New Linemen Tools and Practices
Linemen have demanding and dangerous jobs. It isn’t unusual for them to spend hours repairing cables, climbing poles, digging holes, and hauling heavy materials. As you can imagine, the job can lead to some long-term health issues, but new lineman tools and practices are changing this.
What Specific Risks do Linemen Face?
For one, ascending utility poles is rough on their knees, and because they often carry heavy equipment, there is an additional strain on their lower back. Also, linemen often perform twisting movements, which over time can make things worse.
These professionals often require physical therapy as well as surgery to repair the damages they sustain, but many linemen report that after such procedures are done they no longer have the same level of strength or movement. These issues often become even more pronounced when lineman reach retirement age and then leave the workforce, as they then have to deal with the damage they’ve accumulated over time.
Musculoskeletal disorders rarely emerge from a single incident. Rather, they are more often the culmination of multiple minor injuries which accumulate over a long period of time. Early in their careers, linemen will often ignore the soreness they experience after work, seeing it merely as a part of the job rather than the result of not working correctly. Few recognize the damage they’re adding to their softer tissue until it is too late.
Solutions That Help
Here are some tools and practices which can help linemen do their jobs without compromising their long term health:
- Operate Smarter
There are a variety of tools and equipment on the market which is designed to protect the backs, legs, spine, and eyes of linemen, and those employed in this field would do well to invest in it. This is not an industry where you want to use cheap or low-quality equipment.
A single fall from a utility pole can result in serious injury or death, not to mention the risks of being electrocuted. Lineman can’t afford to make mistakes. They must invest in the best equipment and see it as an investment that will protect their long-term health.
But owning the best equipment that money can buy isn’t enough; you’ve also got to use it properly. For instance, when a lineman has to dig up a ditch or hole, they will first want to figure out where the dirt should be thrown so they don’t need to continually twist their bodies. Another option is to use equipment that can do the digging on their behalf, which eliminates the need for such repetitive motions.
A lot of people disregard stretching, considering it a waste of time. It isn’t. Scientific research has consistently confirmed the benefits of stretching, emphasizing that it warms up your muscles, tendons, and ligaments which make them less susceptible to injury. Experts from Georgia Tech’s Research Institute have confirmed that organizations that established stretching programs saw a significant reduction in their injury rates, which could be as high as thirty percent or higher. Just as pro athletes stretch before a competition, so must linemen.