At first glance, our field tech thought this playground looked like fun however what he discovered was an opportunity to teach youngsters the dangers that might exist when playing around Utility poles.
The first danger that comes to mind is the possibility of ground wires that would be attached to the utility pole. Should a child come into contact with ground wires, a possibility of electrical shock could be present through contact voltage.
Since stray voltage can not be seen, smelled or heard, there is no easy way for the public to know when a dangerous condition exists. It is always best to be on the safe side of precaution and encourage children and pets to keep a safe distance from utility poles. Periodic testing is an important precaution, but it is possible that a dangerous condition can develop without warning. The Contact Voltage program at RAMS can help utility companies detect such dangers to the public. Click here to view our video on contact voltage.
Another possible danger might be the pole itself. Utility poles are treated with chemicals to help preserve their longevity in the field. There is a variety of treatment options the most common in the United States are the following:
Granted all these treatment options have been reviewed and register by the EPA, but again cautioning on the safe side, nobody wants a splinter or scratch from chemically treated wood.