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Toolbox Talk - Tool Tethers

Posted By IAMU, Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Gravity can be a killer. Many objects on worksites can become dislodged, dropped or kicked and fall onto a person below.  Due to the pull of gravity the farther an object falls, the faster it falls creating force at the landing. For example, an eight-pound wrench dropped 200 feet would hit with a force of 2,833 pounds per square inch – the equivalent of a small car hitting a one-square-inch area.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 52, 260 "struck by falling object" OSHA recordable incidents in 2015. That's one injury that required medical intervention caused by a dropped object every 10 minutes across the US. 247 of those incidents resulted in a fatality. Tool tethers were designed to help prevent those types of incidents.

Think of tool tethering as fall protection for tools. As with fall protection for humans, the proper set up for tool fall protection or tool tethering, requires three elements:

  • The tool,
  • The tether and
  • The attachment point.

The three elements work together to form a safety system.

  • The first thing to consider is the weight of the tool (or object) to be tethered and to properly match the rated capacity of the tether. Using a higher rated capacity tether may be uncomfortable and more expensive than using a like-rated tether.
  • It is also important to have an attachment point on the tool or to be able to firmly attach the tether to the handle.
  • Next, consider the necessary length of the tether so that you can comfortably reach the required surface to properly use the tool when it’s anchored. Keep in mind that excess slack may become a snag hazard. Tethers are designed to be anchored to your belt, your wrist or even your hard hat; some are conductive and some aren’t.

Bungee Tether

Coiled Tether

Web Tether

Retractable Tether

Tags:  Safety  Safety Services  Toolbox Talk 

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EUSO Course Set for July

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Mark your calendars for the return of one of IAMU’s popular workshops.  Skip Collier of Professional Training Systems, Inc. will be presenting his Electric Utility System Operation Short Course July 25-27 and the Smart Grid Course on July 28.

Skip is very well regarded and has an extensive background in electric utility design, construction, maintenance and operation.

The EUSO Short Course is designed for any employee whose job performance will benefit from a basic understanding of the operations side of the business.  This includes those from legal, rates, engineering, purchasing, computer application, marketing, customer service, inventory control, finance, accounting, safety, risk analysis as well as those from generating plants.  One goal for this class is to have students leave with the ability to easily identify all of the electrical equipment they see in a substation as they walk by, along with all the equipment found on the poles in a residential area.  Non-electrical engineers are often at a disadvantage in the electric utility environment due to a lack of familiarity with technical issues.  The better you understand the utility’s product – electrical energy – and how it is created and distributed, the better you can serve the utility and your customers.  This course assumes no electrical background, and builds on the basics to provide a comprehensive understanding of the equipment and operations.

In addition to the EUSO course, Skip will offer his Smart Grid Course.  This class explains what a grid is, the differences between a dumb grid and a smart grid, and the mandates that ensure a smart grid will be implemented in each utility.  Once again, this course assumes no electrical background, and builds on the basics to provide a comprehensive understanding of the equipment and operations.  Participants, however, who have attended the EUSO course will better understand the true capabilities of a smart grid.

Registration is now open.

If you are planning on sending more than one participant from your organization, please make sure to share this with multiple departments so that you qualify for the reduced cost with the initial registration.

EUSO Course

  • $878 for a single registrant OR $798 each for two or more participants from the same utility/organization

Smart Grid Course

  • $303 for single registrant OR $270 each for two or more participants from the same utility/organization

BOTH Courses

  • $1,100 for single registrant OR $990 each for two or more participants from the same utility/organization

For additional information, brochure, and registration, please click HERE.  The registration deadline for the workshop is Tuesday, July 18, 2017.

*Line Maintainer apprentices will receive 21 Basic OJT Hours for taking the course*

Tags:  Electric  EUSO  Skip Collier  Smart Grid 

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Celebrate IAMU's 70th Anniversary!

Posted By IAMU, Monday, June 19, 2017

To commemorate our platinum anniversary, IAMU is holding an open house on Wed., July 19 from 2 to 6 p.m. Plan to stop by to mix, mingle, grab some delicious hors d’oeuvres and refreshments, and take in presentations and our anniversary video.

