Thank a Lineman Every Day
While deemed one of the most hazardous jobs in the market, the lineworker profession is often overlooked. Linemen work with thousands of volts of electricity atop power lines 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to keep electricity flowing to our homes, businesses and communities. Oftentimes, they are our unsung heroes. It is only fitting that the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association designated the second Monday of April of each year as “National Lineworker Appreciation Day.” Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives are pleased to join in this celebration, but the truth is we owe these brave men and women our gratitude every day of the year.
Nationwide, there are more than 150,000 lineworkers, which means roughly one lineworker for every 2,000 people. In Oklahoma, there are approximately 750 co-op lineworkers who work to maintain nearly 116,000 miles of distribution lines. To ensure each lineworker returns home safely at the end of the day, electric cooperatives maintain a strong culture of safety. In 2018 alone, the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives’ Safety and Loss Control Department held 19 training schools and conferences with more than 600 attendees. Additionally, the department provides safety visits to cooperative member-systems to ensure compliance and crew inspections.
On average, these men and women go through at least four years of schooling to reach a journeyman lineman level, which signifies competence on leading installation, maintenance, and repair of electric power systems. Linemen put their lives on the line to keep the lights on, no matter the day or the hour. They have missed holidays, birthdays and special family occasions to ensure we have reliable and safe electricity. They work in brutal weather conditions and often serve as first responders during storms and other catastrophic events, working to make the scene safe for other public safety officers. Join us in expressing appreciation to our linemen for all that they do to keep the lights on.