Figure 4-79.Working position.
You are now ready to descend. Break out the left
gaff by swinging the left knee out from the side of the
pole. Step down with the left foot to a point about 12
inches below the right; stiff-leg the left leg, and bring
your weight on it to sink the gaff. Then break out the
right gaff by swinging the right knee away from the pole
(fig. 4-80) and proceed as formerly with the left leg.
Continue this stepping-down process until you have
reached the ground.
Safety in Pole Climbing
Never climb an erected pole until it has been
plumbed, backfilled, and tamped. Before going aloft on
an old pole, perform a butt rot test on the pole to assure
yourself that the pole is strong enough to withstand your
weight, and then carefully perform the previously
described inspection of the body belt, safety strap,
climbers, and other equipment.
The body belt contains pockets for small tools.
Keeping the tools in these pockets is important. Never
use the center loop in the body belt for carrying a tool,
however. In case of a fall, the tool may injure your
If you try to climb with tools in your hands, your
own balance on the pole will be unsafe, and you could
drop tools on someone below.
The safety strap is used to secure you to the pole,
leaving your hands free to work. As you go up, the
safety strap is always fastened to a single D-ring on the
body belt. For a right-handed person, it is carried on the
Never use an improvised safety strap, or one that
has been lengthened by the addition of rope or wire.
Never attach the strap to pins or to crossarm braces.
Never put the safety strap around the pole above the
highest crossarm if the length of the pole above the
crossarm is short. The strap should never be less than 1
foot below the top of the pole.
Never wear climbers except for climbing. Be
careful not to gaff yourself or anybody else.