A way to prevent electrocution caused by aging infrastructure

Because a fence at the top of the hill is better than 5 ambulances at the bottom, ClampStar — the ‘connector corrector’ — should be utilities’ choice for safety

ClampStar

Those of you who have followed our electrocution lawyers blog are aware that the primary reason I started this blog is to help in the prevention of deaths and serious injuries caused by contacts with electricity. After over 30 years of handling cases in this area, most all of which have been completely preventable, I felt it important to share the things I’ve learned in this very specialized area of law.

Which brings me to today’s blog. I also want to share safety devices that come to my attention that may reduce the risks of electrocution and electrical injury. I’m happy to give these safety devices the recognition they deserve.

One such product that I became aware of recently is called ClampStar.

Billed as “the connector corrector,” and made by Mansfield, Ohio-based Classic Connectors USA LLC, ClampStar was invented to address the increased risk of failing and falling overhead powerlines, resulting from aging power distribution and transmission infrastructure, and failing automatic splices.

According to the company’s website, “ClampStar is an Engineered Mechanical Shunt also known as a Connector Corrector that is intended to correct and reinforce the deteriorated electrical and mechanical performance of hot-running, aged or degraded splices and other connectors, clamps and fittings on overhead transmission and distribution conductors.”

America’s power transmission and distribution infrastructures are dangerously aging. Most utilities rely upon sampling inspection of circuits, using eyeballs and technology to find worn and dangerous components. When hotspots in powerlines are found through infrared detection or otherwise, or field repairs of storm damage are necessary, a common means of repair involves the use of the automatic splice. Automatic splices are especially quick and economical for power restoration after storms bring lines down.

But they are susceptible to failure when:

  • Human error or inadequate training result in the selection of the wrong splice for a given conductor diameter;
  • The conductor is not adequately prepared and brushed;
  • The conductor in haste is not properly marked to assure proper insertion depth;
  • A high-quality inhibitor is not used on an aluminum conductor; or
  • Automatic splices are chosen for slack-span repairs.

In addition to the above-listed installation or application errors, even if all is done properly, automatic splices have a useful life expectancy in the field of only 7 to 20 years. Many older splices around the country are still in service today, being used to failure.

This is where I believe ClampStar may help. Inexpensive and quickly installed, ClampStar provides a connection of significantly higher integrity than even that of original connectors, with an extended service life and the priceless ability to prevent powerlines from falling. I’m involved in a very sad electrocution wrongful death case in Arkansas right now that involves precisely these facts. ClampStar would have saved this man’s life.

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