Every day when our crew works on the lines, a whole set of gear comes with the job. Shown below on Lead Lineman Mike Lindenthal is the safety gear, or what we call Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), they wear every day to get the job done.
Safety glasses. Must also be worn by any person on a job site. These glasses provide safety for the eyes against any flashes or foreign objects.
Rubber Sleeves. These are worn to protect the linemen from incidental contact with power lines. The rubber sleeves are made to withstand up to 30,000 volts of electricity. Every two months the sleeves are tested. If not in 100% top working condition, they are replaced.
Flame Resistant (FR) Clothing. All of our linemen wear FR clothing every day. Their clothes are specially made to resist against flashes from an electrical arc.
Climbers. These are used to climb up a pole. The leg shanks strap onto a lineman’s leg, and a spike or “gaff” at the bottom allows the lineman to hook into the wood and climb up the pole.
Hot Stick. It’s exactly like it sounds - this piece of equipment is used when working on energized lines. It’s made out of fiberglass, which works as an insulator. The crew will use this to perform many maintenance tasks on energized lines, or sometimes in outage situations as well to disconnect and reconnect various line sections. The hot stick is tested every 6 months.
Hard Hat. Must be worn at all times on any job site. Even an office worker visiting a job site must have one! A hard hat protects the head from any objects, and our line crews’ hard hats are Class E (Electrical) that offer high voltage protection.
Rubber Gloves. Linemen wear these gloves to work on energized lines. The black portion is specialized material that, like the rubber sleeves, are able to withstand 30,000 volts of electricity. The orange, green and white portion is the leather glove that slides over the rubber glove, which helps protect the rubber. Even a pinhole in the rubber glove can allow electricity to flow through the glove and into the lineman. These are tested every two months.
Climbing Belt. Line personnel don this belt every time they climb up a pole. It’s what secures them onto a pole and allows them to shimmy up the pole to get the work done. The belt can weigh anywhere from 20-30 pounds, depending on how many tools they bring up with them to work on the line.
Steel-toed boots. Typically these boots not only are steel-toed but also are 16 inches tall and have extra steel support in the soles that helps the lineman climb a pole.