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New Standard Supports Workers in High Places

Engineers use acoustic-emission testing to check the electric-shock protection of aerial buckets that hoist electric, telephone, or tree workers to high places.

A task group of Acoustic Emission Subcommittee F18.55 seeks participation as it develops a new standard that will provide a more complete inspection of insulated aerial personnel devices. The task group seeks aerial-device manufacturers, acoustic-emission testing contractors, equipment vendors, utility engineers, users of insulated aerial personnel devices, and other interested parties. The group will develop the standard under the jurisdiction of ASTM Committee F18 on Electrical Protective Equipment for Workers.

According to electric-utility engineer William C. Veal, fleet test coordinator, Georgia Power Co., Forest Park, Ga., techinicians will test aerial personnel devices with acoustic-emission and consider it complete, pronouncing it safe from defect. “That is not the case,” he says. “Acoustic emission has to be used in conjunction with other non-destructive testing methods such as magnetic particle liquid penetrant and visual inspections in order to do a complete inspection of an aerial device.”

The task group chairman, Veal says the group will attempt to reinforce quality and safety for workers, by determining where, how, and what type of non-destructive test methods should be used in conjunction with the following ASTM acoustic-emission standards:

F 914, Standard Test Method for Acoustic Emission for Insulated Aerial Personnel Devices;
F 1797, Standard Test Method for Acoustic Emission Testing of Insulated Digger Derricks; and
F 1430, Standard Test Method for Acoustic Emission Testing of Insulated Aerial Personnel Devices with Supplemental Load Handling Attachments.

“What we’re attempting to do with this test standard,” explains Veal, “is to take these other non-destructive methods that we allude to in the acoustic emission standards and show people where they can use these methods, and at what point in the inspection they should use these methods, what kind of indications they will get, and how they can judge the indications as either being relevant or non-relevant by using these other methods.”

Non-ASTM members can participate in electronic standards development without traveling to meetings. To join this activity or obtain further technical information, contact Bill Veal, Fleet Operations, Georgia Power Co. (phone: 404/608-5397). Committee F18 meets March 16-19 and Sept. 15-18. For meeting or membership details, contact Jeff Adkins, manager, Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9738).

Copyright 2003, ASTM