Multi-purpose insulating sticks for electrical operations on high voltage installations

This European Standard specifies the  requirements and tests to be fulfilled by the  multipurpose insulating sticks intended to  perform a range of operations in high voltage  installations by means of the attached  appropriate tools, for example: . connection and  disconnection of disconnectors or other  equipment operated by the stick, . fuse  replacement with an attached tool, operations  like: . voltage absence verification, using a  detector as a separate device in accordance  with EN 61243-1; . earthing and short circuiting  installations, using devices in accordance with  EN 61230; . placing insulating screens in order  to provide protection against adjacent live parts;  . testing and measurement; . any other  operation or verification on the electrical  installation, provided that the mechanical  requirements do not exceed those assured by  the stick design and the worker shall remain at a  safety distance; . rescue of accident victims.  This European Standard is applicable to the  insulating sticks made of a single continuous  tube or rod or multiple tube or rod sections  connected to each other, to be used both  indoors or outdoors on electrical systems for  voltages of 1 kV to 765 kV a.c., frequencies of  50 Hz and/or 60 Hz and in the normal range of  temperatures of -25 ¦C to +55 ¦C and at a relative  humidity between 20 % and 93 %. For the  purpose of this standard, "tube" is used for  "tube" and "rod".

Isolierende Mehrzweckstangen für elektrische Betätigungen in Hochspannungsanlagen

Perches isolantes à usage multiple pour les operations électriques sur les installations haute tension

Večnamenske izolacijske palice za električno delo na visokonapetostnih inštalacijah

General Information

Publication Date
Technical Committee
Current Stage
6060 - National Implementation/Publication (Adopted Project)
Start Date
Due Date
Completion Date

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EN 50508:2009
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SIST EN 50508:2009
Multi-purpose insulating sticks for electrical operations on high voltage installations
Isolierende Mehrzweckstangen für elektrische Betätigungen in Hochspannungsanlagen
Perches isolantes à usage multiple pour les operations électriques sur les installations
haute tension
Ta slovenski standard je istoveten z: EN 50508:2009
13.260 9DUVWYRSUHGHOHNWULþQLP Protection against electric
SIST EN 50508:2009 en,fr,de
2003-01.Slovenski inštitut za standardizacijo. Razmnoževanje celote ali delov tega standarda ni dovoljeno.

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SIST EN 50508:2009

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SIST EN 50508:2009

EN 50508

February 2009

ICS 13.260

English version

Multi-purpose insulating sticks
for electrical operations on high voltage installations

Perches isolantes à usage multiple  Isolierende Mehrzweckstangen
pour les opérations électriques für elektrische Betätigungen
sur les installations haute tension in Hochspannungsanlagen

This European Standard was approved by CENELEC on 2008-10-21. CENELEC members are bound to comply
with the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations which stipulate the conditions for giving this European Standard
the status of a national standard without any alteration.

Up-to-date lists and bibliographical references concerning such national standards may be obtained on
application to the Central Secretariat or to any CENELEC member.

This European Standard exists in three official versions (English, French, German). A version in any other
language made by translation under the responsibility of a CENELEC member into its own language and notified
to the Central Secretariat has the same status as the official versions.

CENELEC members are the national electrotechnical committees of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the
Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia,
Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain,
Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization
Comité Européen de Normalisation Electrotechnique
Europäisches Komitee für Elektrotechnische Normung

Central Secretariat: avenue Marnix 17, B - 1000 Brussels

© 2009 CENELEC - All rights of exploitation in any form and by any means reserved worldwide for CENELEC members.
Ref. No. EN 50508:2009 E

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SIST EN 50508:2009
EN 50508:2009 - 2 -
This European Standard was prepared by the Technical Committee CENELEC TC 78, Equipment and
tools for live working.
The text of the draft was submitted to the formal vote and was approved by CENELEC as EN 50508
on 2008-10-21.
The following dates were fixed:
– latest date by which the EN has to be implemented
at national level by publication of an identical
national standard or by endorsement (dop) 2009-11-01
– latest date by which the national standards conflicting
with the EN have to be withdrawn (dow) 2011-11-01

