Lineman Appreciation & The Dangers They Face
Every day, thousands of linemen face the harsh elements of nature and high-voltages to ensure that we have power to our homes and offices. While these men and women are depended on for us to live comfortable lives, they are often underappreciated. "National Lineman Appreciation Day" is designed to give linemen the recognition they deserve.
What Does a Lineman Do?
A lineman has many responsibilities that involve installing, maintaining, and repairing the high-power electrical distribution lines that provide energy to users. On a daily basis, linemen are required to work with an array of different tools and diagnostic equipment.
To make matters more complicated, much of this work occurs at heights greater than 40 feet, on poles or electrical structures. When power outages occur, no matter what the cause or location of the incident, linemen are called in to get power resupplied. Much of the country depends on the more than 100,000 linemen to keep their daily lives running smoothly.
Dangers of the Job
There are a variety of dangers that linemen face as they go about their job. Perhaps the most inherent of these is the risk of being electrocuted by cables that are carrying tens of thousands of volts. At voltage levels, this high, workers have to be cautious of an arc flash. An arc flash is essentially a massive electrical explosion that occurs when energy rapidly transmits through the air from one electrical piece to another.
These explosions cause the surrounding area to quickly rise in temperature and can send shrapnel hurling through the air. Linemen must continually be properly clothed and constantly aware of their surroundings to avoid injury. There are warning labels on electrical systems ranging between 5 hazard risk categories (0-4) that help dictate how much protective clothing the lineman needs to be wearing while working on said system. The lowest category requires long sleeves, protective arc flash goggles, and rubber gloves; the highest level requires coveralls, arc flash helmets with face shield protector and hood, rubber sleeved gloves as well as dielectric overshoes.
Electrocution is not the only danger that linemen must face while working. As mentioned, linemen are often required to work at extreme heights, which are made even more dangerous by the presence of electricity. Climate and precipitation also play a prominent role in the job of linemen, and they must work in harsh weather conditions, ranging from sub-zero temperatures to rainstorms.
Linemen are Underrated
Few professions go as unrecognized as that of a lineman, and their services are often taken for granted. After all, how many days per year are you without electricity? - Very few, if any. And when the power does fail, it is the lineman who is out braving the conditions and working tirelessly to restore services.
Unfortunately, these same men and women that are working to solve the problem are often the ones blamed when the power fails or become targets for misplaced anger from homeowners that have no power. Therefore, it is important to join Paulson Manufacturing in showing support for linemen across the country by celebrating "National Lineman Appreciation Day" on April 18. Your support can be shared over social media by using the taglines #thankalineman or #NationalLinemanAppreciationDay