know that the guy wires used to hold utility poles in place are supposed to be guarded? Those colored plastic covers that crack, break, and otherwise look terrible are required by code.  Specifically, the guy wire guards are required by the National Electrical Safety code (not to be confused with the National Electric Code).  It seems that someone years ago recognized that people would be walking around or working in close proximity to the guy wires.  Since contact with guy wires can cause severe injury, it was decided that guard covers would be required.  The surfaces of the steel wire strands are not intentionally smooth.  Instead, surface irregularities with sharp edges can occur during the wire drawing process.  If contacted, these surfaces can cause deep cuts.  Please note that although utility poles are generally owned by the electric companies, any other company that uses the poles does so by agreement with the owner.  This means that if cable or telephone companies have to use a pole, those companies are responsible for adding guy wires and the guards to secure the pole and protect the public.  If someone is injured on an unguarded guy wire, the company that owns the guy wire can be liable.

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“Leave the Friggin Thing Alone!”

It still amazes me that whenever a fire occurs in a machine, like a car or a tractor, somebody who is NOT authorized, has to mess with it. There are still people out there that don’t realize that when they disassemble something they are tampering with evidence.  Even if the case has nothing to do with anything criminal, there is the possibility that a product defect or faulty workmanship might have been responsible for the fire.  But, if the machine (evidence) is disassembled, then evidence is compromised if not destroyed outright.  Disassembly and subsequent testing or examination cannot occur without all interested parties being placed on notice.  Once notified, all parties must be given the chance to participate in formulating a protocol for the disassembly, testing and examination.  After the protocol is formulated, the parties must agree on when and who will perform all necessary functions.  In short, all parties must have access to the same information at the same time.  If not, the potential for spoliation of evidence claims can become an avenue for additional lawsuits or defense, depending on your point of view.  Note that many property insurance policies have a subrogation clause which requires that the policyholder do everything it can to protect their carrier’s right which includes protecting evidence.

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