Safety Procedures and Guidelines for LV Cable Hauling

May 1, 2019

This journeyman-level undertaking should only ever be tackled by a professional cable installer, not by some fly-by-night operation. If someone were to contradict that rationale, well, let's just say they'd be courting disaster. The wires can't be scraped when they're being hauled, nor can they acquire kinks. Granted, underground Low-Voltage cables are armoured and insulated, but those features can't be interpreted as an invitation to mishandle the job.

The Pre-Installation Safety Procedures

A checklist has probably been run through a dozen times already, but let's go through it one last time. The right cable is on-site and safely mounted far from the edge of a trench. It's wound tidily on its drum, it's the right kind of cable, and the conductor cross-sectional areas are properly sized. The trench is also prepped to receive the cabling as it unrolls. Further down the list, a winch wire rope inspection is recommended. Check, that rope is strong and undamaged. Almost ready now, the prep checklist takes the installation team through a ductwork impediment search. Are there any ragged, cable-abrading edges along the cabling's route? What about an obstruction inside the ducting? Check and recheck all potential cable routing hindrances.

A Best Practices Cable Hauling Methodology

Unfortunately, professional cable installers see more than their fair share of unsafe installation practices. Once upon a time, some shady field contractor could get away with wrapping a half-dozen loops of electrical insulation tape around a low-voltage cable. The pull-through stage would see the wires gouged and nicked, and that thick wadding of sticky tape would just worsen matters. The mess of sticky tape would clog ducting. Safety procedures now call for stainless steel cable socks, which incorporate a swivel link. Safety-wise, haulage tension calculations are assigned to the job. The cable drum, a potentially dangerous site asset, is fixed in position so that it can't roll and cause harm. Furthermore, the cable rolls off the bottom of the drum, not the top.

The guidelines, as applied to LV cable hauling, proceed in this manner. The trench and all of its features are prepped. The ducts and cable hauling connections, including the braided cable sock and swivel link, are similarly handled with care and all due diligence. And what of corners and twisting turns? There's are whole chapters of cable protecting guidelines reserved for such concerns. They attach corner rollers and straight rollers, too. Then, with the cable winch and drum jacks/drum trailer working in concert to maintain a predetermined amount of tensioning force, the low-voltage cabling moves forth, steadily and without interruption.

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