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Introduction . 5
1 Scope . 6
2 Normative references. 7
3 Terms and definitions . 7
4 Requirements . 9
4.1 Materials . 9
4.2 Dimensions . 9
4.3 Mechanical requirements .11
4.4 Electrical requirements .11
4.5 Marking .12
4.6 Instructions for use .13
5 Verification and testing.13
5.1 General .13
5.2 Electrical test .14
5.3 Mechanical verifications and tests .16
5.4 Mechanical tests .17
6 Classification of defects .19
Annex A (normative) Instructions for use .25
Annex B (informative) Wet conditions test .26
Annex C (informative) Recommended sticks .28
Annex D (informative) Test tools for recommended heads .29
Annex E (normative) Marking: Information on the labels .33
Annex F (informative) Bending calculation .34
Annex G (normative) Test sequence .36
Annex H (informative) Classification of defects .37
Annex I (informative) Periodic maintenance test .38
Bibliography .39
Figure 1 – Insulating stick with three sections (see Clause 3) . 20
Figure 2 – Length of sections (see 4.2.1 and 4.2.2) . 21
Figure 3 – Leakage current test (see 5.2.2) . 21
Figure 4a – Bridging test – Test arrangement and dimensions of the V-shape bars (see 5.2.3) . 22
Figure 4b – Bridging test – Connection of the V-shape bars (see 5.2.3) . 22
Figure 4c – Bridging test – Initial stick position (see and . 23
Figure 5 – Assembly for bending test (see 5.4.1) . 24
Figure 6 – Assembly for torsion test (see 5.4.2). 24
Figure B.1 – Arrangement of electrodes . 27
Figure D.1 – Test tool for universal type head – First example. 29
Figure D.2 – Test tool for universal type head – Second example . 30
Figure D.3 – Test tool for Bayonet type head . 31
Figure D.4 – Test tool for hexagonal 12 type head . 32
Figure I.1 – Deflection calculated versus maximum deflection (see Table 5) . 35

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Table 1 – Handle length . 10
Table 2 – Minimum length of insulating element . 12
Table 3 – Dimensions for the concentric rings and band electrodes . 14
Table 4 – Distances d between V-bars for the bridging test set-up . 15
Table 5 – Maximum deflection . 17
Table C.1 – Dimensions of recommended sticks . 28
Table F.1 – Tube values . 34
Table F.2 – Arrangement . 34
Table G.1 – Sequential order for performing tests . 36
Table H.1 – Classification of defects and associated requirements and routine tests . 37
Table I.1 – In-service testing . 38

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Multipurpose insulating sticks are used to operate high voltage (more than 1 kV) live equipment at
distance, such as opening and closing switchgear, extracting and replacing fuses, etc. They are also
used to carry out operations prior to dead working, as in the case of voltage verification, earthing and
short-circuiting, etc.
In all these cases the stick has two main functions, to reach the part of the installation that needs to be
operated on and to protect the worker from risk of electrical injury, by providing the insulation level and
maintaining the safety distance between the worker and the live or potentially live installation.
According to the working and maintenance procedures adopted, additional protection can be added in
order to attain the adequate safety level (see Annex A).
The multipurpose insulating stick is used in accordance with EN 50110.
This standard has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of EN 61477.

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1 Scope
This European Standard specifies the requirements and tests to be fulfilled by the multipurpose
insulating sticks intended to perform a range of operations in high voltage installations by means of the
attached appropriate tools, for example:
• connection and disconnection of disconnectors or other equipment operated by the stick,
• fuse replacement with an attached tool,
operations like:
• voltage absence verification, using a detector as a separate device in accordance with
EN 61243-1;
• earthing and short circuiting installations, using devices in accordance with EN 61230;
• placing insulating screens in order to provide protection against adjacent live parts;
• testing and measurement;
• any other operation or verification on the electrical installation, provided that the mechanical
requirements do not exceed those assured by the stick design and the worker shall remain at a
safety distance;
• rescue of accident victims.
This European Standard is applicable to the insulating sticks made of a single continuous tube or rod
or multiple tube or rod sections connected to each other, to be used both indoors or outdoors on
electrical systems for voltages of 1 kV to 765 kV a.c., frequencies of 50 Hz and/or 60 Hz and in the
normal range of temperatures of -25 ºC to +55 ºC and at a relative humidity between 20 % and 93 %.
For the purpose of this standard, “tube” is used for “tube” and “rod”.
Annex B includes considerations about the use under wet conditions.
NOTE It is a general practice to use an insulating stick on d.c. installations with the same value of nominal voltage. That use
shall comply with the national regulations.
This European Standard is not applicable to
• sticks covered by EN 60832,
• telescopic sticks covered by EN 62193,
• sticks with mobile internal or external operating rods, as those used directly for fuse replacement,
• single purpose sticks, especially designed to cover a single operation, generally as a complete
equipment such as voltage detectors covered by EN 61243-1.
NOTE Except where otherwise specified, all the voltages defined in this European Standard refer to values of phase-to-phase
voltages of three-phase systems. In other systems, the applicable phase-to-phase or phase-to-earth (ground) voltages should
be used to determine the operating voltage.

