The Evolution of Utility Pole Engineering

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Lessons learned and importance of data surveys

BY CLAYTON JAMISON UYEDE, UTS Consultants

Back in 2004, the Electrical Safety Authority, the workplace safety regulator for the Province of Ontario, issued new regulation that gave utilities the option of having their poles analyzed and certified by a professional engineer. Ontario Regulation 22/04: “Electrical Distribution Safety” provided wording for pole owners to have any third-party attachment application analyzed and certified by a professional engineer for the entire pole and not just the third-party attachment.

Logically, the change in regulation to allow professional engineers to analyze and certify utility poles as a whole, and not in part, is a major leap forward for electric utilities in Ontario. Particularly, the regulation did not have any hard numbers for clearances, separations, or forces, but simply laid out a process that included closing the circle with an option for a professional engineer to sign off on the construction verification before officially closing the project.

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