State recognizes linemen for ‘dangerous job’

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Linemen have one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, says Troy Utilities Manager Brian Chandler, but are not often noticed or remembered by people living their everyday lives.

“As a whole that trade is still one of most dangerous jobs in US as far as number of accidents and number of deaths every year,” Chandler said. “Our guys don’t occasionally work with energized lines; they work with energized lines over 7,000 volts on a daily basis. They put their hands on and work with high-voltage electricity every day.”

Alabama officially recognized linemen across the state Monday with Linemen Appreciation Day.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“This day is to remind people and bring these guys to the forefront working to do a difficult and dangerous job year-round even if you don’t notice them.”

Chandler said the time when linemen are most recognized is in those bad days when the storms hit and people lose power, but said many people don’t realize the work they do day in and day out.

“They ensure power remains on during the bright sunny days but even nights, weekends, Christmas day and other holidays,” Chandler said. “And they always have to be on-call in case something does happen. If it does, they may have to leave friends and family for however long it takes to get power back on whether that’s hours or days.

“In addition, utilities nationwide have a kind of brotherhood where we send utility crews to help each other. Ours have gone to other cities in Alabama and even Florida and South Carolina. You may see them right down the street or 100 miles away helping people we don’t even know. Most people don’t think about it until the lights blink or the power goes out.”

Chandler said linemen go unnoticed a lot of times because they don’t disrupt people’s power.

“Most work does not include cutting power off to homes and businesses around town,” Chandler said. “Whether they’re changing out a pole due to maintenance or upgrading a transformer nobody’s lights blink and the power doesn’t go off. But these guys put themselves in that dangerous situation every day