Electrical linemen install, maintain and repair power lines. They face a range of occupational hazards that make their job incredibly dangerous. The nature of their work, often performed at significant heights and involving high-voltage electricity requires strict adherence to safety protocols to mitigate risks.
The risks electrical linemen face are multifaceted. Each hazard requires specific safety measures and continuous training to ensure linemen can perform their duties safely.
The most obvious risk is electrocution or electric shock from working with high-voltage power lines. Contact with energized lines or equipment can lead to severe injuries or fatalities.
To mitigate this risk, linemen must use insulated tools and wear protective gear, gloves and suits designed to withstand electrical discharges. Additionally, adherence to lockout-tagout procedures ensures that the lines or equipment aren’t accidentally re-energized.
Falls from heights
Linemen often work on poles or towers at significant heights, making falls a major hazard. Falling from even a relatively low height can result in serious injuries.
Safety measures to address this risk include using fall protection equipment such as harnesses and lanyards and following protocols for safely climbing and descending poles or towers.
Environmental and physical factors
Linemen are frequently exposed to harsh weather conditions, including extreme heat and storms, which can lead to heat stress or injuries from severe weather events. Physical demands of the job, like heavy lifting and repetitive motions, can cause musculoskeletal injuries. Proper attire for weather conditions, regular breaks, ergonomic tools and techniques can help mitigate these risks.
Linemen who suffer an injury at work should ensure they get prompt medical care, which workers’ compensation should cover. Other benefits might also be possible, depending on the type of injury and how it impacts the worker. Working with someone familiar with these matters is often beneficial and may mitigate the stress on the injured lineman.