Telephone Engineer At Work

Lineworkers of America are so important. I had a friend growing up that was one and he actually risked and lost his life to be one. He loved it so much and I am always appreciative of the men and women who power the lives of millions of people across the U.S.

April 18 is National Lineworker Appreciation Day. These men and women keep our homes filled with power so we can wash our clothes, stream the internet and play our video games into the night. Line technicians are essential to providing and maintaining reliable electric service every day. They’re also lighting the way on our path to a clean energy future.

“Whether power is impacted by winter storms, hurricanes, traffic accidents, or any other cause, lineworkers are our first line of defense and they stand ready to respond when our customers need us most,” said Scott Batson, senior vice president, and chief distribution officer at Duke Energy. “Powering communities is the heart of our business. Lineworkers are heroes who come to work never knowing what they’ll face in a given day – and I’m proud of their steadfast commitment to serving our customers.” In celebration of National Lineworker Appreciation Day, here are 9 facts you might not know about lineworkers thanks to Duke Energy.

  • 1. They wrestle wild weather

    All line workers are trained to respond to major outages. Working in the aftermath of extreme weather such as severe storms, hurricanes, and ice comes with the territory.

  • 2. Vital infrastructure is in their hands

    Besides working to power homes, lineworkers are responsible for keeping the energy flowing to hospitals, schools, water treatment facilities, businesses, and industries.

  • 3. Clothes Matter

    While on the job, line technicians wear specific safety gear known as personal protection equipment (PPE). PPE can include hard hats, rubber sleeves and gloves (made to protect 30,000 volts of electricity), steel-toed boots, climbers for scaling poles, and climbing belts that can weigh up to 30 pounds each.

  • 4. They’re shaping the grid of the future

    Lineworkers are building a stronger, better protected, and smarter electric infrastructure, improving reliability and resiliency and preparing the grid for cleaner energy options and a lower carbon future.

  • 5. The tally is tremendous

    More than 7,800 Duke Energy and contract lineworkers make up the team. They are responsible for constructing, operating, and maintaining equipment and more than 300,000 miles of power lines in Duke Energy’s service territories – enough to wrap around the Earth 12 times.

  • 6. Slang is standard

    Have a knuckle-buster handy? What about a lobster claw, kettle, or booger wire? Lineworkers frequently use lingo for tools and tasks – it’s passed down from one generation of lineworkers to the next.

  • 7. Animals come with the job

    A common cause of power outages is animal interference – especially squirrels and snakes.

  • 8. Technology is part of the toolkit

    Lineworkers install self-healing smart technology that automatically detects power outages and quickly reroutes power when outages occur – which can help reduce the number of outages and the duration of an outage.

  • 9. It’s natural to aim high.

    Lineworkers frequently work perched on a 40-foot pole, sky-high in an elevated bucket truck, or on transmission towers at heights of up to 120 feet – often in challenging or hazardous conditions such as rain, winter weather, or sweltering heat. But no matter how extreme the situation – strict safety procedures are always in place.