When our lineworkers are up on the line, the only things standing between them and 14,400 volts of electricity are intensive safety protocols, good communication, top-notch system safeguards and top-of-the-line gear. Here’s how we suit up to stay safe.
- Hard hat: Protects head from falling objects that may come down while work is being done on overhead lines. Worn at all times in the field and on the job.
- Safety glasses: Protect eyes from debris and arc flashes.
- Face shield: Protects the face in case of an arc flash.
- Clothing: Made from fire-resistant material.
- Harness: Safeguards against falling from the bucket.
- Rubber gloves: Protect against deadly electrical shock. Our lineworkers wear two types of rubber gloves for “hot work” (working with energized equipment) — Class 2 rubber gloves for 7,200 volts and Class 3 for 14,400 volts. Gloves are tested every three months.
- Leather gloves: Protect against splinters when framing or working out in the field.
- Extendo: Fiberglass tool lineworkers can use from the ground to re-fuse equipment affected by faults or lightning.
- Hot stick: Insulated tool lets lineworkers safely grab and manipulate energized equipment.
- Steel-toe boots: Protect against injury in the field or on the site.
It’s more than the suit that makes the hero. In addition to their heavy-duty gear, our lineworkers stay at the top of their field through industry and safety trainings and career-long mentorships, including:
- 8,000 hours of on-the-job training and intensive study with the Northwest Lineman’s College (NLC) in our Department of Labor-certified apprenticeship program.
- Semiannual NLC classes through our journeyworker continuing education program.
- Weekly district safety meetings.
- Safety tailboards for each job and trainings on new equipment.
- Apprentice-journeyworker mentorships.
- Participation in the internal and Texas Lineman’s Rodeos.
“We are all brothers in the trade, and we want everybody to be aware of what is happening out in the field,” said PEC Safety and Technical Training Manager James Vasquez. “We train so that safety is second nature. Our lineworkers are very proud of being the best.”