Ensuring the Safety and Health of Power Utility Workers

Two lineman working to restore power on electrical lines

Electricity is literally and figuratively a powerful force that drives industries forward, making homes more comfortable and transforming cities to be liveable. It is also deadly without adequate safety precautions.

This is the reason the International Organisation for Standardisation puts a high premium on safety for workers in the power industry. Industry players must invest in training, procedure, infrastructure and personal protective equipment for their employees.

Safe Work Australia is also keeping an eye on hazardous professions to ensure that national policy remains responsive to the needs of workers exposed to hazards.

Below are the common causes of injury and the measures to bring down or eliminate the risks:

Electrocution

Many line workers have been severely injured or killed by electric shock, which happens when high voltage electricity passes through the human body. Insulators, which do not conduct electricity, serve as barriers between live wires and the human skin.

Employers must shield line workers through personal protective equipment like hard hats, rubber gloves and face shields. It is also mandatory for personnel to be wearing flame-resistant clothing like high-quality denim on the job.

Falls

Working on power lines inevitably involve climbing up poles that expose workers to the risk of falling. Standards require that only climbers who have undertaken extensive training take on these jobs.

Getting ready for the role entails months of physical practice, safety orientation, and expertise on standard working procedures. Tools to protect against falls include pole straps, body belts and harnesses with lanyards that absorb shock.

Stress

People must not take for granted the ability to stay focused on the job at hand. When you impair presence of mind with stress, training and working procedures are in vain. This is where care for human resource steps in to provide adequate mental and even emotional support.

Providing personal protective equipment is not enough. Australian safety equipment and supplies must be up to approved standards, and you must inspect tools before use. They also have to have a replacement to keep employees out of harm’s way.