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2 Normative references
The following referenced documents are indispensable for the application of this document. For dated
references, only the edition cited applies. For undated references, the latest edition of the referenced
document (including any amendments) applies.
EN 60068-1 1994 Environmental testing – Part 1: General and guidance
(IEC 60068-1:1988 + corrigendum Oct. 1988 + A1:1992)
EN 60068-2-32 1993 Basic environmental testing procedures – Part 2: Tests - Test Ed:
Free fall (IEC 60068-2-32:1975 + A2:1990)
EN 60068-2-75 1997 Environmental testing – Part 2-75: Tests - Test Eh: Hammer tests
(IEC 60068-2-75:1997)
EN 60855 1996 Insulating foam-filled tubes and solid rods for live working
(IEC 60855:1985, mod.)
EN 61235 1995 Live working - Insulating hollow tubes for electrical purposes
(IEC 61235:1993, mod.)
EN 61477 Live working - Minimum requirements for the utilization of tools,
devices and equipment (IEC 61477)
HD 588.1 S1 1991 High-voltage test techniques – Part 1: General definitions and test
requirements (IEC 60060-1:1989 + corrigendum March 1990)
IEC 60050 series International Electrotechnical Vocabulary (IEV)
IEC 60417 Database Graphical symbols for use on equipment
ISO 48 Rubber, vulcanized or thermoplastic - Determination of hardness
(hardness between 10 IRHD and 100 IRHD)
3 Terms and definitions
For the purpose of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.
NOTE Further information on terminology is illustrated in Figure 1.
protection of the bottom of the stick
coupling (for multiple section sticks)
element allowing the attachement of the sections of the stick
critical defect
defect on product that judgement and experience indicate is likely to result in hazardous or unsafe
conditions for individuals using and depending on the product
hand guard
physical guard or sign, visibly different, used to separate the handle from the insulating element

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part of the stick between the edge of the hand guard and the bottom of the stick where the user should
place his hands for correct use
fixed element on the upper end of the stick that allows attaching tools such as operating hook, voltage
detector, earthing devices, etc.
insulating element
part of the stick between the hand guard and the limit mark that provides the user with the necessary
working distance and insulation related to the nominal voltage of the installation
limit mark
differentiating element or sign that indicates to the user the physical limit until which he could insert the
stick among live elements or touch them
major defect
defect on product, other than critical, that is likely to result in failure, or to reduce significantly the
functionality of the product
changes brought about to modify the electric state of an electric installation (connection or
disconnection), but not entailing any assembly or dismantling of elements
minor defect
defect on product that is not likely to reduce significantly the functionality of the product
multipurpose insulating stick
insulating stick made with one or several adaptable sections of insulating tube, sized according to the
nominal voltage and the working distance, with a head, insulating element, hand guard, handle, cap,
limit mark and couplings (for multiple sections sticks) (see Figure 1)
nominal voltage (U )
suitable approximate value of voltage used to identify a system
[IEV 601-01-21, modified]
rated voltage (U
voltage value generally agreed upon by manufacturer and customer to which certain operating
specifications are referred
NOTE The rated voltage of the stick is the value selected from Table 2, column 1, which should be the same as, either the
nominal voltage (or the higher nominal voltage of a range of nominal voltages) or the following higher value selected in this
routine test
test performed on each item during or after manufacture to ascertain whether it complies with certain
[IEV 151-16-17]

