Lineworkers learn vital skills for live-line work
by Clarice L. Kesler
Imagine repairing wires pulsing with lethal voltages of electrical current, 20 to 40 feet in the air at the top of a utility pole. This is all in a day’s work for a lineworker; therefore it is imperative to their safety that they are trained with the techniques to work energized or “hot” lines.
That’s why the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC) offers Rubber Gloving School for its member systems. The school gives lineworkers the chance to learn how to work the system “hot” without actually being exposed to energized lines.
Lineworkers are trained to work the line “hot” not only to benefit consumers by not disrupting their power, but to prepare them for situations when de-energizing the line is not possible. Even seasoned lineworkers attend the school now and then to refresh their techniques in which proper procedure is paramount.
This year from June 21 to June 25, nearly 50 lineworkers attended the school, offered in two, two and a half-day sessions, to allow more participants to attend.
The training is a combination of both classroom and field exercises. Experience lineworkers serve as instructors and the students perform common tasks expected of a journeyman lineworker under normal energized conditions. See photo gallery below. (Photos by Clarice Kesler, JC Balcom and Carmen Devney)