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Apr 1, 2022

The power behind your power


You’ve likely noticed Petit Jean Electric Cooperative’s crews working on power lines and other electrical equipment in our community. It’s no secret that a lineworker’s job is tough, but it’s an essential job that often must be done in challenging conditions. As we celebrate Lineworker Appreciation Day on April 11, here are some interesting facts. The work can be heavy, in more ways than one. Did you know the equipment and tools that lineworkers carry while climbing utility poles can weigh up to 50 pounds? That’s the same as carrying 6 gallons of water. Speaking of utility poles, lineworkers are required to climb poles ranging from 30 to 120 feet tall. If you have a fear of heights, this isn’t the career path for you.
Lineworkers must be committed to their career –– because it’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle. The long hours and ever-present danger can truly take a toll. In fact, being a lineworker is listed in the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S.

Lineworkers often work nontraditional hours and outdoors in difficult conditions. The job requires technical skills, years of training and hands-on learning. Did you know that to become a journeyman lineworker can take more than 7,000 hours of training over four years? That’s because working with high-voltage equipment requires specialized skills, experience and an ongoing mental toughness. Shortcuts are not an option, and there is
no room for error in this line of work. Safety is our top priority.
Despite the many challenges, our lineworkers are committed to powering our local community. During severe weather events that bring major power outages, lineworkers are among the first ones called. They must be ready to leave the comfort of their home and families unexpectedly, and they don’t return until the job is done, often days later. That’s why lineworkers’ families are also dedicated to service. They understand the importance of the job to the community.

Nationwide, there are approximately 120,000 electric lineworkers who are responsible for keeping power flowing 24/7, 365 days a year. In addition to the highly visible tasks lineworkers perform, their duties today go far beyond climbing utility poles to repair wires. Today’s lineworkers are information experts who can pinpoint power outages from miles away. Line crews now use laptops, tablets, drones and other technologies to map outages, survey damage and troubleshoot problems.

Being a lineworker may not seem like a glamorous job, but it is essential to the life of our community. Without the exceptional dedication and commitment of these hardworking men and women, we simply would not have the reliable electricity that we need for everyday life.
So, the next time you see lineworkers, please thank them for the work they do to keep power safely flowing, regardless of the time of day or weather conditions. After all, lineworkers are the power behind your power.


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