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IBEW Lineworker Designs Clamp to Secure Rubber Blankets on a Line

Oct. 31, 2023
Adam Kriz invented the Locking Blanket Clamp to solve a challenge lineworkers often face in the field.

Day in and day out, Journeyman Lineworker Adam Kriz faced the same problem when working in the field. After working each day on a right of way, he would hang blankets on structures. When he returned the following morning to perform a wire pull, some of the blankets had fallen to the ground. 

"There had to be a better way to secure these that doesn't involve the use of black tape, which over time, will cause the blankets to test bad," says Kriz, a lineworker out of IBEW Local 53 in Kansas City, Missouri. "There was not a way, and linemen just got used to blankets hitting the dirt." 

To help lineworkers everywhere, Kriz designed the Kriz Clamp, also known as the Locking Blanket Clamp. 

"It's a redesigned version of the well-known clothespin that we are all used to using," he says. 

To operate the patent-pending Kriz Clamp, lineworkers have to squeeze the handles together to close rather than open them. When squeezed onto a blanket, it locks into place by the teeth on the trigger. To open, the trigger is simply pressed in, and the clamp will open.

"If there is a chance it could be accidentally bumped, there is a spot for a cotter key to be placed in the trigger to lock it into place," he says. "It will only open when removed. There's no more relying on the spring tension to keep the lineman safe or having an unplanned outage." 

Lineworkers have the option of using the clamp with a shotgun. This model operates in the same manner, except instead of using rubber gloves, there are two loops for the shotgun--one to tighten and one to release the trigger.

Another problem solved by the product is with a rubber line hose running away when working on or around a slack span. To meet this need, the Kriz Clamp has a wire grip that currently fits #4 Cu all the way up to 556 ACSR and everything in between. 

Kriz says when he showcased his product at the 2023 International Lineman's Expo, hundreds of lineworkers laughed when he asked if they ever had a blanket fall off (because the answer was obviously, "yes.")

"This should not be the answer when this is our protection in an already dangerous trade," Kriz says. "It's time we made line work a little safer." 

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About the Author

Amy Fischbach | Amy Fischbach, EUO Contributing Editor

Amy Fischbach is the contributing editor for the Electric Utility Operations section of Transmission and Distribution World. She worked for Prism Business Media (now Penton) for eight years, most recently as the managing editor of Club Industry's Fitness Business Pro magazine. She is now working as a freelance writer and editor for B2B magazines. Amy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.She serves as the national vice president of the American Society of Business Publication Editors. She can be reached at [email protected].

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