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Electric linemen have dangerous jobs

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Electric linemen perform critical tasks that help to ensure the maintenance and repair of electrical power systems. However, their job is filled with dangers. The onus is on any particular power company or contracting company to provide the safest work environment possible, which means taking steps to truly understand the dangers that their workers face.

Understanding these risks is crucial for implementing safety measures to protect these essential workers. This knowledge can also help workers to more effectively advocate for their rights in the event that their employers fail to adequately safeguard them.

High voltage and electrocution

One of the primary dangers electric linemen face is the risk of electrocution from working with high-voltage power lines. Even with stringent safety protocols and protective equipment, the potential for fatal accidents remains. Electrocution can occur due to direct contact with live wires, equipment failures or accidental contact with energized parts.

Falls from heights

Linemen frequently work at significant heights, climbing poles or using aerial lifts to access overhead lines. Falls from these heights can result in catastrophic injuries or death. Factors contributing to falls include equipment malfunction, loss of balance and adverse weather conditions, which can make surfaces slippery and visibility poor.

Adverse weather conditions

Electric linemen often work in extreme weather conditions to restore power during outages. Heavy rain and high winds can make repairing lines more challenging and increase the risk of heat exhaustion and accidents.

Working on the side of roads with higher speed limits

Working on the side of roads, particularly those with higher speed limits, poses a unique set of dangers for electric linemen. The risk of being struck by a passing vehicle is significantly higher in these areas. A lack of physical barriers between the work area and traffic can lead to severe or fatal accidents.

Physical strain and repetitive injuries

The job’s physical demands, including lifting heavy equipment, climbing and performing repetitive tasks, can lead to musculoskeletal injuries. Over time, the cumulative effect of these activities can result in chronic pain and long-term health issues for linemen.

When a lineman is injured while working, they need to seek immediate medical care. Workers’ compensation should cover the costs of this effort, but injured workers sometimes have to fight to get the benefits they’re due. Seeking legal assistance can help them to learn their options and determine how to proceed accordingly.