A utility line worker, or lineman, is a tradesperson who installs and maintains electrical power lines. A line worker generally does outdoor installation, construction, and maintenance jobs, while those who install and maintain electrical wiring inside buildings are referred to as electricians.
Linemen have an essential role in keeping electricity running to our homes, offices, and commercial buildings. However, this is highly dangerous work, and line workers risk exposure to hazardous accidents like falls, fires, and explosions every day.
These accidents can cause long-term or fatal injuries. In fact, for every 100,000 utility line workers, 30 to 50 are killed on the job every year. This is more than twice the amount of fatalities reported for police and fireman.
In addition to fatal injuries, line workers face risk of:
- Extensive 3rd Degree Burns
- Loss of Limbs
- Musculoskeletal Disorders
In many cases, line worker injuries and fatalities could have been prevented. Although following regulations and proper utilization of safety equipment will never make an inherently dangerous job completely safe, following procedures and protocol can save lives.
Because electrical work poses serious potential hazards for workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has extensive regulations that employers and employees must adhere to, in order to keep workers safe.
Several of these regulations focus on first aid and CPR:
- Four-minute rescue: An adequate number of workers must be trained to ensure that an electric shock victim is not more than four minutes from first aid and CPR.
- Two-person rule: When workers are exposed to 600 volts or more, crews of at least two people are required, so one person can provide first aid or CPR to the other person if needed.
- Manholes: When a worker is underground, a second person trained in CPR and first aid must be immediately available aboveground.
- Working alone: Safe work practices must be employed to minimize the risks of electrocution to workers working independently.
Additionally, OSHA requires that employers adhere to proper electrical wiring methods, as well as to provide fall arrest and personal protection equipment (PPE) for each employee.
Staying Safe on the Job
Although employers must educate workers on identifying potential hazards, using tools safely, and keeping employees as safe as possible, the very nature of utility work has inherent risks.
Line workers can help to decrease the risk of injury to themselves and others by:
- Staying aware of surroundings
- Working in teams to maximize safety
- Using tools and other equipment appropriately
- Wearing proper safety equipment (PPE)
- Ensuring OSHA regulations are followed
- Adjusting pace and procedures for rough terrain and inclement weather
- Reporting all potential hazards to supervisors or managers
Line workers who are currently suffering injuries should consult with a construction accident lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can help injured workers secure compensation for medical bills, lost worktime, and other long-term injury expenses.
Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Advocate for Utility Line Workers
If you have been injured while working in the utility industry or in any other workplace accident, consult with an experienced Philadelphia construction accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. Our lawyers can help you with filing a Worker’s Compensation claim, appealing a denied claim, and investigating the details of your case to maximize compensation. Call us today at 215-569-8488 or contact us online to schedule a confidential initial consultation.