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Working with electricity can be a dangerous job, especially for lineworkers. In fact, USA Today lists line repairers and installers among the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. That’s why, for your electric cooperative, safety is our No. 1 priority. This is not an empty slogan: Over time, we have created a culture of putting our crews’ safety and that of the community above all else.
Yes, we strive to deliver affordable and reliable electricity to you, but more important, we want our employees to return home safely to their loved ones. This requires ongoing focus, dedication, vigilance—and your help!
Distractions Can Be Deadly
While we appreciate your kindness and interest in the work of our crews, we ask that you stay back and let them focus on their task at hand. Even routine work has the potential to be dangerous, and it takes their full attention and that of their colleagues, who are also responsible for the team’s safety. Distractions can have deadly consequences. If a lineworker is on or near your property during a power outage, for vegetation management or for routine maintenance, please allow them ample room to work. These small accommodations help protect our crews—and you.
If you have a dog, try to keep it indoors while lineworkers are on or near your property. While most dogs are friendly, some are defensive of their territory and can’t distinguish between a burglar and a utility worker. Our crews work best without a pet “supervising” the job.
We recognize that for your family’s safety, you want to make sure only authorized workers are on or near your property. You will recognize your co-op’s employees by their uniforms and the co-op’s logo on our service trucks. You may also recognize our lineworkers because they live right here in our community.
Slow Down and Move Over
In addition to giving lineworkers space while they are near your property, we also ask that you move over or slow down when approaching a utility vehicle on the side of the road. One work zone crash occurs every 5.4 minutes across the U.S., and 70 of those each day result in injuries. There is one fatality each week from these accidents. The lineworkers’ focus is on the work at hand, not on the road, so we need you to watch out for them.
Also, never text and drive—around work crews or at any other time. That message can wait, and the momentary distraction can change lives forever.
Keep Poles Clear and Safe
Nails, staples and other attachments to utility poles not only get in lineworkers’ way when they are trying to climb poles, but these foreign objects can also damage the workers’ safety gear, exposing them to possible shock or electrocution. Never post signs or attach anything to utility poles.
Guy wires may occasionally be inconveniently located, but please leave them alone. The wires provide support for poles, and removing or modifying them can weaken the system, causing poles, power lines and possibly lineworkers to come crashing to the ground.
Your co-op’s employees are looking out for you. Help them stay safe by returning the favor.