Linemen safety has changed quite a bit over the years. In the beginning of power systems, the lineman’s job was very hazardous and although the records are not confirmable, the statistic of one out of every three linemen being killed on the job is a reasonable indication of just how hazardous the job was. There were many contributing factors making the job so dangerous, including lack of training, nonstandardized tools and equipment, congested poles and a lack of experience. In addition, many employers expected their linemen to take risks to get the job done!
Linemen Safety Over the Years
The safety of doing line work gradually improved as experience was gained, standards were developed, procedures became established and tools and equipment were improved. One of the major hazards was performing work on energized lines. In the beginning, it was all trial and error with individual companies experimenting with homemade tools and procedures.
It took longer for power companies to understand the need for and implement training – but training eventually gained the importance it deserved. There is no question we have come a long way with linemen safety. Think of the amount of hot line work that is done today by linemen – it’s the norm – and yet safety has improved significantly.
We need to appreciate the efforts made by those pioneering linemen who performed their job under the most hazardous conditions. Their experiences provided the foundation from which the trade improved to what it is today.
Guest Post Author Alan Drew: The son of a power company executive, this 2008 International Lineman Hall of Fame inductee has been climbing poles since he was six years old. His lifelong dedication to the power delivery industry has made him a leading historian on its rich American heritage. Northwest Lineman College gave Alan the opportunity to explore and write an in-depth chronicle of the evolution of the trade; the result is The American Lineman.
In honor of National Lineman Appreciation Day, we gave away 10 autographed copies of “The American Lineman,” by Alan Drew.
Visit our National Lineman Appreciation Day Page to see the winners.
Border States Donates to the National Sisterhood United for Journeymen Linemen
Showing Support for American Linemen, the Nation’s Toughest
The American Linemen – A Reflection on Their Contributions to the Betterment of America
National Lineman Appreciation Day
What Electricians Must Do to Stay Safe on the Job
Linemen: Safety is Everything
OSHA Highlights Fall Prevention
Honoring the Workers Who Keep the Lights On
Consider Comfort to Ensure FR Clothing Compliance
Remember: Safety First When Testing Electricity
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