Safety Flash: Rotted Pole

Incident Description: A Wire Technician ascended his extension ladder on a spot pole. After belting off, the pole snapped at ground level and fell to the ground.

Injuries / Property Damage: Multiple injuries / Treated and released from the emergency room

Prevention: Proper Pole Testing

  • Remove the soil around the base of the pole if possible
  • Use a prod with a shaft of five inches in length or longer
  • Insert the tool at a 45° angle below the ground line
  • Wood decay will be evident by the ease with which the tool penetrates the pole
  • Sound the pole by striking with a hammer on all sides from the ground line to as high as can be reached. The presence of advanced decay can be recognized by a hollow or dull sound.

Fallen Pole


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