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Improved safety for linesmen

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To any linesman working on electrified lines, one of the most invaluable pieces of kit they will use is a Short Earth. This consists of two lightweight ‘snap-on’ clamps attached via 1.25 metres of orange Aluflex cable.

Now, P&B Weir Electrical, a name synonymous with the highest calibre portable earthing equipment available within the electricity supply industry, has recently been granted product approval for its DEP Short Earth. This development is welcome news for linesmen who can now have greater confidence in the consistency, quality and safety provided by their earthing equipment.

DEPs or Designated Earth Points, are points along the side of the track which will need to be earthed if maintenance works are undertaken on overhead electrified lines. These points are usually found at intervals of no more than 400 metres, and each one of these points found on any stretch being maintained must be safely earthed.

Considering that, in 2015, 3,276 miles of track were electrified, with plenty more to come in the next few years, it is clear that the scale of demand for a specially designed Short Earth is vast. With so many of them being used on the railway infrastructure at any one time, and so many linesmen relying upon them for protection against life-threatening faults, consistency of quality is of paramount importance.

Optimised design

The clamps for the new DEP Short Earth are P&B Weir Electricals’ tried and tested CE62. This clamp has been developed and improved upon over a number of years during service within the electricity supply industry. Each element of the clamp, from the sprung-loaded jaw to the stainless steel removal plates, has been optimised to create a durable, lightweight and easy-to-use safety-critical product.

As well as featuring these high-quality precision-engineered elements, the DEP Short Earth is fully electrically tested and boasts the highest level of electrical protection within the market.

Another area of particular importance is the ability to supply goods with short lead times, often only one or two days from receipt of order. Maintenance works can be unpredictable in nature with very little time to obtain the necessary tools. In order to meet the needs of the industry, P&B Weir Electrical has been able to adapt and offer improved lead times as well as premium quality.

The P&B DEP Earth can be found under PADS number 0091/020322, as well as a full list of spare components for spares and repairs.


  1. Hello, my name is Gabriel McKeown.

    I study product design with engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

    As my final year project i have proposed to do a re-design of earthing rods for safer and easier use. To clarify this is the rods themselves rather than the Earths.

    I was wondering if you had available to you any information or statistics relating to Earthing assistants who use earthing rods, as several acquaintances who are earthing assistants have had minor wrist and back injuries.

    It is my intention to gather more data on the matter in order to support my idea to redesign the earthing rods.

    If statistics are unavailable it would be very beneficial to my project if a person from the industry (perhaps yourself?) would be able to confirm my idea that Earthing rods and the Earths themselves are somewhat problematic and could be better designed.

    Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated,

    Many thanks, Gabriel.


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