A Tennessee electrical lineman was working in a lift bucket truck earlier this month performing maintenance on telephone lines when an electrical discharge, also called an arc flash, occurred and electrocuted the worker. Fortunately, a coworker on the ground heard the arc and performed bucket truck rescue before administering first aid. Additional crews responded to the emergency and secured the area until emergency response teams arrived. Fortunately, the electrocuted worker was evaluated and stabilized a local medical center.
ARE ELECTRICAL LINEMEN SERVICES SAFE FOR WORKERS?
Utility workers, such as electrical linemen, have a very important job for their communities. They install and maintain power transmission lines, television cables, telephone lines and fiber optic cables. Electrical linemen are also responsible for repairing broken power lines and switching out broken utility pole transformers.
Unfortunately, electricity can be an unpredictable hazard and when safety precautions aren’t taken, workers are put at risk for sustaining electrical burns, mechanical trauma, loss of limbs or even death. More often than not, electrical linemen are forced to work in challenging weather conditions, in construction work zones or high off the ground. However, providing proper safety equipment and training to electrical line workers can prevent injuries. Utility service employers are responsible for the following:
- Providing rubber sleeves, rubber gloves, bucket liners and protective blankets
- Training electrical linemen to have a good understanding of how to use rope and lift equipment
- Training electrical linemen to have a good understanding of rigging techniques
- Providing fall protection equipment
- Establishing minimum approach distances
- Providing protective grounding, just in case
Approximately somewhere between 30 to 50 electrical line workers out of every 100,000 die each year, according to Transmission & Distribution World. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) believes most of these deaths are entirely preventable, so long as the proper safety standards are employed.
Stanley A. Davis is a Nashville personal injury attorney who fights for victims who have been injured on the job.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” Colossians 3:23