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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About rjhillconsulting
R.J. Hill Consulting is a forensic consulting engineering firm that specializes in performing failure investigations for attorneys and insurance companies. Mr. R.J. Hill is a registered professional (mechanical) engineer with over 37 years of experience, 33 years in private practice. Please visit www.rjhill.com to see the kinds of forensic investigations that Mr. Hill performs.

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