Our local power grids are essential to providing us with the electricity we need to accommodate our everyday lifestyles. From our kitchen appliances to our lighting and climate control systems, these setups are essential to keeping us connected when we need it most. However, working on these lines comes with its own set of hazards that only qualified workers are trained to handle. In fact, the professional lineman position is one of the most dangerous fields an individual can pursue. Read on to learn some of the most common injuries in lineman jobs and what these workers can do to avoid them.
Falls From Great Heights
Unfortunately, falls are some of the most prevalent accidents on the average lineman jobsite. Electrical poles stand at about 40 feet high, and should a worker slip from their station, a fall from such a height could cause severe injuries or even death. It’s for this reason that linemen are required to wear regulation fall protection equipment and be experienced in climbing with boot spikes before they can perform the job.
Since linemen directly handle live power cables and are constantly connecting and disconnecting wires, they’re also at a particularly high risk of getting burned. Though these circuits are shut off before they get worked on, there are cases where the wire has been damaged to the point where it could cause explosions or fires. In these instances, linemen need to be especially careful to not cut cables until the power has been completely shut down in that area.
Another type of common injury sustained in lineman jobs is that which results from severe weather or climate fluctuations. While linemen don’t often climb as high as tower climbers regularly do, the surrounding temperatures can still greatly differ from those on the ground. Already cold days get colder, and hot days put them at additional risk of developing sunburn or heatstroke. As such, these professionals must always take the weather into account when getting ready for the day and come equipped with additional tools to mitigate dangerous situations.
Linemen are also very likely to sustain injuries as they’re setting up new electrical systems or taking down older ones. When assembled, these components are welded together to better withstand stress from harsh weather conditions. This puts the systems at a reduced risk of breaking and needing to be immediately fixed. However, the welding process itself is on the dangerous side, and linemen need to wear the proper clothing and eye shielding to prevent burns or eye damage.