Electricity and telecommunications are among the many defining features of an advanced society and first-world nation. Those systems mostly rely on connected wires that are bundled into lines to deliver the electrical current or communications signals throughout the nation.
Like virtually all other manmade things, the lines require routine maintenance and repairs. A lineman does the work and is a highly trained and qualified professional who has the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to maintain and repair lines.
A lineman’s job is not easy and comes with many dangers that are not shared by most other occupations. Electrical hazards can be deadly and require special care to minimize the danger.
Common Electrical Hazards that a Lineman Faces
Electrocution and electrical shock are the two primary dangers that a lineman encounters while on the job. Electrocution ends in death while an electrical shock could cause a serious injury.
If a lineworker is working up high and suffers electrocution or electrical shock, the likelihood of death is statistically high because a fall from the greater height is compounded with shock.
When lineworkers suffer injuries caused by electrical hazards, the causes often include:
- Unidentified electrical hazards
- Ineffective cover-up gear
- Inadequate personal protective equipment
- Mistaking grounded lines as safe
Many lineworkers who work for utility companies do not recognize all the potential electrical hazards at a particular job site. A lack of familiarity with a job site may cause even an experienced line worker to fail to identify all electrical hazards. Fortunately, most lineworkers complete their various line repair and maintenance tasks with no issues.
A lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) or cover-up equipment might contribute to the dangers of working on electrical lines.
Cover-up equipment helps to contain electrical hazards and shield workers from the current. Without it, workers running a greater risk of an electricity-related work injury. The same goes for a lack of proper PPE safety gear.
Lineworkers may also risk an electrical injury if they mistake a grounded line as being safe. Just because an electrical line is grounded does not mean it cannot shock or electrocute the human body, so safety precautions always are required.
How to Improve Safety for a Lineman?
The best way to ensure lineworkers are fully protected is to issue the right types of safety equipment and cover-up gear. Anything less than full protection against electrical hazards will leave workers vulnerable to electrical shock or electrocution.
Employers also should train workers in proper safety, including the safe use of PPE gear and cover-up equipment. Holding frequent safety seminars will help to drive home the lessons regarding working safely with electrical lines while ensuring workers know how to use their safety gear.
Safety also is improved when workers are given accurate information on the electrical systems where they will be working on lines. Accurate information, including system schematics, helps line workers to identify and protect against electrical hazards.
When injuries do happen while working on lines, workers’ compensation insurance should pay for medical costs and lost wages when missing more than three days of work. When a valid claim is denied, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help to uphold the rights of that injured lineman or woman.
West Chester Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Fight for Injured Workers’ Rights
If you suffered an injury caused by an electrical hazard and your workers’ compensation claim is denied, the West Chester workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC, can help to uphold your rights. You can call 610-594-1600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at our law office in Exton, Pennsylvania. We represent clients in Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchland, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, Morgantown, and throughout Pennsylvania.