With an invigorated national focus to upgrade, enhance, and construct broadband infrastructure to meet an insatiable consumer appetite, America’s telecommunication workers will play a vital, challenging, and inherently hazardous role.

We have continued to see Distributed Energy Resources (DER), such as wind, solar, battery storage, and electric vehicles (EVs), become a top priority over the years.

We have continued to see a big problem with stolen ground wires on many utility poles over the years. A utility poles’s grounding conductors [ground wires or “grounds”] contain copper --a highly conductive metal--, but also a highly valued metal in the marketplace.

Today, the many diverse stakeholders involved in the practical rollout of 5G technologies can rest assured that a concerted effort is underway to bring consistency to this complex undertaking.

The proper maintenance and inspection of a utility’s wood pole inventory has far-reaching consequences for system resiliency, as well as utility cost and liability.

That’s an informal way of stating that the clearances set forth in the National Electrical Safety Code® (NESC®) provide a basis for ensuring worker and public safety, as well as serving as a basis for settling legal and other types of disputes.

In response to the challenges of safely installing 5G antennas on vertical assets in different jurisdictions across the country, the National Electrical Safety Code® (NESC®), published by the IEEE Standards Association, relies on decades of experience and established guidelines to achieve its mandate.

Based on real-world test data and investigation results from on-the-job safety-related incidents, we have found low-voltage arc flash energy can be underestimated. “Low voltage” in the NESC is defined as 50 volts (V) to 600V (ac). Specifically, one area of concern is 480V equipment, because 480V, three-phase related arc flash incidents can have severe consequences.

It’s important for installers and inspectors to fully grasp the scopes of the NESC and NEC, how and where each of them applies and the point of demarcation where one code yields to the other.