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The National Electric Safety Code requires electric utility companies to inspect and test their in-service lines and equipment “as their experience shows necessary to maintain the lines and equipment in conformance with code requirements.” This applies to both poles and supporting equipment like crossarms, insulators, pins, ties and conductors.
If utility companies do what they’re supposed to do and regularly inspect their power structures to prevent electrocution accidents, they will likely find several problems with poles or “facilities.” These problems also arise while performing other work on the system, with linesmen performing their day-to-day duties comprising the eyes and ears of the utility company.
Most problems discovered should be fixed at the time. But where that’s not feasible, the NESC requires that the problem be recorded until it can be repaired.
If the problem cannot be immediately fixed, yet it could reasonably be expected to endanger life or property, then deenergization of the line, or guarding of the area by personnel must be provided until repairmen can arrive to fix the problem, or otherwise neutralize the threat to people and property.