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Polesaver Blog

Major European Utility Specifies Polesaver Protection

A major European utility has recently specified the use of Polesaver sleeves to provide protection on their wooden utility poles.

Worker lifting Polesaver protected utility pole off truck

Utility pole being lifted off the truck

The utility company has traditionally used wooden poles treated with Creosote wood preservative. Following the recent re-classification of Creosote by the European Commission as a Class 1b Carcinogen, many European utilities are looking at safer alternatives to Creosote treatment.

If we also factor in the possibility of Creosote bleeding, where liquid Creosote can bleed out of the pole surface under certain climatic conditions, the need for change is clear: To protect both utility employees and members of the public from coming into contact with Creosote.

Safer Alternatives

There are a range of safer alternative wood preservatives based on copper as the main active fungicide. Utility concerns over the longer-term performance of these wood preservatives, as well as attack by copper-tolerant fungi, have led many utilities to look for additional protection against groundline decay. This occurs at the ground line section of the pole, where mechanical loading and the likelihood of decay over time is high.

Polesaver protected pole installation

Specification Criteria

The selection criteria set by the utility included the following requirements:

  • 40+ years expected pole life
  • Improved safety
  • Reduced environmental impact.

Following an extensive review by the utility, Polesaver composite ground line barrier sleeves were selected for use with a copper in oil type wood preservative treated to a high retention level.

Installation Commenced in 2021

Installation of Polesaver sleeved poles commenced in 2021. With only small changes in work practices required, the switchover has been trouble-free. Both utility and sub-contractor employees commented positively about the clean and odour-free alternatives.


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Polesaver Sleeve shown applied to a pole in the ground

Polesaver Sleeve

Polesaver protection sleeves prevent ground rot in wood utility poles and increase pole life by +20 years from the start, regardless of wood preservative type.

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Polesaver Sleeve shown applied to a pole in the ground

Polesaver Sleeve

Polesaver ground-line barrier sleeves are a dual-layer, high-performance sleeve that prevents ground rot in wooden utility poles and gives an expected utility pole life of 50 years.

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