Linemen—The Real “Power Players”
By Richard Felton, Esq.
It’s a dark and stormy night. The wind is howling, rain is pelting your windows with a rat-ta-tat-tat. Fortunately for you, you’re at home. As you settle in to watch your favorite TV show, suddenly the electricity goes out. No lights, no TV…no creature comforts, at least for the foreseeable future. But what you probably don’t consider is all those who have to brave the storm—thunder, lighting, rain, wind—to get everything operational again. Those are the linemen who risk their lives to restore the power, among their many other duties.
It is not a job for the faint of heart. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists electrical powerline installers and repairers as the seventh deadliest occupation in the United States.
Linemen often work on electrically energized power lines at great heights, and in incredible weather extremes--from intense heat to sleet and snow—and conditions--hot pavement or wet and slippery mud. And they do it day or night as they string, splice or sag wires, route or re-route power lines, install or remove transformers, carry poles, dig holes, erect steel towers…the list of duties seems endless.
While performing their duties, linemen face such serious and potentially fatal injuries as electrocutions, falls from elevation and injuries from falling objects. And, according to the BLS, the main causes of non-fatal injuries include electrical shocks (burns), sprains and strains, over-exertion and cuts, lacerations and contusions.
The job also can wreak havoc with one’s family life. According to one lineman, “It took a while for my wife to get used to this lifestyle; if it’s windy, raining hard or there’s a heatwave, there’s a good chance she won’t see me for days.”
Being a lineman is more than a career choice, it’s a brotherhood of men and women who often times risk their lives to keep a community running. We take great pride in representing these dedicated workers regarding their work injuries to help them receive the proper medical treatment and benefits so they can carry on with their lives and take care of their families.