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safety distance (see 4.4.3)
safety clearance between the worker and a live part of the installation related with the nominal voltage
of the installation, provided by the length of the insulating element when the operating head is in
contact with the voltage
type test
test performed on one or more items representative of the production, made to show that the product
meets certain conditions of its specification
[IEV 151-16-16, modified]
4 Requirements
4.1 Materials
Tubes and rods of insulating material used in the design of insulating sticks shall meet the
requirements of EN 60855 or EN 61235.
The cross-section of these tubes or rods may be circular or not, based on the physical or ergonomic
reasons applicable to the sticks.
The head can be constructed of non-conductive or conductive material, even a metallic one.
The insulating element may be made of one or more parts.
Conductive elements outwardly insulated or not, between the limit mark and the hand guard are
admitted if the minimum length of the insulating element (see Table 2) is kept.
The limit mark shall be permanent and clearly recognisable by the user.
The hand guard shall be an insulating disk with a higher diameter than the tube or a sign with the
same characteristics as those of the limit mark, although it shall have a different colour than the limit
mark. The band should have the inscription “hand limit” in national language.
Sticks to be used under wet conditions can include additional non conductive elements as discs.
4.2 Dimensions
4.2.1 Length of the stick
In order to meet the requirements of this European Standard and allow easy use by a single worker
the following distances and combinations (see Annex C) are recommended:
• stick with a single section, total length: 1,5 m, 2 m, 2,5 m and 3 m;
• stick with multiple sections, nominal length of each section of: 1 m, 1,5 m, 2 m, 2,5 m and 3 m.
In sections with an end coupling, the nominal length shall be given by the total length of the element,
from one end to the other, minus the part intended to be inserted in another section.
Different sizes and combinations subject to prior agreement between manufacturer and customer shall
be permitted if they can pass the applicable tests.

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4.2.2 Length of the insulating element
The insulating element shall meet the values specified in Table 2.
In sections with an end coupling, the insulating length shall be measured considering only the useful
insulating part of the section with regard to the total length of the insulating element.
The insulating element is considered to be the length constructed with tube according to EN 60855 or
EN 61235 electrical requirements.
4.2.3 Tube diameter
The diameter of the tube shall be in the range 19 mm to 51 mm. The recommended diameters are
32 mm or 39 mm according to the length of the stick (see Annex C).
4.2.4 Handle length
In order to permit proper use by the worker, the minimum length of the handle shall be as in Table 1.
Table 1 – Handle length
Total stick length Minimum handle length
mm mm
L ≤ 1 500  300
1 500 < L ≤ 3 000  800
LT > 3 000 1 100

4.2.5 External perimeter of the handle
The perimeter shall not be more than 175 mm to permit a good grip by the worker.
4.2.6 Width of the limit mark
The minimum width of the limit mark is 20 mm.
4.2.7 Position of the limit mark
An assembled stick shall not have more than one limit mark. If the stick has more than two sections,
the limit mark shall be in the head section.
Where no limit is shown on the stick, the head shall be considered as the limit mark.
4.2.8 Dimensions of the hand guard
When the hand guard is a guard, it shall have a minimum height of 20 mm. If the hand guard is a
band, it shall be 20 mm wide.
4.2.9 Type of head
The heads are defined by the dimensions and constructive characteristics of the work tool pins that
connect the work tool with the head. Annex D includes a set of test tools for the recommended heads.

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4.3 Mechanical requirements
4.3.1 Couplings and connections between elements
All the elements of the stick, different sections, handle and head, shall be firmly attached to each
The head shall be solidly fixed to the upper part of the stick.
The sections shall be joined to each other by means of a rigid coupling that shall not permit the
accidental loosening of the stick sections.
On interchangeable tool heads the fitting and removal of tools shall not require excessive effort.
The guard of the hand guard, if it exists, shall be solidly fixed.
The stick assembled according to the instructions for use shall meet the mechanical requirements
mentioned in 4.3.3 to 4.3.5.
4.3.2 Holding force and deflection
The stick shall be designed in order to enable a good control of the tool. The stick shall be designed
so that it allows a controlled movement of the head within the installation. The deflection originated
when using it with its accessories, should be as small as possible.
4.3.3 Resistance to shocks
At low temperature the coupling elements shall withstand mechanical shocks.
4.3.4 Resistance to falls
The complete stick shall withstand falls.
4.3.5 Resistance to torque
The stick shall withstand the necessary torsion force needed for its use.
4.4 Electrical requirements
4.4.1 Protection against bridging
The part of the stick between the head and the limit mark shall be so designed that, under working
conditions, it does not cause electrical discharges or short circuits between elements at different
This condition is applicable to sticks with a length not exceeding 2 m, to be used in indoor installations
with nominal voltages equal or below 52 kV. Higher voltage values are not considered as the
distances between parts of the installation are much bigger.
4.4.2 Leakage current
The stick shall be built so that the user is provided with adequate protection against leakage current.
For a multiple section stick, the leakage current shall be measured on all combinations.
4.4.3 Safety distance
The length measured from the limit mark to the hand guard shall provide the necessary safety
distance to the user against electrical risks, as indicated in Table 2.

