Every household and business in California relies on a constant supply of electricity for the smooth running of his or her lives and businesses. However, not many of those people stop to spare a thought for you and your co-linemen who do one of the most hazardous jobs in the country. You risk your lives every day to ensure uninterrupted utilities.
They might not even realize that you risk burns, electric shocks, falls and other occupational hazards — many of which could be fatal. You will likely recognize the importance of taking every possible precaution to ensure your safe return to your family at the end of every day.
Typical risks for linemen
You will often control your own safety while you must also consider the safety of co-workers, and communication is vital to ensure everybody knows when hazards arise. These can include falls, fractures, strains and sprains, electrocution, fires and explosions. You might have to face the hazards of working in confined spaces, and the combination of all this can cause environmental stress — even for those who are veterans on the job.
Precautions that might protect you from harm
Knowing the potential hazards linemen face, staying alert and avoiding complacency are the first steps to safety. However, taking the following precautions is crucial if you want to return home safely after every shift:
- Personal protective equipment: This might be the primary safety precaution. Wearing the appropriate clothing, shoes, gloves and helmet can be an extra protection layer, and if you work at heights, you must use fall protection.
- Do not rush: Rushed jobs often lead to accidents, and bypassing any steps can be detrimental — even if you see yourself as an expert.
- Be alert and aware: The surroundings in which you work are dangerous, and a lack of alertness can lead to accidents with the slightest error in movement. Being aware of tools in your work area can also prevent accidents.
- Teamwork is essential: While linemen typically work in teams, teamwork means more than working as a crewmember. It involves constant communication and looking out for each other.
- Tool safety: Make sure you receive the necessary training before using an unfamiliar tool.
While you put your life on the line every day, it is only fitting that you can find comfort in knowing that the California workers’ compensation system will cover your medical expenses and lost wages in the event of a workplace accident. Furthermore, if you lose your life, experienced legal counsel can assist your family with the pursuit of survivors’ benefits. These will provide financial support for end-of-life arrangements along with a wage-replacement package to help with day-to-day living costs and other obligations.