A dielectric rope is an insulating rope which is a very poor conductor of electrical current under the application of alternating or direct current voltage. The dielectric properties of a rope are critical when utility work is undertaken in the energized environment of transmission and distribution lines, stations and other equipment.
The dielectric properties are required to protect workers from flashovers/arc flash and from electrical shocks due to direct contact of rope with energized equipment or indirectly from induction in energized fields. The dielectric properties also ensure that the mechanical properties of the rope are not degraded from leakage currents and the resulting heat energy in energized environments.
For utility operations, all dielectric rope tools should have equal dielectric properties when both wet and dry, as demonstrated through testing to international standards, to provide a second line of defense for workers.