Mothers, don’t send your boys to be linemen.
An electrical lineman’s job is clearly one of the most dangerous in the United States. But the real tragedy, according to veteran linemen, family members, attorneys, and even OSHA [U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration] investigators, is that many of those deaths and horrible injuries could and should have been prevented. The dirty secret of America’s “clean” power, they say, is that, since the electrical utility industry was deregulated in the 1980s, companies have increasingly found ways to cut back on their liabilities and expenses for line maintenance, resulting in less training, fewer experienced linemen, and a system by which companies are not held accountable or liable in any meaningful way, either by OSHA or in court.
One OSHA source, who asked that his name not be used, said that, without question, accidents and deaths have gone up substantially since deregulation – and that the percentage of such accident victims who die has also increased.
According to [OSHA]….60 to 100 linemen annually suffer “devastating” injuries that leave them permanently crippled, missing limbs, or severely burned. And that’s not counting the workers injured at publicly owned utilities such as those run by cities. Those companies, which make up as much as one-third of the U.S. utility industry, don’t have to report injuries to OSHA.
Excerpts from the Ft. Worth Weekly article