The Importance of Safe Cable Installations – A Step by Step Guide

by Dave Collins on July 3, 2014



The Importance of Safe Cable Installations – A Step by Step Guide

clip_image002Safe cable installations are a necessary part of ensuring that no one’s life is endangered or harmed after the technicians leave the site. While technicians should be efficient, safety is the highest priority. If a life is injured or loss, this will take precedence on getting a job done fast. Here are some reasons why safe cable installations are crucial and how they should be conducted to reach this goal. 

1. Always Prepare the Job before Handling Electrical Conduit
In order to avoid disaster or injury; you should prepare the job before handling any electrical conduit. Many technicians will prepare this beforehand to avoid any problems when engaging in these types of jobs.

2. Use the Correct Termination Tool

There are three basic types of punch-down tools: impact, manual, and multiwire. The type of job and your personal comfort level will determine the type of tool that you will choose. With impact tools, less force is required. So, there is less fatigue associated with using the tool. Advanced multi-wire tools will terminate all electrical pairs with one simple squeeze. These tools are more expensive, but worth having less hand fatigue, more accuracy, and better efficiency.

3. How to Use the Advanced Punch-down Tool

To use the advanced multi-wire tool, ensure that the wiring scheme is in place. Then, strip the cable jacket and place each wire in their respective slots. Insert the jack into the tool and when the trigger is completely pulled, the wires will be cut for a solid termination. When the proper termination has been achieved, technicians are then advised to follow "standard dress and press" procedures. When you use this tool, the terminations are faster and more reliable. There is also less rework. Thus, the cost of an installation job can be reduced by as much as 80 percent. 

4. Establish an Exclusion Zone

When energised components are present, it’s important to establish an exclusion zone to avoid getting shocked. Every technician should be familiar with this process.

5. Use Verification Tools

Verification tools can be used to look for basic wiring faults. Wiring faults like opens, miswires, shorts, and split pairs are all common after cable installation. The certification tool must be approved by the manufacturer if you want the warranty to be honoured.

6. Follow All Safety Regulations



The National Electrical Code (NEC) works to safeguard "persons and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity." Training is necessary to teach all people the safety guidelines and procedures. The workers must comply with the laws established in the rules and regulations. All standards, safety rules and safe practices should include: housekeeping safety rules, fire prevention and safety, safety barriers, protective clothing, job site layout, safe tool use, fibre-optic safety grounding, asbestos exposure, medical procedures and first aid.

7. Consider Other Tools for Electrical Work

Some professionals in the industry use scissors for a safe, clean, and fast cut. Scissors are often necessary to cut cable and trim excess wires on every job. With the new technology, the specialty tools can provide 1.5 times the cutting force with just half the effort. A cable stripper with an adjustable gauge is necessary for a cabling job. If you use a knife or scissors, more of the cable sheath may be stripped than you desire. Crimping pliers and cable splicing knives are also recommended. 
Voltage detectors are often used to protect against hazardous voltages. Probe pics can be used to check for loose or damaged connections. Handheld test instruments may vary in performance and price, but there’s sure to be one out there to fit your particular needs.

8. Use a Bonded Earth Mat

Bonded earth mats are necessary to prevent electric shock during installation. The material should cover the walls, floor, and ceilings whenever possible. For maximum protection, it should be continuously bonded. An earth stake should be driven to a minimum depth of 600mm. The bonded earth mat is one of the best safety precautions available. Most people do not recognise the importance of using a bonded earth mat, but it can save lives so consider incorporating it into your daily routine during installations. 
Bonded earth mats are recommended for both insulated and uninsulated installations. In insulated working conditions, they mats must be set up to eventually remove the bond leads from the earth stake. All bond leads should be insulated to 15 kV. Invest in a bonded earth mat for the best results.

The Importance of Safe Cable Installations

Safe cable installations will save lives. Technicians who know the types of tools to use and the safety precautions to take will save more lives and reduce the number of injuries related to improper electrical installations. Some of the tips and procedures may seem like "common sense," but if you don’t follow them, you’ll end up jeopardising many lives. There are a variety of different regulations and codes that apply to worker safety in the cabling industry. The best way to deal with all the requirements is to ensure safe work practices are conducted on the job site, with a safety checklist developed to be carried out. With this in place, combined with adequate safety training on-the-job safety among workers will be significantly improved. 

Author Bio

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Skeeters Online – Australia’s online warehouse with the highest quality products including safe leads and cables. You can catch her on Google+.



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