To RSVP, click here.

But that’s not all…

Plan to come back for our Equipment Demo & Exhibit Day on Thurs., July 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors can demonstrate equipment, tools, processes, and materials on IAMU’s 11-acre training field.

To RSVP, click here.

Both events are free.

Tags:  70th Anniversary  Ankeny  Demo Day  IAMU  IAMU Events 

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Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Five More Iowa Counties

Posted By IAMU, Monday, June 19, 2017

Since the first Iowa detection in 2010, emerald ash borer (EAB) continues to expand its range across the Iowa landscape. With confirmed detections now in 50 counties, EAB has now reached more than half of Iowa counties. EAB is an exotic pest that attacks and kills ash trees.

The recent finds involve ash trees in Belle Plaine (Benton County), Alta (Buena Vista County), Charles City (Floyd County), Cresco (Howard County), and rural SW Milo area (Warren County). Insect samples were submitted from these sites and positively identified by the USDA.

“This is traditionally the time of year we experience an increase in calls from Iowan suspecting EAB infested trees,” said Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship EAB and gypsy moth coordinator. “Now that trees have been given the opportunity to fully leaf out for the season, the symptoms of an ash tree under attack by EAB are more noticeable.”

EAB-infested ash trees display canopy dieback beginning at the top of the tree and progressing downward, S-shaped feeding galleries under dead or splitting bark, D-shaped exit holes, water

sprouts along the trunk and main branches, and bark that is stripped off as a result of woodpeckers hunting for EAB larvae.

The adult beetle is metallic green in color and measures approximately one-half inch long and can be observed during the summer months. The larvae are the damaging stage and burrow through the inner layer of bark, feeding on the vascular tissue that moves life-sustaining water and nutrients throughout the tree. Starved trees usually die within two to four years.

The Iowa EAB Team provides EAB diagnostic assistance to landowners and includes officials from Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the USDA Forest Service. Anyone who suspects an infested ash tree in a county not known to have EAB is urged to contact the Iowa EAB Team. 

At this calendar date, the treatment window for soil-applied preventive treatment measures (soil injection, soil drench, or granular application) has ended. Basal trunk sprays for trees 23 inches diameter (measured 4.5 feet above the ground) can be made until mid-June. Trunk injections can be done now through the end of August if a landowner is interested in protecting a valuable and healthy ash tree within 15 miles of a known infestation. Good ground moisture is essential for systemic insecticide movement in a tree. Full details are available in Iowa State University Extension and Outreach publication PM2084:

A federal quarantine, enforced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, remains in effect and prohibits the movement of all hardwood firewood and ash articles out of Iowa into non-quarantined areas of other states without a valid compliance agreement or permit. To help reduce the spread of EAB and other destructive tree-killing pests, Iowans are strongly encouraged to use locally sourced firewood. The transport of unknowingly infested firewood is the quickest way to spread EAB to new areas. 

Additional EAB information and maps are available at

For more information contact any of the following members of the Iowa EAB Team:

Tags:  EAB  Emerald Ash Borer 

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IAMU Board Position Opening

Posted By IAMU, Friday, June 16, 2017

IAMU’s nominating committee is currently looking for interested parties to fill a vacant position on its board of directors starting immediately.

All director positions on the IAMU Board are “at large”, but we do consider a variety of criteria when evaluating potential candidates in an effort to maintain a balance of perspectives. In doing so we will consider many criteria including but not limited to: educational background, work experience, gender, race, utility location, type of utility represented, and size of community represented. The selected candidate will fill the remainder of a three year term ending February 28, 2019.  The preferred candidate would serve at least one additional three year term.

While directors can leave at any time we are particularly interested in candidates that, after some time on the board, are willing to consider serving on the executive board, ultimately culminating in being president.

The board typically meets the second Thursday of the odd numbered months in Ankeny from 9 or 10 a.m. until 1 or 2 p.m. at the latest.

If interested please contact Executive Director Troy DeJoode by email at

Tags:  Board of Directors 

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