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Table 2 – Minimum length of insulating element
Nominal voltage of Minimum insulating
Ergonomic Minimum length of insulating
a b b
the installation distance  distance element
U (kV) mm mm mm
≤ 15  160 500  660
  320 500  820
≤ 30
  480 500  980
≤ 45
≤ 66  630 500 1 130
1 100 500 1 600
≤ 110
1 300 500 1 800
≤ 132
1 500 500 2 000
≤ 150
≤ 220 2 100 500 2 600
3 400 500 3 900
≤ 380
4 100 500 4 600
≤ 480
≤ 735 / 800 6 400 500 6 900
According to HD 637 S1, considering operation and lightning overvoltages.
The values can be changed according national regulations.

4.4.4 Sections of the stick
The stick can be made up of a single piece or several sections, depending on the characteristics of the
installation where it is to be used and the requirements for transportation, storing, etc.
Every multiple sections stick shall have at least a bottom section, with handle, and a top section with
the head and the limit mark. One or more intermediate sections may be assembled in order to achieve
the required length to reach parts of the installation or increase the insulation level and the safety
A stick with more than two sections can be used at different voltage level, adding or removing
intermediate sections. The manufacturer shall provide information about this possible use, the sections
shall be marked according to this European Standard and the different combinations shall fulfil
independently the requirements of this standard.
The intermediate sections may be interchangeable; in that case, they shall have at least the same
insulating properties.
4.4.5 Length of sticks according to nominal voltage
Different values of total length and diameter can be used. The manufacturer shall specify those values
in the instructions for use.
Table C.1 provides recommended values.
4.5 Marking
All the stick sections shall have the following information:
• double triangle (symbol IEC 60417-5216 suitable for live working) (see Note);
• reference to this standard;
• manufacturer’s name or trademark;
• serial or batch number or month and year of manufacture of the section;
• manufacturer’s reference for the section.

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NOTE This symbol identifies products covered by an IEC/TC 78 International Standard. A product marked with this symbol is to
be considered in that sense, as a live working tool. However, it does not mean that this product is suitable only to carry out live
working operations, in accordance with the working procedures specified by EN 50110 or by national regulations.
In addition to the previous information, the handle section shall contain a label with the nominal
voltages of use according to the possible mounting combinations. A stick reference can be added to
this label if necessary (see Annex E).
In the case the hand guard is a band, it shall have the marking “hand limit” in national language.
The marking shall be legible and indelible or be firmly adhered; the characters shall be at least 3 mm
high. The marking shall not affect the quality of the stick.
4.6 Instructions for use
Each tool shall come with the manufacturer’s instructions for use and care. These instructions shall
include as a minimum
• assembly,
• attachments (fittings),
• rated voltages according to the assembly,
• maximum mechanical rating,
• cleaning, storage, transportation, periodic testing, possible refinishing and possible disposal,
• maintenance.
See Annex A.
5 Verification and testing
5.1 General
All tests, except where otherwise stated, shall be performed with the stick fully assembled according to
the manufacturer’s instructions.
Any type of element fixed to the stick, such as rain disks, shall be kept on the stick while performing
the electrical and mechanical tests defined in this standard.
Atmospheric conditions shall be in accordance with EN 60068-1.
Except when otherwise stated, the tests and verifications shall be carried out in the following normal
atmospheric conditions:
• room temperature: 15 °C to 35 °C,
• relative humidity: 25 % to 75 %,
• atmospheric pressure: 86 kPa to 106 kPa.
The stick shall be subjected to these conditions for a minimum of 4 h before being subjected to the
group of tests.
The type tests shall be performed on three complete sticks. Tests shall be performed in the sequence
defined in Annex G. If more than one stick does not pass, the test has failed. If only one stick fails, the
entire sequence for the type test shall be repeated on three other sticks. If, again, any of the sticks
does not pass, the type test is considered to have failed.


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