When a storm or disaster strikes, we express our gratitude towards our first responders: police officers, firefighters, rescue teams, healthcare professionals, and emergency management experts who work tirelessly to keep us safe.

However, amidst this appreciation, we often overlook another group of heroes—the electrical and cable linemen. These individuals dedicate themselves to restoring vital services like electricity and internet connectivity to both homes and businesses.

In the Line of Fire

These unsung heroes are called upon after major storms (and sometimes during them). Due to the urgency of power restoration, they quickly respond to make repairs under hazardous conditions. They can be found working on towering structures, in crane buckets, on poles, or in confined spaces. It’s important to consider that they deal with power lines carrying an average of up to 345,000 volts or more of electricity on a daily basis. Consequently, electrical linemen consistently face one of the highest risks in their profession within the United States.

Need evidence? In previous years, electrical line workers have experienced an annual fatality rate of around 20 per 100,000, often placing them on the list of America’s ten most perilous jobs. Despite industry-wide efforts to improve safety records, the fatality rate remained at 29 total deaths in 2018, with electrocution being the leading cause.

Source: ISHN.com

Putting Safety on the Line

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, these fatalities and injuries result from:

  • Electrocution
  • Falls
  • Confined spaces
  • Fires and explosions
  • Sprains, strains, and fractures
  • Environmental stress

Linemen take safety extremely seriously. However, the steps required to ensure their well-being are often at odds with the challenging conditions they operate under.

Linemen receive instructions to always remain aware of their surroundings, work collaboratively, and proceed with caution. These simple measures can mean the difference between returning home safely or encountering injuries (or worse) on the job.

The issue arises when crews are understaffed, forced to endure long hours in arduous conditions, and face pressure from supervisors and the public to restore power as quickly as possible. Consequently, basic safety protocols may be disregarded.

To address this problem, having the appropriate safety gear is critical. Essential gear should include:

Even something as simple as a beverage that replenishes electrolytes during hot weather can make a significant difference.

Therefore, the next time you encounter a power outage, remember the courageous linemen who work tirelessly so that you can regain access to electricity.

Arbill is a safety solutions company. We take pride in serving as a supplier to America’s linemen and strive to provide them with the necessary equipment whenever they require it. For more information, please visit arbill.com.

Have a Safe Day!